New job turns life around

Moonee Valley Leader, Melbourne  by Madeleine Stuchbery

Employment program gives chef a chance after treatment for cancer sapped his confidence

FOUR years ago, Silvio Martelli’s world was turned upside down after he was diagnosed with throat cancer.

He had spent 25 years working in renowned fivestar restaurants as a chef, but soon found himself out of work, isolated, and undergoing treatment for cancer.

Now his life has turned around and he is the head chef of Moonee Ponds’ new restaurant, JC’s American Bar and Grill, thanks to the State Government’s Jobs Victoria program.

Owner of JC’s, John Obersnell, has recently hired five new employees through the program, including Mr Martelli. He said meeting Mr Martelli was destiny.

“I was introduced to him and we clicked immediately,” Mr Obersnell said.

“Honestly, he is the number-one part of our business.” For Mr Martelli, finding a secure job in hospitality has made the world of difference.

“Through the cancer and the radiation, it sort of zaps a lot of your confidence,” Mr Martelli said.

“This second-chance program … it’s really given me a lot of confidence.” The Jobs Victoria program is working to help more longterm jobseekers find meaningful work.

Industry and Employment Minister Ben Carroll and Essendon state Labor MP Danny Pearson recently visited JC’s to chat with the new workers.

“These programs are linking jobseekers to the right services so they can get the right jobs,” Mr Carroll said.

Jobs Victoria has already placed more than 2200 long-term job-seekers into work with a goal of supporting 5000.