Qualification | Employment | Independence
Rhys is 21 years old. He’s a customer attendant at the Hangi Pit on the Gold Coast and is saving for a holiday to Melbourne. His journey to this point has not been easy but the results are undoubtedly rewarding. Rhys shares his heart-warming story and says he won’t let his disability hold him back.
Prior to working at the Hangi Pit, Rhys spent three and a half years trying to secure employment.
“I regularly volunteered to prove myself, but no one offered me a paid position and I feel it was because of my disability,” explains Rhys.
Rhys desperately wanted a job. He was really despondent when he contacted FSG Australia to help him out. He met Kellee, FSG’s Employment Officer, and together they worked out a solution. “Kellee is always so helpful and now I’m employed, I get paid and I’m happy,” says Rhys.
Rhys’ journey with FSG began and his road to employment became clear.
Kellee assisted Rhys in enrolling in a Skilling Queenslanders for Work Course through FSG’s Learning and Development Department and funded by the Queensland Government through its Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative. After completing the 14-week course, Rhys then completed FSG’s ‘Preparation for Work Program’. Rhys and Kellee, worked together to identify employment opportunities and developed his resume to reflect his newly developed skills.
“This is often the point when students feel the hard work is done and the opportunities will flow accordingly. In the world of employment for people with a disability this is, in fact, the opposite. It can be the hardest part of their journey to employment,” explains Kellee.
Kellee and Rhys literally did the ‘hard yards’ in the proceeding weeks. Together they persevered, walking from one business to the next, till they came to The Hangi Pit.
“My focus during the job searching phase was to keep Rhys’s spirits up. It can be desponding being turned down numerous times but that’s where I saw that I could make a difference,” comments Kellee.
Kay Brooking, Owner of the Hangi Pit met Rhys and now six months on, Rhys is thriving in his role. “His knowledge of the food is great and we really value his assistance in the kitchen. Rhys fits right in. He’s never late for a shift and the customers love him,” says Kay.
“Rhys has a contagious smile, the perfect blend of individuality, cheekiness and courtesy to greet our customers at the Hangi Pit,” continues Kay.
One dream realised and another in the making. With a regular income, Rhys is now planning a holiday to Melbourne to see his cousin. “Melbourne has the best culture. I’ve wanted to go down there for ages so I’m looking forward to it,” says Rhys.
Kellee’s commitment to Rhys continues. She regularly checks in with Rhys, his family and fellow colleagues. “I contact five to six people connected to Rhys to see how he is going. It’s important to make sure Rhys is adjusting well to his new role and responsibilities. He’s always had a cheerful personality, but it’s amazing to see his confidence grow, his independence grow, making his own choices and determined to live life the way he wants to,” says Kellee.
FSG IS A NDIS REGISTERED SERVICE PROVIDER