Steven Thomas with his new mower and brush cutter, presented to him by Key Employment consultant Steve Keenes.
Steven Thomas with his new mower and brush cutter, presented to him by Key Employment consultant Steve Keenes.

Steve finds a work Key

IT has taken more than a decade and involved breaking through a lot of barriers but Steven Thomas is finally a happy worker.

With a new mower and a brush cutter, Steve has returned to work as a gardener at the Moonee Beach Tavern.

Back in 1988 he was a backhoe operator but a serious motor vehicle accident put paid to that career.

A long road to recovery after surgery and physiotherapy followed but his mobility and physical strength never fully returned. He tried several times to work but was unsuccessful due to his disability.

He was then referred to Key Employment, a Disability Employment Service which assists people with a disability to find employment.

After an assessment, Key Employment assisted with an individual plan to overcome barriers to employment. Then DEEWR (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations) agreed to workplace modifications, under its Employment Assistance Fund.

A self-propelled mower and a lightweight brushcutter which has a back support harness, assists Steven’s limited strength and movement, allowing him to undertake his job with ease.

“These (tools ) allowed me to get back to work ... I can’t believe it,” Steven said. “It’s better than Christmas.”



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