“I am really happy to be starting my first ever job with such a lovely group of people.” – Sonya

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Employment for people with Down syndrome is an important step towards independence. And like all students just out of high school, Sonya was excited to start her first job and begin her journey into early adulthood.

Sonya has begun part-time work in administration at the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy (DNRME) job sharing with another EPIC job seeker, Jennea. This is an exciting step for Sonya as it is the first time she has had paid employment.

“I have just finished school and am so excited about being employed. I am really happy to be starting my first ever job with such a lovely group of people,” says Sonya.

Sonya entered our office in Cairns full of energy and confidence, and quickly made an impression on our Business Development Manager, Trudy Nagle.

“Sonya is such a lovely young lady, I knew straight away that it wouldn’t be hard for her to make a great impression on any employer. We just needed to get her foot in the door,” says Trudy.

After reaching out to her network, Trudy was able to set up a meeting with the DNRME. While the job originally offered was for 1 person at 4 hours per week, after meeting with Jennea and Sonya, the DNRME were keen to employ both.

“After a number of emails and phone calls were exchanged, we got the exciting news from the DNRME that both our girls had been offered an 8 hr per week position!” said Trudy.

We have supported Sonya in her new role to ensure her first job leads to long-term employment.  We’ve helped with on-the-job support, with our support worker Clint working alongside Sonya on each shift.

“Clint form EPIC is helping me. I am looking forward to learning lots of new things in my job and meeting new people,” says Sonya.

For Sonya, her first job is just another thing to add to her already long list of achievements. With a passion for dance and drama, Sonya’s drive and determination have led to a number of exciting opportunities.

“One of my highlights has been performing on stage at the Royal Ballet in Cairns last year. I was also part of a troupe who did Wacky Sports on the Esplanade for the Commonwealth Games this year,” says Sonya.

“I love to do dance and drama. I’ve been going to dance and drama classes since I was young. I’ve also done classes with JUTE and NIDA.”

With so many achievements at the age of 17, the future is certainly looking bright for Sonya!