As the guillotine of austerity hangs precariously above the Australian Public Service, some commonwealth employees are turning to the spiritual world for metaphysical career guidance.
Psychic healer Suzy Cherub said her Pearce practice was a “revolving door” of public servants seeking reassurance in a time of great uncertainty.
“With so many public servants losing their jobs, and the uncertainty of it all, it’s been a very high volume period for people coming through,” she said.
“Basically, they want reassurance about how they’re going to pay their mortgage, about job security, and about the future in general.”
Clairvoyant-medium Alex Fulford, winner of the ACT Psychic of the Year 2013, said at least 70 per cent of her clients were public servants, including Department of Defence members. While the majority were women, Fulford said the men tended to be “high-ranking, executive level” APS employees.
Fulford said client enquiries about the future had increased in the lead-up to the federal election.
“They’re everyday people with a mortgage, a family and everything else, maybe caring for an elderly member of the family – they want to know if they’ve got a job to go to next week,” she said.
Fulford, herself a former public servant, warned clients of looming cutbacks, saying that “no-one is safe when it comes to redundancy”.
“It’s a roundabout, that’s the nature of the beast of the public service,” Fulford said.
Cherub was seeing an average of two public servants a day – which she said was an unusual amount.
Particularly distressed clients were referred on to psychological specialists.
“I refer them onto medical professionals if I feel they need it – rarely, but it does happen,” Cherub said.
One of Cherub’s clients, a woman in her late 20s who did not wish to be identified, said she left the public service two months ago because she had grown tired of fretting about job security.
“It’s not healthy, for me or anyone around me, to continue down that road,” she said.
“There was never a time when you felt comfortable. The last two years have been a constant array of worry, concern, and stress, never knowing what’s coming next.”
The client said her concerns were all-consuming and she became very negative.
“I feel much better. In the last two or three years I feel like I’ve taken years off my life from stress. It’s much healthier to be in an environment when you’re not having to worry about job security,” she said.