A check-in with our founders

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since the launch of Jobs for Australia, and we wanted to check-in with the founding trio, The Recruitment Events Company Director Andrea Kirby (AK), self-confessed ‘HR Tech Geek’ Rich Lewis-Jones (RLJ) and People & Culture Author Justine Figo (JF).


With the generous help from Roy Baladi, President from Jobs for Lebanon, who made his playbook for Jobs for Lebanon available to them, they set up Jobs for Australia in a matter of weeks.  Jobs for Australia iis a Not-For-Profit organisation of volunteers from the Talent Acquisition & Human Resources industry located across Australia that have been affected by COVID-19. The focus is to help job seekers in Australia who have been impacted by job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


We asked them to share with our community the lessons they have learnt through the process in setting up a Not For Profit organisation, and what it means to see the wider Talent Acquisition and Human Resources community banding together.

Editor: What have been some lessons learnt through this process?


AK: I have realised that even when people themselves are affected, reaching out to help others is what makes you feel better.  That if you set the team up in the right way and to own what they do, that natural leaders stand up and make it work better than you ever planned or imagined.


RLJ: We’ve seen every level of experience and skill set across TA, HR, and HR/TA technology come forward to offer their personal hand or business services to help job seekers. The feedback we have had has been inspiring to say the least. It’s taught me that the smallest of assistance can have the largest impact on an individual.


JF: Everything is possible when you find people who share your values. Now is the time to step up and support each other and when you put yourself out there, there are so many people wanting to make a difference. It doesn’t matter if you’re an employer, a volunteer or a job seeker at Jobs for Australia we are all here to come together, to make Australia work.


Editor: What are your thoughts on the journey thus far?


AK: I have been between tears of joy and heart singing at people’s generosity of spirit and time.  I have also learned that you can have the idea and set something up but that you don’t have to have all the answers, you don’t have to be the one in charge and that just getting out of people’s way, cheering them on and setting the tone will allow people to grow and take on more than they thought they could, that they will find a way to make it work and will get real satisfaction from it.


RLJ: We are learning as we go and are not perfect but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we are contributing and doing our bit. 


Despite my job being safe, this project has really made me feel great about being able to work with a team to help Australia. 


I feel very blessed to work for an organisation that has the strength and capabilities to be able to support a project that impacts many through Jobs For Australia and I am forever grateful for the people that this has introduced me to both on the volunteering team and the job-seekers that have reached out to us for help.


Editor: What is your personal success story with Jobs For Australia


AK: My best success in that so far is that a HRD is looking for a Talent Acquisition Manager and has asked me to recommend people from this team.  And it will be a great recommendation as I have seen how well people can work on something and how they think when they are setting it up.


JF: Andrea and Rich and the team of volunteers and the job seekers who put in the hard yards, along with any employers who participate are the ones who make Jobs for Australia what it is. 


That’s what this crisis has shown me. No one stands alone. We are all connected, even when we are isolated. One person falls ill and the world stops. One person like Andrea has a great idea, and we spread hope across Australia. So, I guess my personal success is the human connections that I have made along the way.

Thank you to Andrea, Rich, and Justine for taking the time to share their thoughts and their journey thus far.


If you know of someone whose job has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, please send them on to register with Jobs for Australia. We help with:

  • Their resume
  • Their LinkedIn Profile
  • Interview preparation
  • Personal branding (where appropriate


We are constantly speaking with job seekers, interested volunteers and employers who are reaching out to support us.  If you would like to be involved, visit Jobs for Australia.