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Outlook Case Study: A second life at Melton Resource Recovery Centre

We all have a basic idea of what a waste facility is, but many councils are opting for more sustainable solutions that have a much more detailed function than we may realise – like the Melton Resource Recovery Centre.

Social Enterprise Outlook Australia operates the Melton Resource Recovery Centre and the Outlook Recycled Goods Shop on behalf of the City of Melton. Beyond the old model of tipping waste into landfills, these facilities use diversionary strategies that identify reusable or recyclable goods and, where possible, redirect them away from landfills and back into the community for a second life.

The social inclusiveness model

Outlook’s work is spread across diverse commercial, social and environmental interests. They also offer Outlook Employment and Outlook Community Services. All of their divisions are grounded in Outlook’s social inclusiveness model – to create sustainable opportunities in the workforce for all people, including those with disabilities. This commitment to an all-inclusive workforce has a significant social and economic impact and can be life-changing for those in that workforce.

From South Sudan to Melbourne

Yousif Osman Kury has been working at the Melton facility for the past few years and is extremely passionate about the impact that employment there has had on him and his family.

Originally from South Sudan, Yousif’s family came to Australia in 2004. His first job in Australia was working as a cleaner at Melbourne Airport before the opportunity arose to work with Outlook. He spent several months at Outlook’s Darebin Resource Recovery Centre, before moving to the Melton site. In his day-to-day work, Yousif deals with customers, cleans up, keeps things tidy and organised, and collects metals and cardboard from the deposits.

An inclusive society for all

Yousif is one of many employees at the Melton facility that are part of Outlook’s ‘Priority Employment Groups’. This classification prioritises employment for people from more diverse, challenging or disadvantaged backgrounds. At Melton, 21% of staff are immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers – including Yousif.

Other employees include:

Mitchell Rank is the Contract Supervisor at the Melton Recycling Facility. “The main challenge of a diverse workforce is communication between leadership and peers, as directions can sometimes require careful thought in a fast-paced environment,” he explains. “However, the team shares a fantastic range of experiences and cultures that help them to assimilate with our customers and each other on a personal level.”

A future built on respect

Yousif’s key takeaway from his time at Outlook is the sense of respect he experiences in the workplace. “I love Outlook because of the respect. The Managers respect their workers and we respect our Managers.

The Managers and Supervisors are very good, that’s why I love Outlook – because they employ good people.” One of Outlook’s guiding principles is the promotion of social inclusion by bringing dignity, empowerment, and choice to those in the community. Yousif’s experience offers a great example of this in action, as he thinks about the future for himself and his family.

“Everyone has goals to do something in the future. If you are still strong and a good worker, you can do a lot of things,” he says. “My older children are studying business at university now. Maybe I can start a small business one day.”

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