Taines story
August 22, 2023
by Joshua Cook

Taine’s Story – Cairns’ Green Thumb

Meet Taine, the energetic Breakthru superstar from North Queensland.

When he was born, Taine was diagnosed with down syndrome, a genetic disorder causing developmental challenges. Growing up this meant Taine had difficulty with his learning and speech; however, his positive attitude continually saw him overcome the hurdles life sometimes threw at him.

Beginning his Breakthru journey

Following his time at school, Taine was eager to start the next chapter of his life in the real world. That’s why, after graduating, Taine began to investigate his options, from possible career pathways to finding the support that he needed to get a job that he loved. Through this, he came across Breakthru’s School Leaver Employment Support (SLES), a NDIS service created to help navigate the transition from school to work.

While Taine had always been positive and caring, he sometimes lacked confidence when speaking, especially amongst strangers. This meant that while he had a lot of different passions and opinions, from his singing to his YouTube channel, he didn’t always express his thoughts and ideas.

Taine spending time in the park with a Josh

Gaining employment

Not long after he finished school, Taine quickly built a strong relationship with support worker, Josh, bonding over a love of cabinetry as they delved into which career path would suit him. As they continued their work together, Taine was interested in any work that he could find, hoping to improve his communication skills and confidence. At the time, he gained work experience with Archie and the Bear, a local café, which allowed him to finesse his coffee making skills and interact with new customers on a daily basis.

This opportunity not only gave Taine the skills he needed to become more employable, but also allowed him to meet his partner in crime, Jack, who quickly became his best friend and competitive rival. During his time as a trainee Barista, Taine found that he enjoyed working in a fast-paced environment and speaking to customers as his confidence continued to grow.

Following his work experience at the café, Taine wanted to have a go at a job that was a bit more “manly”, whilst exploring his love for the outdoors and cabinetry. That’s where Bunnings came in, with the amazing opportunity to complete a six-week work experience program at their warehouse in Cairns.

More than a job

During the middle of the pandemic finding a job was harder than ever before, with many businesses struggling to keep staff employed, let alone bring on new workers. The Covid-19 climate even saw Taine’s big 21st birthday party cancelled, although his birthday present, Thunder (his new dog), made up for it.

That’s why it was so exciting when Taine was offered work experience with Bunnings, a job that directly correlated with his interests, whilst offering the training and support he needed to grow his understanding and skills.

As soon as he’d put on his Bunnings uniform, a huge grin would come to his face”, said Quinn, Taine’s Support Worker.

You could just see the pride in his face, it was like the uniform gave him a new sense of confidence and you could tell that he really enjoyed working there”.

Taine's dog Thunder

Following his work experience, the complex manager Lisa felt that Taine would be an amazing attribute to the Bunnings team, with his enthusiasm and great personality allowing him to positively contribute to the store. So, Taine was offered a paid permanent position at Bunnings.

I’m really enjoying working with Taine and I hope he can stay in the business a lot longer. I think he’s got a lot to learn, and he’s got a lot to show us too,” said Robyn, the Outdoor Living Specialist at Bunnings.

While he still has a lot to learn, Taine has flourished in his role, recently moving to the outdoor living and gardening section as he greets customers at the front door. His favourite part of the day is putting on his uniform in the morning and taking care of the plants, cementing his name as the resident green thumb. Taine is super excited to take on more responsibility at Bunnings, as he continues to become the face of the Cairns gardening section!

Watch Taine’s story

Looking for work?

Breakthru has over 25 years of experience helping thousands of Australians like Taine find and maintain meaningful employment. Get in touch with one of our friendly staff today to find out what we could do for you.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Royal Rehab acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future and we extend our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples.