How Community Solutions helped Dave find an inclusive workplace where he’s happy at work and an incredible asset to the team at Woolworths.

When Dave and his family moved to Australia from New Zealand, they visited many different Disability Employment Service (DES) providers looking for help with finding him a job. For two years, they were told time and again that no one could support Dave.

However, when Dave’s doctor recommended they give Community Solutions Workforce Partner Sara a call, everything changed. His mum, Anne, said she knew straight away that they would be able to help her son.

“When I was told to go see Community Solutions, I was a little bit hesitant at first, because we’d been turned down by so many groups. We’d been to interview after interview.

“Before I even sat down with Sara, I knew she was going to find us something. We just gelled straight away. She listened.”

She said Community Solutions could take David on. I said, ‘Well nobody else has, are you sure you’re allowed?’ She looked into it and said, ‘Yes we can take David on.’

A fresh start in Queensland

Sara soon found Dave a job collecting trolleys at Woolworths in Beerwah. He already had over 12 years’ experience doing just this in New Zealand, so he was ready to jump right into his new role.

Dave loves being on the job. “When I drive into work, I look around and see if there are trolleys or hazards around the car park.

I then hop out of my car and I don’t muck around. I just go inside, clock in, and start working.

“I like the car park to look tidy, because I can see all the customers’ faces say ‘Wow, this is a really good store,’ and I think that’s why they keep coming back.”

Dave’s an asset to the team at Woolworths

Dave has been at Woolworths for two years now and his then manager, Joel, says he’s an incredible asset to the team. “At our store, everyone is equal and everyone deserves a shot. Every team member we’ve employed, they’re all treated exactly the same.”

“David does an absolutely fantastic job day in and day out. We’d be lost without him.”

Dave really shines especially when he interacts with customers. “He’s a great chatter – the customers just love him. He does his job really well in making sure the trolley bay is full, but I think it’s his care for the customers where he goes over and above,” says Joel.

We love having him as part of the store. He’s a really funny guy when you get to know him and you get him chatting. The team absolutely love having him around.

Feeling happy now he’s working

In both his home and work life, Dave is known for being conscientious and loyal and his mum says he never lets anyone down – especially his colleagues. So much so he has moved into a permanent part-time contract at the store.

She adds, “There’s an importance to people like David having a job, having a responsibility.”

When Dave is asked if having this job makes him happy, he smiles and says, “It sure does.”

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