Working Spirit is proud to announce our first ambassador Mr Roy Mellon. Roy is an ex-soldier who has made the transition out of the ADF and has a remarkable story.
We think Roy is the perfect choice to be an ambassador for Working Spirit as he displays courage, resilience & strength and understands the challenges faced by veterans looking for employment when they leave the military.
Here is Roy’s story:
I joined the Army in 2003 when I was 17, straight out of high school; I had a boy’s attitude and just wanted to drive tanks. However, my real career progression was going to be a carpenter in the Army.
After graduating from Puckapunyal, I was posted to Townsville where I was serving with B Squadron , 3/4 CAV. My dream of driving tanks – the APC’s had finally come true and I was just awaiting the days until our unit would be called upon for active duty.
I started to develop foot pain after 12 months of being with my unit which then led to fallen arches in both feet, due to being in a combat core unit and the requirement to “go go go” all the time. After surgery to help fix my feet issues,my feet never recovered and I was left with using a walking aid; crutches, full time. The realisation that I wouldn’t be serving in a combat core was devastating. I was then diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both feet at just 19 years old.
My unit was then notified of my diagnosis and I was unable to be posted to that particular unit any longer. I was immediately transferred to the Ordinates Room where I was encouraged to further my study by a great mentor that has sharped my life for who I am today. It was here that I learnt payroll through several training courses. I was then transferred to the payroll unit – 10 Force Support Battalion, on Ross Island Barracks where I assisted for a number of months.
Unfortuntely while here, a new rule was introduced that all soliders who weren’t a level one or two were required to be deployable and I was unable to be deployed due to my injury. Just short of three years, I was subsequently medically discharged from the ADF and moved back to Perth to start searching for a civilian job in payroll.
I was pretty devastated about being medically discharged however I did what I knew; just got on with it and used the skills I had learnt in the army to bolster my civilian work life. I managed to secure work pretty quickly and worked for several companies in Perth including The Catholic Education Department, Harmony Gold and Rio-Tinto.
After working for other businesses, I realised I had the knack for payroll and felt I could achieve more working for myself. I was encouraged by my wife to start my own payroll business as a sole trader providing payroll outsourcing and consulting to clients.
6 years down the track that small business has emerged into a multi-million dollar payroll company which employs 17 staff members. Last year, our company shifted it’s business model from a service business to a tech company.
My company not only provides payroll services but has developed its own software; Definitiv. Definitiv is a Human Resource Information System that offers an alternative to the likes of SAP or Oracle. Our difference is we specialise in the people and the first of its kind globally; we call it the ERP of People.
The future holds exciting times for the company, with growth into the Eastern States and overseas.
The journey from military life to civilian life was not an easy one, however the skills I learnt in the short time I served have no doubt led me to where I am today.
It goes to show; just because your original career path doesn’t go to plan, it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in something completely different.