Peter’s story: Change the story

Peter’s story: Change the story

After 30 years of unemployment, Peter was looking for a deaf focused disability employment agency to help him find a job he would enjoy.

This film is Peter’s story of re-entering the workforce and overcoming the barriers often felt by people with disability, injury or illness when navigating the world of work.

Peter is now employed with 5B, where he is a valued member of the work community. Initially starting in garden maintenance, he soon progressed to working in the factory, picking up new skills and a whole lot of confidence along the way.

Liah from Interact / CoAct Employment admits she gets emotional when thinking about everything Peter has overcome to rejoin the workforce after such an extended period of unemployment.

“The first day I took him to work I could not stop smiling” Liah explains. Watch Peter’s story of finding a job he loves.

“I feel a lot better, I feel motivated. I really look forward to work, not just sitting at home and doing nothing. I definitely want to learn more and just keep progressing”. Peter, employee at 5B.

Video Transcript:

Peter: So, my name is Peter and I work at 5B. At first, I was just doing garden maintenance outside, making it look clean. And then I started going in the factory, and they taught me different skills. Being deaf, you know, we use our eyes a lot it’s very visual.

Liah: Peter was actually the first client I ever met. It was probably two or three days into the job, and I went and met him at a local cafe, which we still to this day catch up at. He came to me going “I want a provider that is more deaf-focused.” You know, he hasn’t worked for a very long time, so it gave me kind of the drive to carry through, and has continued to carry me through to this day.

Peter: I was a bit nervous and when I started and you know have to learn the skills but after a while I got used to it all and it’s been great. Yeah the boss is really happy.

Malcom: I’ve never met anyone with such drive and enthusiasm. I’m the numbers guy, we run the numbers and he ticks all the boxes in regards to that so, he’s a very efficient, very effective, very good team member.

Liah: It makes me emotional, it make me so emotional because he’s not one of my young clients, he’s not a school leaver. This guy has been out of work for 20 – 30 years, you know. I’ve seen the backlash that he’s had from employers, that he would have been facing by himself. And now he tells me off daily when I see him or talk to him, about how cheesy my smile is or how happy I am for him. Because it’s just been so exciting, like the first day I took him to work, I could not stop smiling and he told me off in the car park for being too happy.

Peter: Leah – because she’s been so good for me and she helped me find a job and I’ve been very happy with her. I’m really really appreciative of what she did for me. Giving me so much support in finding me a job. She’s really, a really lovely lady. She’s helped me a lot. Yeah she’s got a really good heart. A really good heart.

Chris: It’s great to work with Peter. He’s fantastic. He’s got a great humour.

Isabela: Such a laugh. He’s really good at what he does, and yeah he’s just a pleasure to be around and he’s happy to be with us as well.

Malcom: Even though it’s difficult to communicate at times, we find other ways and other methods of communicating to him.

Liah: This is something that I can imagine Peter doing for, you know, hopefully the next 20 and 30 years, until he’s ready to retire.

Peter: I feel a lot better. I’m really motivated and I really look forward to work, and not just sitting at home, doing nothing and I definitely want to learn more and just keep progressing. I can tell the boss is happy with me and gives me encouragement, and I’m really excited about working here.

Illustration of staff member sitting at her work desk

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