Will’s step into meaningful employment

Apr 28, 2022

Will at work as Peer Researcher

One of Rocky Bay’s latest recruits in the Clinical team, Peer Researcher Will Scott-Jeffs, joined the organisation off the back of some amazing team work between APM Communities and Rocky Bay’s Clinical and Community teams. 

Twenty-four year-old Will, who has Autism, was working toward his goal of finding meaningful employment in an environment that would allow him to use his knowledge and skills. Will has attended TAFE and has gained several certificates in IT, Digital Media and Business Studies.   

Finding a meaningful job had its challenges for Will, so he met with APM Communities, an organisation that supports NDIS participants, families and carers to access the support they need so individuals can realise their aspirations. 

Will’s meeting with Project Manager of Community Capacity Building at APM Communities, Gaelen Williams led to Will reviewing his National Disability insurance Scheme’s (NDIS) plan, and receiving funding for the NDIS Finding and Keeping a Job program.  

The next step was for Will to begin his journey of finding employment opportunities, and he chose Rocky Bay as his NDIS provider. Not only does Rocky Bay have multiple hubs making it easy for Will to travel to unassisted, but Rocky Bay’s tagline “Your Partner in Possibility” resonated with him. 

A Team Leader from Rocky Bay’s Stages Toward Employment Pathways (S.T.E.P.) program visited Will at his home to chat about his interests, hobbies, and what he likes to do with his friends and family, to get a better understanding of his aspirations and goals. 

From there Will was assigned a Mentor, who would support him in building skills relevant to a professional workplace.  

“From then onwards, I knew I was heading for steps in the right direction to help me find a job,” says Will. 

On the hunt for a job in an office environment where he could make friends, chat to colleagues and have his own desk space.

Meanwhile, a co-design research project was underway between Curtin University and Rocky Bay’s Clinical Department investigating the use of telepractice in the disability sector. To ensure that the voices of Rocky Bay customers could not only be heard but help lead the project, a Peer Researcher (someone with lived experience) was needed. A new position was created and advertised seeking someone who could assist the research team by shaping the research design, materials and co-facilitating focus groups and workshops.

Will applied for the role of Peer Researcher, was invited to attend an interview, and was successful in obtaining the position!

Will at work with his new team

As part of his role, Will has created participant information including videos and information handouts. He is also helping to co-design the research activities by writing research questions and providing ideas and suggestions about how best to shape the study to suit the needs of customers.

Needless to say, Will is proving to be an asset to the research team. He has found his happy place in his new role, made possible by APM Communities and multiple departments within Rocky Bay working together to provide the opportunity.

“I’m glad that with the help of Gaelen and Rocky Bay we managed to successfully find a role for me as Peer Researcher at the PKC hub,” says Will. 

“I would just like to say to everyone who I’ve worked alongside, I’m very grateful to the people that have helped and provided me with knowledge to achieve my goal of finding a job.” 

Well done Will! We are so excited to have you on our team and look forward to seeing you grow and develop in your role.

If you are interested in participating in the co-design telepractice study, please call Cloe Benz on 6282 2421.

To find out more about Rocky Bay’s S.T.E.P. program, call our friendly Customer Engagement team on 6282 1900, or click here to find out more.

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