TESS chief executive Lance Stone and training and development manager Gail Endres.
TESS chief executive Lance Stone and training and development manager Gail Endres. Robyne Cuerel

It’s the mission that’s valuable in community work

LANCE Stone knows a thing or two about educating.

The chief executive officer of Fraser Coast Training Employment Support Services has more than 20 years of experience in training and the community sector.

"I started out delivering training to job seekers in a whole raft of different training genres," he said.

"Prior to that I had my own business for a number of years."

TESS has been delivering primarily youth-focused programs to the Fraser Coast and surrounding areas since 1983. "TESS has a life all of its own ... It doesn't rely on one person to ensure its success," Lance said.

"We probably have a reputation in the Fraser Coast for dealing with the troubled youth of the community, so our training as an RTO (registered training organisation) has developed along those lines."

Lance said TESS has grown to include multiple community-based programs.

The organisation includes a working farm with formal agricultural qualifications available to students working there.

"We deliver construction, engineering, hospitality, basically those types of practical work-based training programs," he said.

He said since being appointed CEO six years ago, he's merged like-minded organisations with TESS.

"Most community-based organisations start out with one or two people with a passion and it grows and grows," he said.

"Then they retire, or they move on, sometimes those organisations fall over and when you look at different community organisations, you should look at the mission, look at what they're doing in the community, it's too valuable to lose that."

Lance said he goes and meets community organisations, where he works with them to ensure their passion and legacy isn't lost in times of change.

Instead of looking at their assets, Lance said he looks at what they achieve in the community.

"Everything we do we reinvest back into the community."



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