There are champions everywhere in our society, and in ways you may not be aware. You can walk down the street and unknowingly pass a champion, but the beauty of it is they are just regular people like you in society.

We’re talking about diversity and inclusion champions.

The small, medium, and large business owners, managers and team members that choose to employ people living with disabilities and mental health conditions. The opportunities that these businesses open for job seekers change the lives of individuals who have faced barriers to employment. Our champions are making a real difference in the community and in the workforce.

Some of these champions are the local management team at Dalby Bunnings that gave job seeker Troy a chance to thrive in employment.

Troy, a mature aged job seeker from Dalby, came to AimBig Employment in early 2020 and was living with depression and anxiety. For many people like Troy, it can be difficult to find work with an employer that is understanding of your unique needs, so he had faced a long period of unemployment. His barriers to employment included low moods, low self-esteem, and a lack of motivation. Troy also mentioned that he can be seen as antisocial and distant, and he struggled to be part of teams.

This is when he was assigned to Kelly, a passionate job coach from Dalby with a fantastic track record of supporting people with mental health conditions into meaningful work.

Kelly and Troy chatted about how they can assist him in building confidence and finding motivation to perform work duties, while also supporting him in becoming a team player at his future organisation. Kelly suggested he enrol into the SEE program, which helps eligible job seekers learn the skills they need for employment by improving language, reading, writing and maths skills.

This program was a success to get him job ready, and he felt he had the tools to perform in future employment. In addition, speaking to other people in the projects and completing group projects helped build his social confidence.

Kelly then worked with Troy to build a resume and together they went and dropped resumes at local businesses, one of these being Bunnings in Dalby.

Bunnings responded and offered Troy an interview, which he blitzed and started a role in the Bunnings Timber Yard in May 2020.

In this role, Troy tends to customer requests in the yard and assists with manual handling activities, such as moving stock and lifting purchases into customer vehicles. Troy works as part of a team and has to communicate with other areas when checking stock or assisting customers with products at different stores.

We spoke to Kelly about the progress Troy has made since finding employment at Bunnings.

“I couldn’t be prouder of Troy, from where he started to where he has made great improvements.

He has brought a lot of positive changes to the workplace and has really become a team player. While he previously struggled with low morale and being a team player, he has now adopted a leader mentality since working at Bunnings. He has told me how co-workers will come to him for advice or assistance, and it really makes it an inclusive environment to work in. When I spoke to him recently, I heard he is applying for a leadership role within Bunnings. I am really proud of his progress.

It’s employers like Bunnings that give opportunities to people with disability that are making a real difference. His manager really champions diversity and inclusion by taking on Troy and understanding his unique needs surrounding his disability.

What’s fantastic is that Bunnings Dalby only have positive feedback about working with us, and we have entered a lasting relationship where I can introduce and recruit more passionate workers to fill future roles in their business.”

We celebrate champions of diversity and inclusion such as Troy and encourage more businesses to recruit people living with disability and mental health conditions.

For many businesses, you may be unsure of where to start, or how to support an individual with a disability, but AimBig Employment is here to assist. We offer bespoke diversity and inclusion training to workplaces, as well as accessing government funding for wage subsidies and to make any modifications to the workplace that may be necessary.

Reach out to the AimBig Employment team today to talk to us about your business needs.

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