20 years and counting
Adelaide resident Andrew signed up with Sureway in 2007 through the Job in Jeopardy program, now known as Work Assist under Disability Employment Services (DES). Andrew has been a Coles employee for 20+ years and for the last 13 years he has been supported in this employment by Sureway.
Andrew transferred to Sureway’s Port Adelaide Office in 2017 where he is now linked with Employment Support Officer (ESO) Mia.
Andrew requires High Ongoing Support in the workplace and Mia describes it as a pleasure working with Andrew every week providing on the job support at Coles.
Mia has assisted Andrew with many things over the years including face up duties, replenishing stock, mediation between staff and managers, employee training modules as well as liaising with Andrew’s psychologist and family.
Mia has implemented many strategies to assist Andrew to excel in his role. For example, creating and teaching Andrew to check items off a list, timing Andrew’s speed and even playing games! Andrew is very competitive, so we use these traits to encourage efficiency in the workplace. He and Mia will split into teams to see who can complete face up the best. As Andrew is a footy fanatic and Port Adelaide’s number one fan, the ‘teams’ are always football orientated.
If you were a fly on the wall during Andrew’s OGS appointments you would see Mia trying to keep up with Andrew as he walks up and down the aisles (he is a fast walker), Andrew laughing and making witty comments to staff and talking football with the local customers at St Clair Coles on top of his usual everyday duties. His favourite aisle is number 5, the drinks aisle, which he always excels in.
In January, Mia was invited by Andrew’s family to celebrate his 50th birthday. Mia attended with colleague Tania Bury, who has provided support to Andrew in the past. Tania and Andrew get along great, even if Tania is an Adelaide Crows supporter which Andrew handles by cheering “boo Crows!”.
Both said that attending Andrew’s 50th Birthday was an amazing experience. They were able to chat to Andrew’s parents and extended family and listen to what had been implemented to ensure Andrew was independent in everyday life. The Port Adelaide team said that they feel it is an honour to be part of Andrew’s journey.