When Casuarina Placement Consultant Alison asked Braedon to name some places he wanted to work, he named just one place he was interested in.
“Braedon lives with autism and was pretty non-verbal when he came to MAX. I gave Braedon a task, I said ‘I want you to come back and give me three big businesses and three little businesses where you want to work.’ He came back the next week and he gave me one: Australia Post,” Alison said.
With a goal in mind, Alison approached Australia Post in Winnelle, NT to discuss Braedon working with the company sorting mail as part of the National Work Experience Program (NWEP). It was here that things started moving quickly.
“Australia Post was absolutely amazing. It takes Braedon a little longer to pick things up, but we could give Braedon continuous hours which helped him learn more on the job,” Alison explained.
Alison said the change she has seen in Braedon is nothing short of remarkable.
“Honestly, he’s gone from completely dependent on others to ‘I can do this on my own.’ He really enjoys his independence.
“I did some travel training with Braedon on the first day. I stayed with him for the first hour of work experience, and he turned to me and said ‘I don’t need you. I’m fine’,” Alison beamed.
Although Braedon is a man of few words, he couldn’t speak highly enough of his work experience with Australia Post.
“I love being at Australia post. All the people there are really friendly and looking after me really well,” Braedon said.
“I like a workplace where everyone gets along and I can feel comfortable.”
With his work experience coming to an end, Alison said Braedon had made quite the impression with the Australia Post team.
“I went there for his last day and personally thanked everyone for making him feel so comfortable, and everyone was saying ‘when are you coming back Braedon? We need you now’.
“He even went up to everyone and shook everyone’s hand. I was so proud,” Alison said.
Alison said Braedon’s independence and determination has seen him achieve things that he thought were out of reach.
“We’re working with Australia Post to land him ongoing employment there because he did such a good job. And he’s now even doing driving lessons!
“We’ve seen such a change in Braedon, he’s his own man now, it’s wonderful,” Alison said.
The National Work Experience Program places job seekers in real life work experience placements, helping them gain experience and confidence, while demonstrating skills to potential employers.
Image caption: Braedon (far right) with Australia Post’s National Business Diversity Manager Kim Christopherson, NT Operations Manager Peter King, MAX Regional Manager Tracey Lakey, MAX Business Manager Dean Proctor and MAX Placement Consultant Alison Neibling.