Alex came to us as a shy, withdrawn young man with no idea what he wanted to do in life. Fast forward a year and he’s thriving in the lighting design team at Brisbane Powerhouse.
“I work backstage during theatre shows, move props and equipment, and help with lighting for shows and exhibitions,” said Alex, who has been in the role for five months.
“When I work here it feels more like being in a workshop than actual work. Being able to work with lighting is very important to me; it’s hard to explain the impact lighting can have on an exhibition or show.”
“Lighting can change everything; it doesn’t simply light up a space. It’s like wearing a different pair of glasses, it can create different perspectives; unique shapes and illusions.”
“I can’t think of working anywhere I would enjoy as much as here.”
EPIC employment consultant Samantha Lawson started working with Alex 54 weeks ago, and her colleague Rod O’Donohue says she was instrumental in Alex’s success.
“Sam is far too modest to ever share this, but she has been so important in getting Alex to where he is today. Her gusto, passion and enthusiasm has to be admired,” said Rod.
“Sam led Alex down a path of gradual improvement, step by step, inch by inch and she brought out the best in him. Sam helped extract a personality that was very much oppressed and hidden from the world.”
Together, Sam and Alex worked on his job searching, interviewing and resume building skills. Sam made time to keep Alex’s mother informed of developments and opportunities that were being pursued for her son, always with compassion and professionalism.
“Sam has been relentless in her belief in Alex, and her dedication in getting him a job he loves. She spruiked his talents, but never hid his quirks, and ultimately managed to find a great job fit for Alex with Powerhouse. The results speak for themselves.”
Sam says working with Alex has been a valuable experience, and the outcome couldn’t be better.
“I am so proud of how far Alex has come. I have genuinely loved working with him and appreciate his motivation and willingness,” said Sam.
“Yes it took 54 weeks, and took a lot of work, but we could not have done it if he did not put in just as much effort and meet me half way the whole time.”
Simon Cook, from the Powerhouse lighting department, says having Alex in the team has forced them to think outside the box, with positive results.
“Hiring a person with a disability is new ground for us so there’s been a bit to figure out, but EPIC has been with us the whole time and overall it’s been nothing but a positive experience,” said Simon.
“Sam has helped us understand how to support Alex, and what he needs to thrive at work. We’ve adapted our communication to match in with Alex’s needs; to make sure we’re being clear and concise, and presenting information in the best way possible.”
Changing the way the team communicates has hailed unexpectedly positive results, says Simon.
“Having Alex onboard has forced us to take a step back and think differently about how we approach situations, what we are saying and how we communicate,” said Simon.
“We haven’t really reflected on that before now, but there’s no doubt doing so has benefitted not only Alex, but the whole team.”