In our role as Principle Consultants on large-scale, complex design projects, we’re accustomed to collaborating with a range of stakeholders. Behind the scenes, within our own team, we’re equally as collaborative.
Our Chief Operating Officer, Wim De Vylder, recently discovered Jobsupport — a disability employment service that assists jobseekers and employees living with intellectual disabilities. Wim was quick to extend an invitation to collaborate with Jobsupport.
Now, Vidura Coppolaro, an 18-year-old high-school graduate living with Down Syndrome, is a familiar face at our office. He is undertaking work experience, designed to help prepare him to join the workforce. “Vidura assists with tasks like tidying the kitchen, replenishing the photocopy paper and collecting the mail,” Wim explains. “By far his most important contribution is the vitality and spirit of enthusiasm he brings to the office.”
Vidura, along with his Vocational Training Officer, attends our Brisbane office for a few hours, three days each week. “I am grateful for the opportunity to do my work experience at Peddle Thorp and to the staff for making me feel like part of their team,” Vidura says.
Jobsupport’s Brisbane Manager, Andre Velickovic, describes the experience as invaluable. “Vidura’s confidence has certainly increased,” Andre says. “At work, he’s very bubbly and always happy to assist.”
According to Andre, Vidura is learning both work skills and life skills. “Things like traveling alone on public transport can be problematic when it’s the start of a new routine but now Vidura is able to troubleshoot any challenges that might arise during his commute.”
From Peddle Thorp’s perspective, Vidura’s work experience benefits both parties. “We’re delighted to provide Vidura with the platform he needs in order to feel at ease in a professional setting,” Wim says. “He is a joy to have around and we value his contribution.”
For other practices interested in collaborating with Jobsupport, Andre has some advice. “There are two key things we look for — welcoming staff and a willingness to be flexible,” he says. “Fortunately, Peddle Thorp delivers all of that and much more beyond.”
To learn more about Jobsupport, visit www.jobsupport.org.au
Photo Courtesy of Jobsupport.