*The below quotes from Patrick were told through an Auslan interpreter.
Born profoundly deaf, 53 year old Patrick was not letting that stop him from finding his dream job. Patrick had worked on and off for the past two years in jobs that were either too physically demanding or couldn’t provide enough hours for him to live comfortably.
With the help of MAX Beenleigh, Patrick began working at Precision Powder Coating in September 2017 as a general facility cleaner. Since September, Patrick has managed to double his initial working hours, and is looking to pick up even more.
Patrick’s task is to ensure the premise is clean and tidy for the customers.
“It’s very simple to communicate with hearing people at work,” Patrick said.
“I use my eyes to lip read a lot and I use listening skills as well.”
“It’s sometimes difficult if I can’t understand everybody so we will converse with notes.”
Precision Powder Coating Operations Manager Adam Souwer is more than accommodating for Patrick, and has started learning sign language to be able to communicate more effectively.
“As far as the communication is concerned, Patrick’s very transparent,” Adam said. “He’s happy to enlighten you with what’s going on and at the same time he’s been teaching me sign language.”
“Communication is paramount and when you have that barrier there you’ve got find alternative means. It’s a two way street and we’re happy to have him here.”
Adam said Patrick’s work has been crucial to the operation of the company.
“We’re currently going through an expansion, we’re trying to perform miracles and that’s where Patrick comes in. He takes the pressure off the boys; before they would have to take on the cleaning responsibility but now they can focus solely on their tasks.”
As Precision Powder Coating continues to expand, so does the opportunity for Patrick.
“Patrick’s recently increased his days to four a week, and every week he becomes more confident with his role,” Adam said.
"He’s here punctually, he’s a hard worker and he’s one of the boys.”
Patrick said this is just his way.
“My focus is my work, I like to work and I like to keep busy."
"I need that extra money; it’s very helpful. One or two days of work a week made it impossible to save money, but now I can!”