WDEA Works Colac Helps Find Employment for Enthusiastic Kitchen Assistant with Disability

Most Sunday’s, you’ll find Chris Worden working happily in Colac’s Fusion restaurant, wearing his uniform with a smile and a quiet sense of pride. Thanks to WDEA Works Colac, Chris is now working in a job he loves.

When Chris approached WDEA Works Colac, Employment Consultant Renay Harrowfield spent some time getting to know him, knowing that Chris’s Asperger’s Syndrome can limit his workplace environment. She found Chris incredibly keen to enter the workforce. WDEA Works has helped other jobseekers with disability employment services Colac.

“Chris’s personable manner and passion for life is so very obvious when you meet him,” said Renay, who helped connect Chris with Fusion.

People experiencing Asperger’s face many barriers to employment due to a general lack of understanding about the condition, and also the varying capabilities of people with Asperger’s.

As a kitchen assistant at Fusion, Chris helps with food preparation and dishes and is beginning to build a strong rapport with his employers and the other staff.

“WDEA Works Colac already knew the owners of Fusion Restaurant, and we knew they would be empathetic, patient and understanding while Chris settled in, and they were more than happy to take him on as a team member.”

The WDEA Works Colac team provide both Chris and the owners of Fusion ongoing employment support.

“We have frequent visits to the business and liaise with them on a regular basis to keep track of Chris’ progress and any issues that may arise,” said Renay.

The team at Fusion are determined to make a supportive and fulfilling environment for him and have been educating themselves about Asperger’s and how they can help Chris meet his full potential. Duncan Green, owner of Fusion is thrilled with Chris’s success.

L-R Renay Harrowfield (WDEA Works Employment Consultant), Duncan Green (Fusion Owner), Chris Worden (Fusion Kitchen Assistant). Photo Credit: Colac Herald
L-R Renay Harrowfield (WDEA Works Employment Consultant), Duncan Green (Fusion Owner), Chris Worden (Fusion Kitchen Assistant). Photo Credit: Colac Herald

“We can’t put into words how amazing it feels to give Chris an opportunity in the workforce and help him have some purpose and direction in his every day. He is a valued part of our team and is also teaching us understanding and empathy in working with someone who is tackling their disability head on,” he said.

Renay is thrilled with this outcome for Chris, and hopes his success will encourage other people with Asperger’s to seek assistance in finding employment.

“I simply think that seeing people reach their goals and being so happy in their job and life is just the biggest benefit of this job by far. Chris wants people like himself to trust WDEA Works to help them, and we really believe that other people in Chris’s position should just have faith in themselves and their providers to achieve their goals.”

WDEA Works Colac is one of regional Australia’s leading providers of the Federal Government’s jobactive and Disability Employment Service programs. They’re one of the best in the country at helping people to find meaningful and sustainable employment.

With a team of more than 300 people, and 36 offices across Western Victoria and South East South Australia, there’s likely to be WDEA Works site near you.

WDEA Works can work for you to find an employment or training opportunity that improves your life and adds value to your local community. Contact us or drop in for a coffee and a chat about how we can help you achieve your goals!

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