Women at Work

Roslyn and Carol met on shift at the Women’s Subscription Enterprise in Sydney, and they’ve been good friends ever since.

Roslyn says

I started working with WSE about three years ago. A girlfriend told me about it at an outreach centre. I enjoy the nice places we get to work. I’ve worked at Rizer and we’ve done some gift-wrapping; I’ve done some shifts at Westpac in Barangaroo, Business NSW – really nice offices. We packed a lot of good stuff for their businesses.

The women are lovely to work with; they’re really good company. We gather together before work and have a coffee over at the cafe. They’re always really supportive if you’re feeling down or having a bad day. It’s a pleasant and happy atmosphere.

Carol is really funny – she always brightens up the day. She’s sweet and kind and very outgoing and enthusiastic. It’s always good to see her.

The WSE money helps me live better. I can buy new things like clothes. It’s built my confidence to be social, too. I have more freedom to go out and do the things I want to do. I’ve just started a craft group on Monday nights. I’m waiting to re-enrol in June in my course to be a nail technician.

My WSE work has helped me financially. It enabled me to buy a nail kit for $104 as well as a TAFE uniform. It gave me a big incentive to carry on and finish my studies.

I’m in the right place. I don’t really like to leave work – I’m a bit slow going out the door sometimes!

Carol says

I started with WSE about five years ago. Before that, I had spent virtually 10 years isolated. I didn’t want to be with anybody, I couldn’t talk to anybody and I knew that if I didn’t get myself out of it, I’d be like that for the rest of my life. Getting the job really helped me out. It wasn’t the financial thing – I think I just needed people around. The girls here made me feel at ease and didn’t judge me. They helped me through what I was going through – stress and anxiety and panic attacks. They helped me come out of my shell.

We like to have fun. I dyed my hair yesterday for our shift packing the magazine, because the mag had a chicken on the cover. We danced the chicken dance and wore chicken hats. I like to see all the girls laughing.

Our social procurement work means we get to work in some nice offices – we worked at the Opera House. I loved the OzHarvest CEO CookOff – they cook a three-course meal for you to raise money for people experiencing homelessness. Daryl Braithwaite was there! Larry Emdur too. I got up and danced and went crazy.

When Roslyn first started she was very quiet. She’s a quiet person, but she likes to have a good laugh, and she’s a very keen, hard worker. She’s sweet and kind and takes pride in her looks and in herself – she’s doing a nail course, so we’re all waiting for her to finish it so she can do our nails!

Photo by Autumn Mooney

First published in The Big Issue edition #638