Rupert finds his perfect work-family

Months of interview preparation and determination has paid off for Mildura man Rupert Smith who has found a job he loves with an organisation that values him as part of their team.

Rupert experiences an intellectual disability, 12 months ago he enlisted the support of WDEA Works Disability Employment Services (DES) to help him find employment. Here he was teamed up with Employment Consultant Ashley Chambers.

Ashley learnt that Rupert had struggled to find the right job and had been taken advantage of in previous work situations. Rupert was determined to find employment and was happy to give anything a go. He would regularly contact Ashley to share roles he has found online and was interested in.

 Ashley supported Rupert to become interview ready. They purchased some interview clothes and completed practice interviews. Rupert interviewed for a few roles but was unlucky not to get the job. He kept improving and was unwavering in his dedication to finding employment.

“Rupert would come along to our meetings in his interview clothes, he was determined to make a good impression and always ready for any opportunities which came along,” said Ashley.

In June 2021 Rupert did a trial with Haeuslers Mildura. Justin Macfarlane manager was so impressed by Rupert’s presentation and dedication to work he offered him a role as a yard hand.

Rupert was able to slowly settle into his role, supported by Ashely and Gary (from Haeuslers) he was taken through an OHS induction and shown the various tasks he would be responsible for.  Justin has a notebook where he sets out tasks for Rupert which he collects at the start of his shift.

In this role Rupert takes on many tasks from mowing, weeding, spraying, washing exterior windows, cleaning the company cars and cleaning big farming machinery such as tractors and sprayers that have been traded in.

Gaining employment has changed everything for Rupert, he really enjoys working, having a routine and the people he works with. Rupert works every Friday and after his shift, he will call Ashely to tell her about his day. On his Birthday, the team at Haeuslers Mildura bought Rupert a cake and sang happy birthday to him – he was elated.

“I really like my job, it’s like I have my own work-family, everyone is so nice and treats me no different,” said Rupert.

Rupert feels so proud and accomplished, he loves telling people where he works, and his family are so proud of him.

Ashley continues to support Rupert and Justin and the team at Haeuslers with anything they need. She is so proud of everything Rupert has achieved and happy he has found a supportive workplace that values Rupert’s contributions.

“It has been challenging in finding a supportive employer for Rupert, but we have definitely found him the perfect role with a fantastic employer that understands his capacity for work and works with him to help him strive to do his best. I cannot wait to see what his future holds,” she said.  

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