Spotlight on Disability Employment

Enable Magazine 2 - Disability Employment - Christopher's Long CareerChristopher has enjoyed a career of more than 23 years working in the commercial enterprises of Achieve Australia and the organisations from which it grew.

He currently works for Packaging and Assembly Solutions, an Achieve venture that employs people with disability to provide ‘high touch’ packaging and assembly which cannot be undertaken by machines.

This venture serves customers in the consumer goods, boutique food and beverages, health, beauty, printing and marketing sectors.

Christopher, 41, has an intellectual disability and autism. He thrives on structure and routine.

“I’m proud to say that he loves going to work and has not had a single sick day off in his entire career,” said his father Jim.

Christopher’s responsibilities at the plant include working on a production line packaging airline cutlery and using an inkjet printer to generate dates and batch numbers for snack food packaging.

Leanne Larche, Operations Manager of Achieve’s My Career pillar of services, has known and worked with Christopher for a long time. She remembers how he changed as he grew into his new role at the plant.

“Initially Christopher had challenging behaviours that were not easily understood by people from outside his immediate family. However, he seemed to find greater focus as he gradually settled in to our team.

With gentle coaching, he responded very well and quickly acquired new skills.

“He is a valued, productive team member who has flourished in our structured working environment,” said Leanne.

Employment for Christopher and his colleagues offers multiple benefits – learning new skills, becoming more independent through meaningful paid work, and enjoyment of the social aspects of work.

“I can’t imagine what kind of life Christopher would have led if he did not have the opportunity to work,” said Jim. “Without that challenge and opportunity, he would have been totally bored. Instead, he is living a much fuller life than would otherwise have been possible”.

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