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Ballina Byron Islander Resort has been awarded as the ETC Employer of the Month.

Diane Walford took over the property 3 years ago and aims to increase the number of staff from 14 – 20.

“I’m originally from Victoria and fell in love with the local hinterland and people. I’m really enjoying the role I am playing in supporting local workers and job seekers,” Ms Walford said.

Ms Walford said training and development of staff was a key priority for her as a business owner.

“Our staff are multi-skilled so they can do a whole range of jobs. I explain the level of work that we expect, while allowing our staff to manage themselves and have ownership of their individual roles. You can see the pride they have when given this opportunity,” she said.

“We also aim to provide flexibility for our staff with rostered hours. We understand that everyone needs to make money and that it’s important to make that process enjoyable.”

Ms Walford shares a story about a particular staff member who she has enjoyed watch grow and flourish in her business.

“Around 2 years ago we employed a young lady who came to us with very low confidence levels – she couldn’t even look people in the eyes and would shake when having to answer the phone.”

“We decided to give her a go. So initially we put her in our Housekeeping department and she achieved the particular standard we expect for this department. We then put her in the restaurant and watched her thrive. Finally, she has settled in a Front of House role doing 40 hours a week.”

“She has really come out of her shell and is so confident in herself. One of her friends now works here and she is mentoring her. I’m proud that we’ve provided her with a safe working environment in which to grow.”

Ms Walford thanked ETC for supporting her business with recruitment services.

“I have a lovely relationship with the personnel at ETC, in particular Danielle. She understands what I need and what things are important to me – like work ethic,” Ms Walford said.

“I also really appreciate the weekly email I get from ETC advertising local job ready candidates.

Even if I’m not currently ready to hire someone, I can still see all the variety of people that they offer. So I think it’s a brilliant way of interacting with the employer.”

Ballina Byron Islander Resort has 40 rooms, a conference centre, wedding event space, a restaurant and bar.

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