Meet the face of the RNA

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

If you have visited the RNA in the past year, you have probably met Zena, their customer relations consultant.

Zena and her husband Craig are parents to four children. It was the first thing she mentioned when asked to introduce herself. Zena has been in the workforce since the 80s. She has had several careers including security, retail, as well as working as a gate ticket supervisor for the EKKA.

After enjoying her work at the EKKA for the past couple of years, Zena applied at the RNA and asked HR to let her know if any positions come up. Days later, she received an email asking her to come in for an interview.

At the time, she thought she was coming in for a cleaner’s job. But she was pleasantly surprised to be offered a position as their customer relations consultant instead, a job that she enjoys even more than her time at the EKKA.

“I love the interaction that I have with a lot of the guests that come to the events,” said Zena.

Zena’s job consists of mainly administrative duties. But she also meets with a lot of the clients and ensuring they are happy and taken care of. She is very often the first face people will see at the RNA.

On the 20th of September, Zena will celebrate 12 months of working at the RNA. During that time, she has branched from her customer relation duties to working as a team leader during the 2022 Ekka. Here, Zena worked with food and beverages, which was something she said she “thoroughly enjoyed.”

Simon and Zena standing outside the RNA looking at the camera

With the help of Kristy, her Employment Consultant, as well as her colleagues, Zena’s time at the RNA has gone smoothly.

Kristy has worked with Zena and helped her improve her computer literacy skills. In her job, she must use computer skills to complete her administration duties. Or other small jobs, like making directional signage for events.

“Kristy has helped me out, and also my bosses, Simon and Jason, and the rest of the staff. They’ve been fantastic.”

But Zena’s job search was not always this easy.

After being diagnosed with epilepsy at six years of age, Zena is no stranger to overcoming difficulty in the workplace, due to her disability.

“That’s why I’m glad that there are job providers like EPIC to help participants and people in the workforce with disabilities,” said Zena.

“In my life I’ve had a lot of barriers purely and simply because I have a disability, that is one you can’t see.”

EPIC Assist (EPIC) is a not-for-profit that specialises in helping people with a disability, injury, mental health condition, or health condition prepare for, find, and keep a job they love.

With EPIC by her side, Zena’s career has spanned far and wide.

Starting as a security guard at the World Expo in 1988, where she ended up meeting her future husband, Craig. She went on to work as a security guard at airports for over eight years. Zena then gained the qualifications to work in retail with the help of EPIC Assist. She did work in retail for seven years.

In 2013, Zena decided to take a leap and explore a new pathway. EPIC helped Zena complete a Certificate III in Education Support. Later, she had the opportunity to become a qualified sterilisation dental technician.

Zena believes employers should be more considerate of potential employees, after facing countless rejections herself.

It was incredibly daunting for her to go out there, knock on doors, and give out over a 100 resumes, only to receive no response. And she was certainly not the only one having difficulty finding work in the wake of the pandemic.

“I think employers out there, should realise that people do come into their firms with resumes. They have spent the time getting that resume together. And whether it be 50 or 100 resumes they put out, it takes time and effort.”

If you are looking for help finding and keeping a job you love, get in touch with EPIC Assist today.

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