Melanie's employment story

Australian Gold Award holder Melanie Tran gets her Gold Award.

As a direct result of her Service section, Australian Award holder Melanie Tran was employed by Muscular Dystrophy NSW as their web administrator. Here she explains how she developed valuable employment skills and, despite the odds, went on to achieve her Gold Award. 

“The 6th of March, 2014 is a day I will never forget. It was the day where I was recognised for my ability and not my disability. It was the day where I received The Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award.

"From the very first day when I started my Bronze Award (I was the first person to complete my Bronze Award through Muscular Dystrophy New South Wales (MDNSW)), I wanted to go right through to the Gold Award. It was a promise I secretly made to myself but I didn’t know if it was possible; I didn’t know if I would be able to take on such a big challenge.

Gold Award holder Melanie Tran being presented with her Gold AwardFulfilling my dreams

"A lot of people said I couldn’t do it because I’m in a wheelchair and that I wouldn’t succeed. I wanted to prove them wrong and show them that having a disability doesn’t mean you have to sit around and watch everyone else fulfil their dreams. And I did prove it to them; I completed all three Award levels and took on a new challenge for each one. And through that I found hope.

"For my Gold Award I updated the website for MDNSW as part of the Service section. For my Skills section I completed an online training course on a product design programme called Creo and I also learnt about film production and editing videos. As a direct result of my Service section I have been employed by Muscular Dystrophy NSW as their web administrator. I am responsible for adding new events, news articles, flyers and brochures on to the website as well as keeping everything up to date. I was absolutely thrilled when MDNSW was willing to give me a chance to work with them. Most of all, I’m glad I can do something for MDNSW after all the amazing opportunities they give me.

"The Award is a good idea because it pushes people’s limits further; they can gain experiences that last a lifetime; they get opportunities that may help them in their future career. I’ve never really had the courage to think about my dreams in the future because I’m very limited with what I’m able to do physically. The Award opened a whole new world to me and showed me all the possibilities that I have. Now I can proudly tell everyone that my dream is to become a famous product designer and travel around the globe.”

Loretta Downie, Muscular Dystrophy NSW, and Melanie’s employer

“One of the best outcomes for us in our Award pilot was how our participants showed they had the potential and skills required to work in open employment. Mel is now employed by us as a direct result of her two years of volunteering with us for her Service section. The Award gave Mel the opportunity, motivation and confidence to explore new skills which would help her realise her potential.

We have discovered a strong link between what the Award teaches both its participants and employers - and we believe it provides an important transitional link for people with a neuromuscular condition to gain open employment.”

Add the Award to your LinkedIn profile and CV

Employers are looking for Award holders with skills like communication, leadership and teamwork. Remember to list the Award on your CV or LinkedIn profile, so employers can look out for you.

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