It’s not often social and corporate interests intersect, but this is precisely what is happening through this program
- Conny Lenneberg, BSL Executive Director

Seba Mansour, successful GTC candidate (middle), with Teresa Rulla, Branch Manager at Brimbank Shopping Centre (left) and Rock Hughes, Inclusion Australia ANZ (right).
Seba Mansour, successful GTC candidate (middle), with Teresa Rulla, Branch Manager at Brimbank Shopping Centre (left) and Rock Hughes, Inclusion Australia ANZ (right).

As part of a partnership between the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) and ANZ, the Given the Chance Program actively recruits job seekers who are facing disadvantage, specifically refugees and asylum seekers, into 6-12 month full-time positions.

Earlier this year, we saw two passionate ANZ staff members go above-and-beyond for the program when they were faced with four impressive candidates for the one vacant role.

“After each interview we basically said to each other s/he is the one … we were delighted with the quality of applicants that we had to choose from”, says Fabian Mazzone, Branch Manager at ANZ Preston.

Although only one role was initially available, ANZ staff members, Fabian and Clare, were so impressed with the candidates that they took it upon themselves to advocate for the creation of three additional roles to accommodate each candidate.

“All four applicants were well prepared for their interview and answered our questions using excellent examples drawing from previous or current employment, showcasing their customer service skills”, says Clare Contsas, Branch Manager at ANZ Northland.

As a result of Fabian and Clare’s drive and initiative, all four individuals were successfully offered a position.

The Given the Chance Program was developed in response to employers who recognised the benefits of diversity in the workforce, but didn’t necessarily have the resources or knowledge to recruit such roles and provide ongoing support once candidates were placed.

BSL plays an active role through training ANZ teams to understand the challenges each candidate faces and articulate the opportunities for the business, which has a flowthrough effect in the community.

BSL also provides candidates with training and interview preparation, and in turn, provides high quality recruits for ANZ. Training focuses on soft skills, including interview preparation, cultural training, reference procurement and building business networks.

Clare Contsas adds, “The interviews were very upbeat, and the applicants did most of the talking... the candidates kept reinforcing how excited and honoured they were to be provided with an opportunity to work at ANZ and had a great outlook on life in general.”

The Given the Chance Program has placed over 230 participants into roles at ANZ across various departments since the partnership began in 2006. The program now runs in Victoria, New South Wales and extended to Tasmania in November of this year.

To find out more about this program, please visit: