Link June 2018 Volume 27 Issue 3 - Page 53

feature A scene from the film 'I'm Marcus'. Martin said providing consistent, ongoing post-placement support helps the worker maintain their position unless, and until, he or she outgrows it. Then NOVA helps them to find their next role. “Our driver is full participation in the workforce and the financial independence that comes with that,” ‘Normal’ is just a setting he said. “I get sick of hearing about job seekers on the autism spectrum being pigeon-holed into repetitive or menial roles because other people assume that’s what they want. “Over 60 per cent of NOVA’s job seekers on the spectrum gain work in “Normal is just a setting” is one of the many insights to come from NOVA Employment’s Focus On Ability Short Film Festival. I industries as various as warehousing, administration, hospitality, information technology, horticulture and maintenance. n 2014, Kellyville High School people start doing this through paid entered a documentary called 'I'm employment. Marcus' in the annual film festival, “What better way to start you off “For example, Chris has worked three days per week in a retirement village in Sydney’s outer west for the that starts, "When I learned I had on the road to independence than past five years. As soon as he started, autism, I was puzzled." getting a job where you can earn his colleagues in the administration The documentary goes on to show a wage, save money, broaden your department appreciated the Marcus growing up through many social life, and strengthen your work- commitment and accuracy he of the challenges that life on the related skills, such as punctuality, brought to his job in the mailroom. spectrum serves up to him, artfully communication, travel and stamina; He enjoys the work and finds it speeding up to the present moment, plus have a reason to get up in the easy, and is now a vital part of the where he is setting up his desk at his morning – a reason to be proud of. organisation’s team.” first job. “Good thing Marcus realised “While appreciating that Martin said that as an everyone needs to start somewhere, employment service provider which early on that normal is just a setting NOVA aims high on behalf of our cares about people, NOVA knows on the washing machine,” said job seekers. that “normal really is just a setting on NOVA Employment Chief Executive Martin Wren. “This is the sort of life-changing “NOVA staff listen to job seekers’ hopes for the future, help establish the washing machine”. “We’re not interested in washing. clear and realistic employment Our passion is getting to know each goals and develop the skills to person’s hopes, skills and goals then pursue those goals. We then find turning them into a job that matches,” person with disability to lead an suitable, award-wage positions in he said. independent life. As a disability the community to match job seeker www.novaemployment.c om.au employment service, we advocate that hopes, goals and skills.” www.focusonability.com.au shift that NOVA specialises in. “We believe in the right of every linkonline.com.au employment 53