Omer was always able to find work, however he experienced discrimination and racism due to his refugee background. Compounded by working in workplaces unsupportive of employee wellbeing and professional development, his previous jobs gave him little sense of purpose, nor – more significantly – provided for any meaningful progression along the direction of his desired career pathway: working in the field of community and youth work.
Finding his way to Good Cycles, he became a part of the Lime e-bike team as a bicycle mechanic. Describing Good Cycles as “the first business in which I worked that actually implemented its OHS and anti-discrimination policies,” Omer has found Good Cycles as a place “where people can fairly thrive and succeed.”
While learning about bike share and honing his skills as a mechanic, Omer was also able to build connections and come to learn about social enterprise. Omer recalls,
“In my first week at Good Cycles, I went into Kate [Head of People and Impact]’s office … and she explained to me what a social enterprise was, what she studied, and what her position was. It was probably the biggest ‘light bulb’ moment in my career. The fact that you can help people and still be profitable was a new concept to me that I’m still fascinated with until this day. I made the decision to work in community service but didn’t know in what capacity or how. All I knew is if I hung around Good Cycles I would get there somehow.”
For the first time, Omer felt valued, engaged, and safe at work and from that his aspirations to become a community service worker was crystallised.
“Having a caring nature I think I always had the cultural awareness and aptitude for social work. But I never knew that is what I wanted to do. It was Kate that really helped me tap into that and believe that I can make it into a career.”
Being a father of two, he needed to find a solution that would accommodate his desire to study while being able to support his family. Omer’s determination to fulfill his career aspirations and help his community was not ignored.
“Good Cycles gave me the opportunity to work part-time and have minimal impact on my income as it allows me to work overnight. Without this, it will be difficult to study and cover my expenses.”
When young people are given the opportunity to be heard and feel included, their professional and personal development grows, unlocking a bounty of employment pathways for them.
“Kate introduced me to a youth work organisation and people in the Programs team are always looking out for any opportunities, whether bike mechanic or community work related.”
By finding meaningful work and building connections at Good Cycles, Omer has been able to overcome barriers and discover his ambition.
“As an aspiring community service worker, my experience at Good Cycles is critical. I have got to know people from diverse backgrounds and their experiences. … some of their stories are just amazing, I have come to truly appreciate it. Being in this environment has provided me with invaluable experience…”