Joel’s journey to employment

After a nine-month job hunt, Joel has finally landed a new role as a kitchen hand at Indian Grill Ballarat.  

And with only a few weeks under his belt, his hard work has already landed him an extra two paid hours per week!

Joel, who lives with an acquired brain injury, said his favourite part about work is interacting with people in public.  

“The best bit is being around others, not that I’ve got the time to talk to them,” he said with a laugh. “It gives me something to do, and it gets me out of the house as well.” 

Joel’s shifts usually start with a pile of dishes waiting in the sink for him. He starts just after the lunchtime rush, so he’ll put on his favourite black apron and get to work putting all of the dishes into the dishwasher. If he has time, he’ll scrub the bases of the pots and pans with a scouring pad. 

“Things can quieten down before 5 o’clock,” Joel said. “And that’s when I’d start wiping down some benches between lunch and teatime.” 

Having worked in kitchens before, Joel has built up an impressive skillset. He has experience with vegetable cutting, knife sharpening, wiping down tables, and more. So, when it comes to handling busy times at work, he’s a pro. 

“At teatime, if the pans come out, that’s the first thing I’ve got to get cleaned. That and any other cooking item. That’s a priority too,” he said.  


Joel before his shift, his black apron in hand.


And Joel’s hard work has not gone unnoticed by his team at work. Impressed by his work ethic, Joel’s boss has increased his shifts by one hour each, giving him a total of 10 hours per week. 

Filled with passion and excitement for his new job, Joel only had good things to say about his experience so far. 

“I hope I’m a good employee and I hope to continue to work well over some years,” he said. 

With Joel’s newfound employment, his support team at eQuality Support have noticed that he has more confidence and is extremely proud of his achievement.  

But while Joel is reaping the benefits now, his journey to employment was not without its challenges.  

Kath, Client Services Officer, said Joel’s support team really pulled together to support Joel in finding a job.  

“This was a team effort from everyone who works with Joel,” she said. “With clear communication we ensured all of Joel’s appointments were well-organised and supported. The Clinical Specialists helped get Joel a back brace for work, too.” 

“It was an entire team effort by everyone, resulting in the great news that Joel had sourced employment.” 

Emphasising the importance of hiring people with disability, Kath said, “Everyone deserves the chance to have employment.” 

“With a dedicated support team, individuals with disabilities can and will achieve great outcomes for employers,” she said. “They just need to be given the opportunity to showcase their skills.” 

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