FINAL PLEA: Mum of two Kelli Johnstone has gone public about her year-long struggle to find a job.
FINAL PLEA: Mum of two Kelli Johnstone has gone public about her year-long struggle to find a job. Kelli Johnstone

'Willing to clean toilets': Mum rejected from 500 jobs

A YEAR of hunting for a job with no luck has left a Rockhampton mum of two desperate enough for work she would clean toilets.

Kelli Johnstone has only had two phone interviews after sending her resume in for more than 500 positions across the region since she moved to Rockhampton from Emerald a year ago.

"I'm to the point where I'm begging," Ms Johnstone said.

"I'm not wanting a job; I'm begging for one.

"This is the last and final plea. If I didn't have my children, I would be out on the streets with a big sign.

"I'm willing to do anything. I just need a job."

Ms Johnstone followed her ex-fiancé to Rockhampton, but after the couple split she survived with the support of her family for months until she recently met her new partner, Jack Stuart- Sutherland, who moved from Biloela to a casual job at a Gracemere bottle shop to help financially support her.

"But you can only stretch it (his income) so far," he said.

"He only gets the hours that he gets given, and it's not a steady income."

She's tried everything. from selling beauty products Avon and It Works to finishing a Certificate III in business and another Certificate III in business administration, a Responsible Service of Alcohol, Responsible Service of Gaming, and barista certificate, plus much, much more.

FINAL PLEA: Mum of two Kelli Johnstone has gone public about her year-long struggle to find a job.
FINAL PLEA: Mum of two Kelli Johnstone has gone public about her year-long struggle to find a job. Kelli Johnstone

But Ms Johnstone, who has gone through six jobs in childcare, hospitality, and retail during the past five years as she has been through two pregnancies, believes it is her experience that may be turning employers away.

She fears employers do not believe she is flexible, with one employer telling her that her resume made it look like she was "job hopping".

"They see it as you have children, you can't do the hours that we need, but that's not true, I've got lots of family here who can support me," she said.

Ms Johnstone said mums across Rockhampton had told her of their own struggle to find work since she posted to Facebook to tell employers she is "reliable, hardworking and flexible".

"There's been a quite a few ladies who've said they've gone out and got qualifications, but they are not getting anything either," she said.

"It's not just me, it's hundreds of Rockhampton people. It's just not fair."

But Ms Johnstone's one biggest worry is it is getting to the point where her children are going without the opportunities other children have.

"Not only does affect me, it affects my children's future," she said.

"Like, for example I can't afford a tutor for my daughter who has speech problems.

"I can't provide for my children as much as I would like to."



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