L to R: MAX Consultant Sarah, CPL employee Siobhan, and CPL Supervisor Andrea
“When I first met Siobhan, she didn’t speak. When she first came to appointments, it was very hard for her to open up.”
It’s been over a year since MAX Townsville Placement Consultant Sarah first met with DES job seeker Siobhan, and Sarah says Siobhan has come a long way since their first meeting.
“Siobhan has an intellectual disability, her biggest barrier was communication. I knew it would be tough to get her a job,” Sarah says
“I started working with her during appointments to get to know her a little better, I’d find common ground and make her laugh. It was really good breaking down those walls.
“Before we knew it, she had a gardening traineeship with Choice Passion Life
(CPL, formerly Cerebral Palsy League). I was so happy for her,” Sarah beams.
Having already completed a Certificate III in Horticulture, Sarah says Siobhan is learning new things each day at work.
“She does plant identification a lot, and creates things in the workshop. Siobhan’s very good with plant identification, and when they go to the markets she’s great with customers and cash handling.”
Siobhan’s supervisor at CPL Andrea says Siobhan has a bright future in her chosen career.
“We’ve offered her to stay on after the traineeship, and I’m happy to work with her for as many years as she wants,” Andrea says.
“To see someone who hasn’t worked before to shine as much as she has. When I first met her, she didn’t really talk, she didn’t look me in the eye, and look at her now!”
Sarah agrees, adding “all she needed was to stretch and challenge herself. She just needed to be given the chance. Now that she has, she’s shining.”