Improving people’s lives | Janet McIntyre of My Pathway



Improving people’s lives
Janet McIntyre of My Pathway
Words by Janie Barton

Janet McIntyre received the best belated birthday present when she was named the winner of the Cairns Business Women’s Club (CBWC) Manager in Business of the Year award at the recent awards ceremony.

“Never in a million years did I think I’d win,” said the My Pathway Self-Employment Assistance Program Manager who struggles to talk about her own achievements but can easily boast about her staff and participants accomplishments. “I felt outside my comfort zone throughout the entire process, but it was probably the best journey I’ve been on.

“The workshop before the gala ball was not just about entering a competition, it was about empowering you, learning more about yourself and discovering what you’re capable of, and I think that’s what it has done for me. I’m not one for putting myself out there, but this has given me the opportunity to grow a bit and start pushing myself a little bit more.”

Janet, who celebrated her birthday last week and who is mother to four and Nanny to four, has been at My Pathway for six years. She has been in her current managerial role for five years, in the Self-Employment Assistance Program, which was revamped from the New Business Assistance Program (NEIS) in July this year, helping people achieve success in self-employment through training, support and business mentoring.

“I absolutely love my job,” said Janet, who is also passionate about mental health and initiated and developed My Pathway’s mental health policy. “I feel really privileged to do my job because I have the chance to help participants turn their dreams into reality and to really change lives and make them believe in themselves. I’ve very lucky to do what I do, and I love going to work every day.”

Janet program manages across all regions including Alice Springs, Darwin, Mackay Airlie Beach, Cairns, the Tablelands and even North and Northwest Tasmania. She visits each at least once a quarter.

“My team are very happy, and we have a lot of laughs,” said Janet, who is also the Deputy Chairperson of the National Self-Employment Assistance Association. “I have to make sure I have the right staff on board who are there to genuinely help the participants, and I’m lucky that all of my staff are there for the right reason. They love what they do.”

While she and her team have seen a lot of success stories, Janet says her participants’ accomplishments are more than just starting a new direction.

“Statistics have shown that a lot of businesses that come through the program will be still operating three to five years later, and I think that’s because of the mentoring, support and guidance we give them,” she said. “It’s just a fantastic program.”

While Janet is just now getting used to the idea that she won the prestigious CBWC award, she has been overwhelmed by the support shown to her by family, friends, co-workers and former clients.

“The best thing about the evening was my entire family and two best friends came along to the event,” she said. “To celebrate the win with my four children, my husband and my friends was incredible.”