Ethan celebrates one year with Woolworths

Tuesday, 27 June 2023

What began as a simple job trial one night shelving groceries has grown into an epic journey of self-discovery for Woolworths Hinkler employee Ethan.

This month, Ethan celebrated one year of working at the store. Today, Ethan is a valued part of the Woolies team and has slot right into the team festivities. If you didn’t know any better, you would think the young worker waltzed into the store on his first day without a care in the world.

But eighteen months ago, things were a little different. Shy and reserved, Ethan rocked up at his fortnightly EPIC Assist job club meetings with his mum right by his side. Donning a hoodie and hat, he kept his eyes down and phone in hand.

As his courage increased bit by bit, eventually mum moved outside the meeting room, still close enough that Ethan could touch her hand on the other side of the glass. But that all changed one day with a simple game of cards.

“I took out a pack of cards and started playing Fish,” said Mandy-Lee, Ethan’s Employment Consultant.

“Ethan lost the first game, and as his determination to beat me kicked in, the phone went on the side table and he sat upright in the chair.

“A few weeks passed, and we would play for chocolates and soon Mum started staying in the car. He would come alone and we would just talk while playing cards.”

Six months later and with his confidence at new heights, Mandy-Lee organised a work trial for night fill at Woolworths.

“He was scared and anxious and we were all unsure if he would turn up. But I met him there and he rocked it. He didn’t talk but he was a hard worker and he was allowed to keep his cap on.”

The next couple of months were rough. Ethan rotated through every excuse under the sun to not attend his three shifts a week. But with support from EPIC, his amazing Mum, and Woolworths, Ethan made it to the massive milestone of one year at Woolworths this month! 

He is now a regular at staff get-togethers and the self-described funniest night fill the store has ever had.

Mandy-Lee couldn’t be more chuffed at how far he has come in just eighteen short months.

“This young man inspires me to do what I do every day. I am so proud of him.”

If you have a disability, injury, mental health condition, or health condition and are looking for help finding a job you love, get in touch with EPIC Assist today.

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