Catching the bus to work helps Jamie enjoy his passions


Jamie is an avid train enthusiast and metal detectorist. He loves all things motorised, so catching the bus to work with the golf carts in the Club’s workshop aligned perfectly with his passions.

“Jamie has always loved trains” says Jamie’s mum Lorraine. “It has been a life-long fascination for him. Our garage is full of model trains and the local newsagent knows to save a copy of the Hornby Train magazine for him each month.”

From supported wages to open work


Having found his interest, it wasn’t long before Jamie was ready to take the next step. He got linked to the CoAct / BUSY Ability Disability Employment team. Together they worked with Club Manager Mike McGraw to help Jamie into a supported wages job.

The Supported Wage System supports employers and employees with disability to build their capacity to work. It determines the wages paid to employees with a disability who may not be able to perform jobs at the same capacity as any other employee.

A team which included the Club crew, Disability Employment and NDIS staff put together a plan to help Jamie work at his best. This included creating step-by-step routines for Jamie. These routines enabled him to clean and maintain the golf carts, make deliveries and work in the club public area confidently. It has also allowed him to build his skills and thrive in his new job.

“Jamie is very detail orientated,” Lorraine tells us. “Understanding how he thinks helps. If you want something done, give him the detail and specifics and he’s away!”

CoAct / BUSY Ability sourced tools to help Jamie in the workplace. These included uniforms and workplace equipment, which has made work in the mechanic bay smoother and more efficient. Jamie was also supported to get his Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) so he can work in the bar.

After 6 months of on-the-job coaching, Jamie transitioned into open employment. It came at the perfect time as the club expanded its fleet of golf carts – keeping both Jamie and the crew busy!

Taking a chance on Jamie has taught his manager Mike so much as well


Hiring someone on the spectrum allows that person to gain new skills and community connection. It is also a great teacher for those they work with, to better understand. Mike has been in the hospitality industry for decades, but this was his first encounter working with a staff member with disability. He has learned a lot.

“After all the natural disasters and the pandemic, one of the hardest parts of running the Club is finding staff who want to work,” says Mike. “We didn’t realise the types of employment support we could access until BUSY Ability approached us. Jamie was keen and really wanted to be a part of the Club, so it was great to have help to support him into work.”

“It’s not just the work where we see Jamie developing” says Mike. “We’re seeing a big change as he joins in with the rest of us. He’s a real larrikin, so to see his personality come out and watch him interacting with the team is terrific.”

Jamie is enjoying his well-rounded life


Jamie now works two days a week at the Bellingen Golf Club. He keeps busy volunteering at the Frank Partridge Museum, enjoying Thursday family dinner night and a spot of golf. He’s also working on some solid negotiation with mum to move his model trains into the house.

We asked Jamie what his favourite part of his new job was. His answer: “Lunch.”

Can’t argue with that!

BUSY Ability delivers DES services as a member of the CoAct Employment network. CoAct /BUSY Ability is an established regional community organisation that provides people like Jamie with a range of strength-based services including Disability Employment and NDIS School Leaver Employment and Social Supports. The team assist local employers to build a workforce that reflects the community and create opportunities for people with disability to contribute to workplaces in a positive way.

If you’re an NDIS participant who needs help to find and keep a job, register with us today – https://jobs.coact.org.au/ndis

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