Work? Loving it, now I've got it.
It isn't easy for a person with a disability to find work in regional Victoria. But thankfully there are some job agencies to help you find work. In Mildura, Christie Centre is a job agency for people with a disability. They helped Gordon find work at a recycling company. Gordon says he loves his work, as does his younger workmate Luke. Amanda has been working at Mildura Chocolate Co for more than two years. At work she does everything from customer service and making chocolate to cleaning and packaging. Looking for work requires persistence. But don't give up.
Posted by: Susan Frankel, on 17/10/12
Amanda gets to make chocolate.
It isn't easy getting a job in regional Victoria but many employment services for people with a disability try to find you employment, and have a range of other services you can tap into.
In Mildura, there are a number of job agencies that seek to find work for people with a disability. The common message from some people who have found work in Mildura is to 'stick at it', be persistent and patient in finding work.
Christie Centre Inc. is a not-for-profit job agency for people with disabilities. It provides individual and group employment services for people with a disability in the Sunraysia region, matching jobs according to a person's interests and needs
As well as providing services to around 100 people with disabilities in the region, the agency is also funded by the Federal Government to employ 19 people with a disability in various roles.
Gordon at AroundAgain
It took a while for Gordon to find his current job in Mildura. He works at AroundAgain a recycling company at the Mildura landfill. AroundAgain is a division of Christie Centre Inc employing people who have an intellectual or physical disability. Employees have various roles in the sales and recovery yard.
I am a labourer and I love my work. I believe lots of people with a disability want a job. Some are shy and some can't cope. But if you go to the agency you'll be trained. All disability agencies train, Gordon says.
His tasks include dismantling electrical goods, collecting and shredding documents, sales and painting surveyors' pegs.
My favourite area is dismantling all the electrical stuff, says Gordon,
stripping old heaters, for example, stripping copper, plastic and putting them in boxes.
It's great to work with people like us, who have disabilities. There are three on this side of AroundAgain and on the other side there are five doing paper shredding, says Gordon.
Today I'm busy with metals. We have a roster so we know what we are doing.
Gordon's young workmate, Luke, says he feels very lucky.
I love working. I work in the shop and also do cleaning and other tasks, he says.
I was at school and in some things not doing so well, but now I'm here and I feel good. It's a happy place.
Amanda at Mildura Chocolate Co
Meanwhile, over at Mildura Chocolate Co it's business as usual surrounded by all things chocolate. Working at Mildura Chocolate Co she does everything from customer service and making chocolate to cleaning and packaging. She is one of four people working at the company who have a disability.
I enjoy my job because it's great to see how you make chocolate and I even do the moulding. And I work with a great bunch of people, says Amanda.
Hanging in there
Mildura Chocolate Co is also a division of Christie Centre Inc. Amanda has been working there on a part-time basis for two and a half years.
I struggled through school with subjects like science but I'm good at practical things. The chocolate stand was at the Mildura Mardi Gras and I went to see Glenda from the Christie Centre. She was there. I used my initiative and that's how I got this job, says Amanda.
My situation has improved due to work. I used to be on medication, but now I take it only for the epilepsy.
Amanda has some advice for people who are keen to work, and for others who because of their disability are a bit frightened to make the move.
Don't give up. Keep trying and hold your head high. The job will come eventually. I had a lot of trouble getting the right job but now I've got it.
Christie Centre Inc
Mildura Chocolate Co
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