Disability Works Australia


Kmart offering sustainable employment options

Lara Ubaldi of Kmart Richmond and Store Manager, Shaun Wesley

Disability Works Australia (DWA) has proudly assisted many people with disabilities into Kmart department stores throughout Australia and has been doing so since DWA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Coles Group in June 2004.

In June 2007, Kmart Richmond identified the need for a Recovery Assistant and contacted the staff at DWA in our Victorian office. DWA broadcasted the position to the local Disability Employment Networks (DEN's) and Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS). DWA received the referrals and filtered through the candidates with appropriate skills and experience and pre-screened those suitable applicants.

Those deemed suitable were forwarded onto Kmart Richmond for interviews and assessments. One of the applicants put forward by DWA, Lara Ubaldi was successful for the position and has since progressed from a casual position of limited hours to a permanent position of 28 hours per week. The team at Kmart sees Lara as a very valuable team member and her reliability has had many benefits for the store.

Prior to this position Lara had work experience in Aged Care and a Certificate 1 in Work Education but was looking for a career change. Lara wanted to pursue a career in the retail environment and the Recovery Assistant position in Kmart was to be Lara's first step into the open labour market.

At the point of the DWA assessment she had clearly visible skills and genuine motivation to work. Through DWA she had an avenue to access a role and be prepared for the application process. This has proven to be evidence of how a person can transition from the education system to employment through the services of DWA.

Kmart supported Lara in her new-found position by initially demonstrating tasks, accompanied with clear verbal instructions. This was required to assist with her learning disability. To begin with, Kmart Richmond set a daily routine for Lara. Her skills have proven to be broader than her original position and she is now working further across the store in more areas and fulfilling more duties.

Kmart has shown an ongoing commitment to employing people with a disability and has successfully done so nationwide. Kmart General Manager - Human Resources, Tony Weston, said Kmart was proud to have a long-standing association with Disability Works Australia.  

“We look forward to continuing our association with them into the future. Team members provided by Disability Works Australia are valued members of our diverse workforce.” - Tony Weston, Kmart General Manager – Human Resources

On-the-job support can be beneficial and Lara's Disability Employment Network Agency, Interact Employment Services, ensured Lara sustained her position. Their efforts in providing on-the-job support have been exemplary and met all expectations of Kmart Richmond.

All parties have benefited from Lara's employment; her employment agency has placed a great candidate into work, DWA has fulfilled the employers needs, Kmart Richmond have a dedicated and valued team member, and Lara has a great position in a supportive environment doing what she loves.


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