Chloe sprouts and blooms at Aqua Vista Resort

Tuesday, 11 June 2024

Parked right next to the holiday hot spot of Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast is the picturesque relaxation destination of Cotton Tree. Centrally located at the heart of the Sunshine Coast, it’s a convenient destination for surrounding locations (Noosa, Caloundra, Mooloolaba, etc.) And when it comes to Cotton Tree, the place to stay is the Aqua Vista Resort. The resort boasts impressive and luxurious services to make sure all guest get the full relaxation experience. 

In the business of luxury, first impressions are everything. Which is why any resort staff will tell you that one of the more important parts of their business is making sure everything looks neat and well-kept. Enter Chloe, gardener of Aqua Vista Resort, working diligently every day to make sure that the first impression the business leaves on the public is a positive and memorable one. 

“I do the trimming, sweeping, weeding, blowing, and the maintenance of all the greenery around the resort. It’s up to me to make sure it all stays nice and neat,” Chloe said proudly. 

Chloe’s journey 

Chloe has been into gardening since before she could remember. There was something about the process and the work that appealed to her brain. 

“There’s nothing as satisfying as seeing the end product. The garden looking all neat after you’ve touched it up feels so rewarding to me. Seeing a big project at the end of the month, doing a mental before and after, and recognising all the work I’ve done makes it all worthwhile,” Chloe explained. 

At the beginning of her journey, Chloe explored career options in the same way a lot of us do – through some healthy trial and error.  

Her first instinct was to work in a zoo, but that wasn’t quite right, so she made the switch to photography and graphic design.  

Chloe has a real talent for working with a camera but eventually resolved that this wasn’t quite where she wanted to take her job journey either. For Chloe, photography was better fit as a hobby, rather than professional career.  

One day she had the epiphany – gardening!  

Hitting the ground running 

After realising that your initial plans for your career aren’t a good fit for you, it can be easy to adopt a defeatist attitude and lose some momentum. But apparently Chloe didn’t get the memo. After the realisation, she wasted no time getting her chosen career path off the ground.

“I worked on a farm for two and a half years, then worked with steel grass at a separate place for nine months. And I’ve been at Aqua Vista Resort since February 2024,” Chloe explained. 

Before making the jump to Aqua Vista, Chloe enrolled in some courses through TAFE to make sure her gardening knowledge would be up to snuff before she took the plunge and started job searching for her next career opportunity. 

Something she’d always struggled with, and I daresay we all do, was actually getting her resume out there. Luckily for Chloe, she found a way to get some help and make sure this didn’t put her career journey on hold. Chloe chose to go with EPIC Assist

Chloe tending to the hedges out front of Aqua Vista Resort

EPIC lends a hand 

EPIC Assist (EPIC) is a local Disability Employment Services (DES) provider that connects job-ready people with disability with supportive and inclusive workplaces. 

“I got help from EPIC writing cover letters and resumes so that I could get myself out there. I’m not very good at writing them, so the help was really appreciated,” said Chloe. 

With the support of EPIC, Chloe felt she had the confidence to really focus on her TAFE courses. It enabled her to complete her certificates in conservation and land management and horticulture. 

Chloe also lives with an intellectual disability. It can take her longer to learn things sometimes, and it’s easier for her to learn new things if she’s shown physically how to do something. 

“But once they do that, I’m set!” Chloe insisted. 

EPIC understood her situation and made sure that when Chloe was ready to enter the work environment, she would feel comfortable that her disability was recognised and not perceived as a barrier standing in between her feeling fulfilled in her role or part of the Aqua Vista Resort team. 

Growth at Aqua Vista 

The support has made all the difference for Chloe. Since starting at Aqua Vista Resort in February, she feels that she’s improved both personally and at gardening. 

“When I started, I was taking the knowledge I had learned from TAFE, and taking my time to identify what everything was and how to deal with it. Now that I’m actually working with the plants its all just like second nature to me, I’ve gotten a lot quicker. 

“I’ve gotten a lot more trust in my skills too. My confidence has had a huge boost,” Chloe exclaimed with a proud grin. 

With how positive her employment journey is looking, Chloe has her sights set on where she’d like her career to be someday. She was sure to let us know that she’s still keen on working at Aqua Vista for a long time to further hone her skills and knowledge so that she can one day own her very own private gardening business. 

She would love to have all her own tools that she could bring along with her to people’s lawns and build a personal relationship with her clients while getting the satisfaction of being the one to tidy up their greenery. Thanks to EPIC and her own hard work, Chloe feels that while this goal is quite a way away, she’s very much on the path to get there. 

Chloe with her trusty leaf blower, admiring a job well done.

Final words from Chloe 

Before we let Chloe get back to her work, we asked her what wisdom she would pass on to other people who were considering joining EPIC. 

“For me EPIC was great. It helped me with the parts of the job search that I would have found very difficult on my own. The support made all the difference. They came into the interview, explained it all out to me – what everything meant and what I had to do. I still went through it myself, but the extra reassurance and the second opinion gave me the stability I needed to see it through.” 

As Chloe’s career keeps soaring to new heights, you can bet that our team at EPIC Assist will be supporting her every step of the way! 

If you, like Chloe, are living with a disability, injury, health condition, or mental health condition and looking to find meaningful employment, contact EPIC Assist today

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