Helping hand to find a job

Dianne Dempsey | Bendigo Weekly | 30-Oct-2015

WILLING WORKER: Neil Gemmill is helping others find work.

Feeling the effects of unemployment after he first moved to Bendigo, Neil Gemmill reached out to other people in a similar situation and soon realised he wasn’t alone. 

More than 50 people gathered together at the inaugural meeting of Willing Older Workers. 

As a result of the meeting two men have already who been offered employment, one as a tiler and the other as a painter.

Based on a similar self-help group which has been successfully running in Melbourne, the newly formed Bendigo branch of WOW offers emotional and practical support to mature-aged unemployed workers and their families.

In attendance at the meeting were the mayor, councillor Peter Cox, the Community Foundation for Central Victoria, Bendigo Community Health,  Work for the Dole, Bunnings Epsom, Matchworks, and Willing Older Workers Melbourne.

WOW in Melbourne offers resume and cover letters, financial advocacy, Centrelink advocacy, weekly food hampers, advice of the services available, job-ready seminars and social functions.

Mr Gemmill, who has now found employment, said he  hoped to build a similar model in Bendigo.

“I hope we can help people find employment and also support people who are struggling.

“A lot of people don’t qualify for benefits and they struggle with mental illness as a result of being unemployed. We’re hoping to help them as much as we can. There is certainly a lot of support from the community at this stage.”

Mr Gemmill will be notifying people of the next WOW meeting. 

To  contact WOW phone 0484682922, email or visit


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