Jobs drive helps give Mark a leg up

A GLOUCESTER man is one of dozens across the Mid North Coast to benefit from the Mid North Coast jobs drive, which aimed to fill 100 jobs in the region across the months of April and May.

Gloucester Shire Council’s tourism manager Wendy Hughes did not hesitate when she was asked by the Jobfind Centre to give local Mark Knox a job. 

The 54-year-old had volunteered at the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) for six years and deserved to get something back, Mrs Hughes said. 

Mark Knox with Gloucester tourism manager Wendy Hughes.

Mark Knox with Gloucester tourism manager Wendy Hughes.

“Mark has many outstanding qualities including a great deal of patience and a huge depth of knowledge on our area,” she said. 

“What he doesn’t know he will find out and the fishermen love him because he has all the information on the local spots.” 

For many years the VIC has provided an opportunity for Gloucester locals to gain work experience which has then launched them toward further employment. 

And since her first positive experience many years ago, Mrs Hughes has not questioned the decision to provide a job for people registered with the employment and disability services network. 

“I am a firm believer that everyone has something to give and you just need to help them develop it,” Mrs Hughes said. 

Mr Knox joined the Royal Australian Air Force at the age of 20. 

When he hung up his hat six years later he got in his car and headed towards employment as a fencer, corn picker and doorman at a five-star hotel. 

Upon returning to his childhood home in Gloucester the keen fisherman found it difficult to find employment that offered stability as well as flexibility so he could care for his parents. 

The last decade had been peppered with stints in administration but the tide turned when Mr Knox joined the VIC under an employment scheme. 

The team of 23 volunteers at the VIC contributed their skills and knowledge toward the training of Mr Knox, Mrs Hughes said.