Sammy’s story of ambition and growth

08 July 2019

Sammy’s story of ambition and growth

2.2 million Australian’s of working age are living with disability, but they are significantly under-represented in the workforce. We are working to reverse this trend by engaging local communities with our ‘Change the Story’ short film festival. Through a series of short films that highlight the human stories behind these statistics, we hope to shift the thinking around disability employment in Australia. This is Sammy’s story.

Meet Sammy

In this short film, we meet Melbourne local Sammy, a school leaver with disability joining the world of work. It shows how high people can soar with the ongoing guidance of a supportive employer. It’s a story that provides hope to struggling job seekers, and an inspiration to other small businesses who may be considering hiring people with disability.

Recognising the needs of the job-seeker

Keen to gain work experience in an environment where he could be supported and grow, Sammy sought the services of CoActs Service Partner, Interact. Sammy had previously undertaken a work experience role that did not work out in a positive way for him. To ensure Sammy was fully-supported in his next work experience placement, Belinda Fox, Workforce Partner at Interact, worked closely with Sammy in order to align his needs and capabilities to a position suited to him.

Interact understood what I was into and I knew the relationship with them would be perfect. I just love my role with Timbecon


Giving Sammy a chance to grow

Sammy commenced a work placement with local company Timbecon, working in their workshop. Not only did this work placement give Sammy the opportunity to develop new skills, it gave him the chance to communicate with others in a working environment, enhancing his interpersonal communication skills to help build relationships with colleagues.

We explained to the employer how our services will benefit the business as a whole and where we come in and support the job-seeker.

– Belinda Fox, Workforce Partner, Interact

Support is key

Interact have been providing ongoing support to Sammy throughout his journey with them. Alongside this support, Belinda and the team helped Sammy prepare for his job interviews and have been continually giving guidance to not only Sammy, but also to his manager at Timbecon, to help facilitate a smooth transition for Sammy into the working world. This added support to the employer has also allowed Sammy to add significant value to the team, as the employer has a better understanding of Sammy and his needs and capabilities.

The piece of advice I’d like to give to other business owners is to give people like Sammy a try. As business owners we have a responsibility, some of those responsibilities go beyond the walls we are in.

– Hague Haswell, Managing Director, Timbecon

Sammy’s work experience has now successfully transitioned into a traineeship as Sammy proved to have much added value to Timbecon. He has grown and thrived into his traineeship and is continually learning new skills and knowledge which will benefit him professionally and socially. “I feel very valuable here at Timbecon” – Sammy

They give you all the support that is required. They do such a wonderful job and it is overwhelming and fantastic.

– Giuseppe Lagan, Sammy’s Father

Watch Sammy’s story here and get involved in the movement for change in disability employment.

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