This is Malcolm, one of the most easy-going and jovial blokes you’ll ever meet. A hard-worker with a can-do attitude, Malcolm was diagnosed with a mild hearing impairment at a young age.
Growing up in Brisbane wasn’t easy for Malcolm, from high school bullies to a tumultuous home life, Malcolm has had to stand strong in the face of adversity almost all his life. His first foray into the working world didn’t make Malcolm’s life any easier either. After working as a young apprentice in the wood working industry, his job on the factory floor only exacerbated his hearing impairment as he was exposed to increasing levels of noise over the years.
Having acknowledged the damage it was doing to his physical health, Malcolm eventually decided to leave the wood working industry and search for new work. After trying a few different jobs, Malcolm was beginning to feel like he was finally moving in a positive direction – that is, until COVID-19 reached Australia.
Alongside thousands of other Australians, Malcolm was suddenly left without a job as businesses across the country struggled to cope with the new economic environment.
With COVID-19 now placing Malcolm out of work, he found himself stuck at home with declining mental health. He knew he had to do something to get back on track, but he wasn’t sure where to turn. After a brief discussion with Centrelink and some help from his local church pastor Donna, Malcolm eventually came to breakthru for job-seeking assistance.
From his very first appointment, the Fortitude Valley team could tell Malcolm’s jovial personality and can-do attitude would take him a long way toward finding a fantastic new job.
Having expressed how much he enjoys keeping his life clean and in order, consultants Trey and Eboni worked together to find a job that Malcolm would enjoy.
Account Manager Eboni was particularly fond of Malcolm and always enjoyed seeing him in the office each day.
“Malcolm is a fun and happy-go-lucky customer! He is always up for a chat and beams positive energy whenever he walks through the office doors. With Malcolm’s fun outlook on life the team were committed to getting the right job for him” she said.
Fortunately long-term partners Holy Cross Laundry had just opened another vacancy for commercial cleaners at their warehouse nearby, and Malcolm gladly put his name forward. After a quick phone conversation and an initial interview, Malcolm quickly progressed through the hiring process and landed the job.
Working with masks
Work wasn’t a breeze by any means for Malcolm. Given the COVID-19 restrictions that were in place at the time he commenced, all staff were required to wear masks on the job. While this wouldn’t be an issue for some people, Malcolm’s hearing impairment means he often relies on lip-reading to properly understand what people are saying.
Fortunately, Malcolm had recently obtained a new hearing aid which helped improve the situation. A brief discussion with his manager at Holy Cross also allowed them to improve communication via other means, either through writing or using more expressive body language to get the message across.
It wasn’t initially Malcolm’s dream job, but working with the wonderful team at Holy Cross he admits has grown on him over time.
“Honestly I used to love working as a delivery driver prior to this, but it’s been a really nice change of pace” he said.
“I quite like keeping things clean and organised, plus everyone here is really accommodating, so I’ve really enjoyed the process of working at Holy Cross”.
Now that Malcolm has a stable job, he’s keen on moving forward and achieving some of his life goals, which include buying a new car (a cruiseman) and finding a special someone.
Malcolm is also looking forward to moving houses soon to a much more suitable place that’s closer to work, shopping centres and his local church.
“My advice to anyone in a similar situation is to stick up for yourself, keep striving and moving forward”
“Sometimes life happens, and you can’t always rely on other people to look out for your best interests. It’s up to you to do what’s right and look after yourself.”
We’ve spoken to thousands of Australians who have found themselves out of work this year. If you’re in a tough spot and need a bit of help getting back on track, please reach out to breakthru for employment assistance today.
Having grown up with his younger sister Katey (who was born with Down Syndrome), Josh has witnessed first hand the barriers and misconceptions placed around people with a disability. As part of the breakthru team, Josh hopes to assist people just like Katey find the information or supports they need to live their best life.
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