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“Don’t lose sight of what you want” – Benjamin Mulheran on how he found his job at Fred Hollows Foundation

People find amazing jobs on EthicalJobs.com.au every day. This is part of a series of articles that go behind the scenes to meet some of the people and organisations finding each other through EthicalJobs.com.au.

Today’s story is from Benjamin Mulheran who found his job as Internal Communications Co-ordinator at the Fred Hollows Foundation on EthicalJobs.com.au

Fred Hollows Foundation is an international development organisation working towards eliminating avoidable blindness and improving the health of Indigenous Australians.

Starting out with work

My first job was working for my Dad when I was 13. I used to go into his office on the weekends and clean up for a little bit of money. It wasn’t the best job in the world but it was certainly a start.

I entered university a little unsure of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to take my career. I started studying a double degree of Law & Journalism before changing to Law & Communications one year into my degree. In my current role and previous jobs, a communications degree is obviously incredibly helpful, having given me language and writing skills that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have. My law degree hasn’t directly impacted my career yet as I chose to not pursue anything in that field, however, it did provide me with critical thinking and problem-solving skills that have definitely influenced the way I go about things.

I have had quite a few varied roles in my career which all provided me with valuable skills and experience. My first job was as a jack of all trades at an interior design company on the Gold Coast. I was responsible for copywriting, website management and social media amongst other things. I then worked for The Queensland Greens as a Communications Officer during the lead up to a state election which provided valuable skills in writing and communications strategy. Then I moved into a role at The Nine Network in Brisbane where I worked in a journalistic capacity before moving to Sydney for my current role.


Working at The Fred Hollows Foundation

The Fred Hollows Foundation is one of Australia’s largest Not-for-Profits and is working to end avoidable blindness and vision impairment in Australia and around the world. We currently work in 25 countries across Asia, The Middle East and Africa where health care systems are often lacking and it’s difficult for people to access effective eye care. Currently, our priorities are eliminating trachoma, improving access to cataract treatment and surgery, providing glasses to fix refractive error and improving rates of diabetic retinopathy.

My role as the Internal Communications Coordinator involves working with many people across The Foundation to ensure messages and information are delivered to the right people at the right time. This comes in many different forms from staff newsletters, to helping run internal events, to drafting all-staff emails to be sent to all our offices around the world. Every day can be different and it can be quite fast-paced at times but the variety of the work always keeps it interesting.

The most rewarding thing I get to do in my job is talk to people in our international offices and read the stories they send about the people our programs are helping. Sometimes working in the head office, it can be easy to feel disconnected from our programs but this provides a real understanding of the practical application of how our work is helping people.


Why work for a better world?

I was referred to EthicalJobs.com.au by a friend when I was between roles last year. I was attracted to the purpose of the site and to the wide variety of work that was available. I’ve always made sure to keep an eye out for jobs there since I was made aware and luckily this paid off for me.

I had been aware of The Fred Hollows Foundation and the good work they do from a fairly young age. It’s such a reputable and well-known brand among Australian not-for-profits that I jumped at the opportunity to work here. The role itself seemed like I would be able to use my skills in different contexts than I previously had but also like I would learn some new valuable skills along the way. I was also attracted to the scope of the role and The Foundation itself. Our goals are both achievable and ambitious and I was excited at the prospect of working in such a determined environment.

It feels important to me that the work I am doing is hopefully making some sort of a difference. This is the main reason I pursued working in the not-for-profit sector. It provides an underlying sense of purpose to the work we do and I feel as though everyone here is very aware that we are all working to achieve worthwhile goals.

It can be very daunting trying to enter the job market and being knocked back from roles you would like can be disheartening. It’s important to not lose sight of what you want to do and keep pushing your career in the direction that interests you. It’s also very important to try and build skills and experience while studying. Take as many internships and work experience opportunities as you can in as many different roles as you can. It can never hurt to have experience to draw on.


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