It is Ada Baker’s first paid job and she is loving it. Not only is she getting to meet a lot of new people after moving from Wagga Wagga but both Ada and her employer, Oaklands Cafe have been recognised by the Disability Trust at a ceremony in Bega.
For Ada it’s been a great step forward and a real confidence booster.
“When you start a job, you get paid, you get very professional and I needed that. It made me feel proud and confident.
“It’s my first paid job and I chat to all the customers and it makes me feel very happy meeting all the other people,” Ada, who has autism, added.
Eleanor Burbidge, Oaklands Cafe owner, said that Ada works eight hours a week as part of an 18 week work block which will be followed by assessment.
“I’m very happy for Ada to work with us as long as she wants to,” Ms Burbidge said.
“Ada takes food out to customers and does front of house work. She will become quite an asset; she is bubbly and greets everyone with a smile, helps to seat them and has become a very important member of the team,” she said.
Ada said that working at Oaklands Cafe has been pretty good with plenty of opportunities to meet people.
She has family in the area but her boyfriend and grandparents are still living in Wagga Wagga.
Ms Burbidge is perhaps an ideal employer for such a work experience scheme having been not only a TAFE teacher but also specialising in teaching those with a disability.
“I got a call from Workability explaining that Ada was doing unpaid work and asking whether I would be interested in signing a contract. This sort of work introduces her to so many other people. Having been a TAFE teacher for those with a disability I understand about learning outcomes,” Ms Burbidge said.
At a special ceremony for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, in Bega earlier this month Ada was jointly awarded the School Leaver Employee of the Year with Cameron Shanks.
The Disability Trust’s community connections manager Peter Harvey said it was a day to recognise the contributions of people with a disability and their contributions to working towards an inclusive world.
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