A collaborative approach between two Illawarra disability support organisations and The Fraternity Club has assisted Warrawong’s Tommy Ratajkoski into a dream job.
Three months ago, 20-year-old Tommy commenced work at The Frat, contributing eight hours a week as a kitchen-hand and preparing food in the club’s newly renovated restaurant. And he’s loving it!
Tommy is regarded as a “success story” in a journey that takes young people across the Illawarra and links them with disability networks and employers. Assisting Tommy have been disability service provider Northcott and disability employment service provider atworkAustralia, which both encourage meaningful employment.
“I’m enjoying every minute of my work at The Frat. I’ve made close friends and my specialty is crumbing fish,” Tommy said.
The enthusiastic young man began his transition 12 months agothrough Northcott, whose vocational skills coordinator Mary Heriot praised TheFrat on their involvement.
“Because the staff at The Frat are amazing and have made Tommy feel like part of a team and family, he jumped at the chance when offered employment,” she said. “It’s been really rewarding seeing Tommy transition and the increased confidence that he displays. Tommy loves his job and can only grow in this environment.”
Today, atworkAustralia job coach Christine Laraghy and Amie Hayek work closely with Tommy – and others – to ensure a smooth transition into employment and to offer encouragement.
“We communicate closely with employers and put strategies into place to sustain employment,” she said. “These are committed, young people and we encourage businesses to contact us to help find them employment in the community.”
As for Tommy’s ongoing role at The Frat, head chef Mauri Villella said: “He certainly works very hard and is likable character. And he’s the best at crumbing fish!”
For more information contact Northcott 4256 7600 or atworkAustralia 1300 080856.