Disability Works Australia


New Directions for Bronte

BronteEnthusiastically embracing the opportunity of employment within the State Attorney General's Department, Bronte commenced in the payroll section in April as an ASO1 Payroll Assistant, on a 6-month contract.

Bronte has overcome many hurdles to reach his goal of employment. He grew up in the West Coast with plans to build a career in carpentry or agriculture after finishing school. During a stint as a shearer he contracted glandular fever, which developed into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This saw the end of his days as a physical worker. Needing to build a new career path Bronte studied Freelance Photography which led to some published work, but this became harder to come by when Bronte moved with this family to Adelaide. So at the age of 26, and still with residual fatigue, Bronte was again looking for work, this time in the city.

Bronte was referred to DWA by his case manager at Interwork. Interwork is a job placement service for people with a disability, specialising in the flexible use of support to enable people with disabilities to achieve and maintain employment. Bronte soon commenced a work training placement in a clerical/reception role at the Northern Adelaide Development Board providing work insurance coverage. It was quickly recognised that Bronte was well suited to this role, highly motivated and a quick learner, making him a very suitable candidate for employment within the State Government.

The Senior Human Resource Consultant for the Attorney General's Department, had attended the disability awareness workshops run by DWA and was very aware of the Strategy for Employment for People with Disabilities in the South Australian Public Sector, and the benefits of accessing this new pool of ready workers. She phoned DWA direct when she needed a temporary ASO1 to do the filing, data entry and pay slips in payroll section. DWA referred Bronte, he was interviewed the next day and commenced work 2 days later.

The staff in payroll section all agree that Bronte is a "lovely young man, keen to be successful in his work". He is performing all the duties he was employed to do and supervisors are looking at his long-term career options within the Attorney General's Department. Each week Bronte's immediate supervisor meets with him to introduce new skills and procedures, allowing him to progress at a steady pace. They are keen to invest time and effort into Bronte as there is opportunity for him to be trained as a Payroll Services Officer if he wants to build a career in this area. Bronte is very much a part of their planning process.

Accommodating Bronte's special need has been an easy process of negotiation. Because Bronte is so enthusiastic about his work they have had to be strict with him to ensure that he does not work additional hours that may cause him fatigue. They have given him the option of reduced hours, leaving early if he becomes tired, and flexi-time to suit his individual needs. But to date Bronte has been able to maintain regular working hours and build up a flexi-time credit.

Bronte has greatly enjoyed the challenge of returning to the work force, and appreciates the support he has received from DWA and the Attorney General's Department. His aim is "to get more efficient and learn more", and this placement has been a "great opportunity to get into the clerical field, a stepping stone to a career".

Congratulations to Bronte for successfully making the transition into clerical work and thanks to the Attorney General's Department for being an equal opportunity employer.

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