LOOKING FOR WORK: Rodney Stewart (pictured with his grandson) has found it hard to find work with his barriers
LOOKING FOR WORK: Rodney Stewart (pictured with his grandson) has found it hard to find work with his barriers Contirbuted

'I'll do anything': Is there a job for this former prisoner?

AFTER 20 years behind bars, all Rodney Stewart wants is a job.

The Kingaroy man says, as a former prisoner, he faces immediate barriers every time he applies for a job.

"I have put resumes in everywhere but as soon as they ask for a criminal check I've got no chance," he said.

There is much more to Mr Stewart than his criminal history.

He is an established Indigenous painter and has recently had a gallery of his artwork displayed at the Kingaroy Library as part of the NAIDOC celebrations.

As part of his parole, Mr Stewart teaches other Indigenous people about Indigenous art and how to paint.

"I have community service guys who do paintings with me," he said.

"The artworks will then be donated to various organisations."

Regardless of past mistakes, Mr Stewart has always had a strong work ethic and describes himself as "a bit of an all-rounder."

"I used to work in hospitals as a wardsman...I've done roo shooting and pig hunting," he said.

Since moving to the South Burnett several months ago, Mr Stewart said he had found nearly impossible to find regular work.

If he does not find work soon, he said he would be forced to leave the South Burnett.

"If I don't have something after Christmas I'll probably leave," he said.

"I'll probably go to Bundaberg where there is more fruit picking work."

Mr Stewart is determined not to let his past get in the way of him enjoying a positive future.

"I'll do anything," he said.

"I have friends looking for me, I have posted on Facebook, I have been going in to different places."

Mr Stewart has extensive experience and has his own vehicle and licence and he is determined to find steady employment.

"I'll just keep pushing forward," he said.

South Burnett


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