Jahmal Matenga-Wilson came to AM Group company Austral Monsoon through Challenge Employment and Training to complete the Skilling Queenslanders for Work Certificate II in Engineering Pathways, however his path before reaching us involved many struggles.
Jahmal didn’t have the easiest childhood and during this time he missed four years of schooling. On top of that Jahmal has a hearing disability which requires him to wear a hearing aid 24/7. Jahmal’s hearing disability was big barrier for him to overcome, but he didn’t let it hinder him from applying to workshop programs.
In 2010, Jahmal and his family moved over to Australia from New Zealand and by this time Jahmal had decided that he really wanted to go back to finish school but unfortunately many schools refused entry as he was too far behind. Jahmal was then referred to Boystown. After a couple months at Boystown, they referred him to Redbank Plains High where after an interview with the Principal they agreed to accept him and suggested that he go down a grade to catch up on his learning.
After Jahmal proudly graduated school, he wanted to take it a step further and go to university but unfortunately the financial barriers prevented him. This is where Jahmal found Challenge Employment and the Engineering Program. Throughout Jahmal’s studies here, he faced some physical barriers. There was times where the physical and mental aspects of the program were a great challenge for Jahmal.
Hans Kummerhel, the Production Manager at Austral Monsoon Queensland, went to Challenge Employment and explained that he needed someone who he could train to do some programming on our CNC Machines. Without hesitation Challenge Employment put Jahmal forward knowing that his strong suit is maths! Jahmal then came to Austral Monsoon for an interview and amazed Hans with his high level of maths, problem solving skills and his ability to use the program so quickly. Later that day, Hans hand picked Jahmal to be trained as the CNC Machinist trainee. To keep this position Jahmal kept working hard on developing his skill set as part of his traineeship. Hans says that Jahmal is now turning out to be one fantastic employee at Austral Monsoon. This was of course a massive achievement for Jahmal!
Jahmal says he is also very thankful to Challenge Employment for assisting him in his journey to completing his studies and gaining employment at Austral Monsoon – a job that he says he is really enjoying. He was particularly thankful for the engaging hands on experience, job hunting and interview processes that are all part of the Challenge Employment program. All of these techniques gave him that bit more confidence in himself when it came time to meet our team at Austral Monsoon Queensland.