True Stories: Mim Kuipers – Finding work for individuals, with benefits for the whole community

Mim is an Employment Broker with My Place Foundation in Busselton, South West WA

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I didn’t intend to create a career for myself in the disability sector, but initially “fell” into it when I started doing weekend respite with a young lady in my own home. She was a delight to have, and it piqued my interest. I was also extremely impressed with My Place Foundation, and their values and high regard for their clients and staff. My background is retail management, small business owner, and sales and marketing. I didn’t ever consider that these skills would lead me into the disability sector; however my current employment fits perfectly with these skills.

The work I do:
I find employment or help individuals with disability to set up their own small enterprise, according to their interests and passions. Many individuals with disability have never been afforded the opportunity to work, due to perhaps not fitting well with existing employment pathways, or having been deemed not capable of working. The “My Work” programme (formerly Open Workforce), which My Place Foundation in WA has set up, was initially set up as a pilot project to show that it is a very viable option for people with disability to work. They can and often want to work, and if we can approach this with creativity and finesse we can make it happen.

What I value most about my role:
The employment programme “My Work” has been an incredible platform to educate and inspire the broader community to consider how they can be instrumental in bringing about positive change for individuals who have often been pushed aside. Finding employment roles in local businesses for individuals with disability has shown the broader community what is possible when we start to think and act more inclusively, and that it not only has a great impact on the person gaining employment but also the staff, and others around them. It is often said that the person with disability, brings something uniquely wonderful to the workplace that no one else could. Most of our participants have never had a paid role before. To be earning a wage for the first time in their lives, gives such a sense of pride.
Please click on this link to see some of our participants in their newfound work places.

How the NDIS changed the way I do things
NDIS has given people the opportunity to make more choices, and the ability to pursue their interests and goals in a much more viable way than ever before. Employment is certainly something that can and is chosen for individuals to pursue.

My Employer:
My Place Foundation are a disability service provider in Western Australia, who have always been committed to providing individualised and flexible service according to a person’s unique needs. They are very versatile, and provide an array of different supports. It has been an honour to have been employed by such a forward thinking organisation, who have the highest integrity.

 www.myplace.org.au/

 

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