How a young man with autism found his passion for work

By Roberto Damante July 30, 2018

Focus on Ability is a podcast series proudly brought to you by NOVA Employment. NOVA is a supported employment program that offers specialist job seeking assistance for people who have a disability or significant barriers to work.

In each episode of Focus on Ability we'll get to know a person with a disability and highlight their many abilities in the workplace. We’ll also uncover the broader issues on how businesses can continue the conversation and engage with an underutilised talent pool. 

Listen in as we explore the lives of people with plenty of ability

Episode 6 - Welding, working, rapping and rising up

At school Kieren was an energetic kid that was misunderstood by his classmates. His autism made it hard to fit in, and relentless bullying left him hating life. But since then he’s found his niche. Working in a small family business, he’s discovered he has a natural talent for welding, and his workmates are introducing him to a love of heavy metal music.

Host/Producer: Nicole Curby


Episode 5 - Learning to love my new personality

There are two Sharon’s. One’s a busy, obsessively clean, high powered sales executive. The other is a relaxed and loving childcare worker who likes to smell the roses. They’re almost opposite people - except that they’re the same person, separated by five years and a brain tumour.

Host/Producer: Nicole Curby


Episode 4 - Learn from my footsteps

Karen’s first job in the factory at Kurrajong Kitchen has given her a life beyond being a mum, and it’s made her a better mum. After having to fight for her kids, she’s determined to be the positive role model that she never had as a child.

Host/Producer: Nicole Curby


Episode 3 - Born for it

Having a child with a disability forced Linda Fenech to confront how she – like most of us – rarely took the time to understand those who are a little different. Employing Tayla as a babysitter at her beauty salon, Linda thought that she was doing a favour, but quickly discovered she was getting more from the exchange than she ever expected.

Host/Producer: Nicole Curby


Episode 2 – A Clean Start

Ian finds comfort in the routine and repetition of hard work. He’s fresh out of a marriage breakdown and an interstate move that has separated him from his three kids. But in his job cleaning at a local warehouse, he’s found a team that’s a bit like family, and now he’s saving his money for a ticket to visit his children.

Host/Producer: Nicole Curby


Episode 1 – Play the Cards You've Been Dealt

It sounds unlikely – a qualified plumber who planned to take over the family business is now a doorman at the local RSL, and he’s never been happier. Jarrad loves speed, but at 20 years of age it got the better of him, and a near-fatal car accident left him with a traumatic brain injury. Through sheer determination he’s built a life that doctors told him he’d never be able to have.

Host/Producer: Nicole Curby


If you’re a Sydney or Southern Highlands business that could benefit from great staff, visit our friends at NOVA Employment today by clicking here, and be sure to check back next week when we'll be getting to know another person with many abilities!