When Brayden Walker speaks, he is soft-spoken and warm, with an easy grin and a laugh that bubbles out unexpectedly, drawing the listener in.
When Brayden came into our Glenorchy office in Tasmania in mid-2020 our School Leaver Employment Supports team were delighted by Brayden; his bubbly personality, honesty and his empathy shining through.
Brayden has an intellectual disability and sometimes needs support with everyday tasks, however his bright disposition is what people notice most about this 21-year-old.
Brayden’s hopes and goals for the future are the same as those of many young men.
When he joined MAX, he shared with the team that he hoped to find employment – particularly in the hospitality field – and earn enough money to live independently and travel.
Brayden’s MAX supporters – both those in the School Leaver Employment Supports and Disability Employment Services teams were focused on helping him achieve his goals.
They worked with Brayden on memory-building, interview preparation and ensuring Brayden has access to mental health supports.
As Brayden’s skills and confidence grew under the care of his MAX team, he was ready for the next step – into employment.
Our employer relationship team worked with trampoline park BOUNCE in Hobart to secure a job opening.
The indoor trampoline park is the perfect place for active youngsters. Filled with trampolines, rock climbing, dodgeball, high ropes and a big playground, Brayden was keen to explore the possibility of working at this adventure land.
After meeting Brayden, the BOUNCE team offered him a customer service role.
The MAX team walked alongside Brayden throughout the pre-employment process, supporting him through completion of a first aid certificate, National Police Check, obtaining a Working with Vulnerable People Card and clothing for his new job. The team also provided transport in order for Brayden to attend evening first aid training sessions, when public transport wasn’t an option.
Brayden flew through his BOUNCE induction training and has been a valued member of the BOUNCE team since March.
“When Brayden had his first shift he was nervous as anyone else would be but by the end of that shift he told me how amazing the place is and how much fun he had while ensuring safety,” shares Brayden’s former Manager Emma.
Brayden’s role includes supervising children on the equipment, cleaning tables and helping both children and parents to understand the safety rules and regulations.
Supported by the fabulous BOUNCE team and his MAX In-Work Support team, Brayden is becoming an increasingly more confident and self-assured young man.
“When I first started out at BOUNCE I felt scared, nervous. Felt Iike I couldn’t work with kids. I just felt like I couldn't do it. But the staff they've helped me along the way.
"They've looked after me, they treated me really well. They made me feel like I can do it and, really amazing team as well to work with, and really caring,” says Brayden.
“What I like working at BOUNCE is working with the team, having fun, mixing with people, making new friends and just being part of a big family,” he says.
“Brayden has been an exceptional employee and our staff members really bounce off his bubbly energetic personality. We love his energy and he really lifts the spirits up in the centre,” says Emma.
Prior to his time at MAX, Brayden had always spent more money than he earned. Seeing that Brayden was struggling to manage his money wisely, his MAX team educated him about money management and the importance of saving. Putting into practice the tips he was given Brayden is now saving money for the first time, bringing him ever closer to achieving his goals to live independently and travel.
Kerry Whiley-Browning, MAX NDIS Consultant, shares a little about Brayden’s journey to employment.
“Brayden has weathered a few storms along the way, but with support he’s overcome hurdles and he is now moving forward with a chance to realise his dreams,” says Ms Whiley-Browning.
“I feel so privileged to be part of Brayden’s journey and I have such admiration for his commitment and honesty,” she says.
“Brayden has learned through his experience with MAX and BOUNCE that people do care, that he is a valued employee and person,” says Kerry.
Brayden continues to look towards a future in hospitality and while he continues to enjoy working at BOUNCE, his MAX team have also supported him through the completion of his RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) and Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) certificates.
That said, he doesn’t plan to leave his BOUNCE family any time soon.
“My future goals are leading a pathway to hospitality, but I’m still certain that I would love to continue working at BOUNCE,” he says.
Congratulations Brayden and thank you to BOUNCE Hobart for partnering with us to give every person, every chance.
Our teams work together to ensure our School Leaver Employment Supports participants like Brayden are given every opportunity to achieve their personal goals while also connecting them with supportive and genuine employers.
The School Leaver Employment Supports program is available for eligible school leavers under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).