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In the news: How a lunch opened the door to employment for people with disabilities

It turns out there is such thing as a free lunch.

Interact Australia and Cafe Next Door teamed up and held a free lunch for people with disabilities to talk about employment opportunities. Hannah Webb from Interact said the organisation is a disabilities employment service provider.

“We hosted this free lunch to, not only promote what we do, but to bring the community spirit to life. We had conversations around employment, sat one on one with attendees to get to know them, and shared how we would help them on their journey into work.”

Ms Webb said there was an array of jobs attendees were interested in.

“Support work, gardening, cleaning, childcare and hospitality were mentioned,” she said. “Our organisation tailors to all interests and disabilities.”

19 year old Brayden said he had a good day at the event. “I listened, talked and asked questions,” he said. “I’d like to work outdoors – I like to mow and garden.”

Cafe owner Vanessa Mitchell said they are partnered with Interact. “When Chelsea completed her Cert III in Hospitality with us, we reached out to Interact for employment opportunities,” Ms Mitchell said.

“With Interact’s assistance, Chelsea secured a position at a local cafe, where she has flourished, gaining confidence and experience in the workplace.”

Originally published 17 April 2024 in The Examiner, written by Saree Salter.
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