This bright, bubbly, 21 year old, Olympic Athlete, recently travelled to Abu Dhabi, with the Ten Pin Bowling Team, is a Retail Assistant at Starfish, who happens to be living with Autism and a mild intellectual Disability.
Maddi has it all going on! To be honest I have known Madi’s family for many years. What a wonderful family she has too! Extremely supportive and resourceful!
I assisted Madison’s Mum at the High School Canteen, where Madi is known for making a mean Sweet Chilli Wrap! Quite a few years ago, we discussed Madison’s future Employment Goals and here we are.
Madison herself approached Kirstie Wishart, the owner of Starfish Education Centre in Kiama, requesting the opportunity to do some work experience. Kirstie was happy to accommodate Madison and quickly saw her potential.
A fantastic partnership was created, Madison started slowly, just doing a couple of hours at a time, until eventually; she had built her hours up to 2 days per week for 4 hours a day. By this time, Kirstie was keen to employ Madison on a casual basis.
After discussions with Janelle, Madison’s Mum, Kirstie contacted Workskills and we discussed the support we offer to both our Client’s and their Employers.
Now, let me tell you this!! Madison had struck GOLD! (Although her employer will tell you that she, herself, in fact is the Lucky One to have Madison on her staff) The team at Starfish have embraced Madi as one of their own. They all support and assist Madi to grow in her role and believe me those girls have a lot of fun there, testing out all the great educational and recreational toys they stock. Check out the great pics on the Facebook page.
So with the assistance of the Workskills Team, Madison went off to Centrelink for an assessment and referral to us.
Madi is a valued employee, whose role at present is to clean and stock the shelves, assist the customers and all the usual tasks given to the junior employees. She is learning all the procedures for ordering and maintaining stock and working her way up to answering the phone enquiries.
Whenever Madison needs any support, whether it be to sit in on any training she may be receiving at work, to help her navigate her way around the policies and procedures of her workplace, we are there. Or to applaud her as she takes on more responsibilities.
I know Madison is enjoying her new financial security. According to her Mum “Oh she is saving her money, Madi is very good at leaving her wallet at home” when they go shopping! Clever Girl!
We all have great confidence that Madison will continue to excel in her Employment.
Kirstie had great insight and believes every business would benefit from having a PWD working for them. For Starfish Education Centre, what a great uplifting experience it is for a parent who may have a child with a Disability to be served by this amazing young lady.
We are very excited to be a small part of Madison’s Success Story and hope that more Employers will see the benefits of taking the time to find the right person for the role, regardless of their Barriers and make Employment a part of an Inclusive World.
Julie Ruge, Business Development Officer for Workskills.
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