From Incarceration to Inspiration

Jeffrey Magnaye had always been a positive individual, but a three month stint in correctional facility Ravenhall, tested his resolve and changed his perspective on the justice system.

“You have two choices when you leave prison. You can become a better man or a bitter man. I chose the former.” Said Jeffrey

When Jeffrey first left Ravenhall, he was placed into the Bridge centre which provides services for ex-offenders to adjust back into society. It was at a Jobs Expo there that he met Kristine, a Jobs Victoria Employment Broker from Workways Australia.

“I connected with Krissy at the event and saw that she could help me. She has been an invaluable mentor throughout this process and really helped to motivate me.” Added Jeffrey.

Kristine and Jeffrey worked together to develop his skills and experience to help him prepare for employment. While it was daunting at first, he said that Workways helped alleviate his feelings of stress.

“Krissy helped me prepare my resume, at a time when I didn’t have access to a computer or email. We sat side by side while she helped point me in the right direction.

I received training through Workways and Jobs Victoria, including White Card, First Aid Training and my traffic control ticket. I also participated in Work for the Dole with another Jobactive provider which I accepted as an opportunity to gain experience.”

In November 2019, Jeffrey’s hard work paid off and he was employed by Meipol, a traffic management contractor that works with Public Transport Victoria to maintain assets including bus stops. In his role as Field Maintenance Auditor, Jeffrey is responsible for auditing bus stops and undertaking basic maintenance, assisting in the management of the 26,000 bus stops across Victoria. Meipol provided on the job training and support to help transition into the role.

“It is a huge compliment from my employer that they trust me to represent the business as I visit bus stops throughout Victoria. I recently travelled to Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance and Mallacoota to check that our assets didn’t suffer much damage during recent bushfires.

I am now helping train new staff, which is a big step up.” Said Jeffrey.

Inspired by his time at Ravenhall, Jeffrey has also commenced a Bachelor of Legal Services, with a goal to transfer into Bachelor of Law next year.

“I have so much gratitude for the help I have received from Wendy Saly at Jobs Victoria and Krissy at Workways and I see [my study] as a way of giving back to the community. I want to support and mentor others and contribute to the justice system.”

Jeffrey says that Ravenhall Prison has given him the gift of experience, and while he didn’t necessarily enjoy the experience, it has allowed him to better empathise with others in similar situations.

“Being incarcerated was a humbling experience. It taught me that liberty of choice is everything, and that I need to appreciate the things I have in life.”

“It also showed me that I need to accept my mistakes and consider where I went wrong. Men are often too proud to ask for help, but I’m glad for once in my life, I accepted that I needed this help.

The Bridge Centre, Jobs Victoria and Workways have helped me on my pathway and I have so much gratitude for their help.”

Jobs Victoria is an initiative of the State Government, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR), designed to assist Victorians into employment.  For further information on Jobs Victoria call 1300 208 575