Watching Jane interact with customers at the Healthy Serve Cafe at the Bendigo Tennis Centre, it’s easy to see she loves her job and being busy.
Yet life today is a far cry from six years ago when she was seriously ill, needing a liver transplant.
“I know I’m one of the lucky ones. Each day since, I feel lucky to be alive. I love my life,” says Jane.
While treatment plans are part of her every day, as is the debilitating condition fibromyalgia, rather than staying home, Jane has chosen to work. She says having a job is important for her self-worth.
“It gives me an interest and focus – and I am lucky I have an employer who is supportive of me and understands my condition.”
While physically and mentally recovering from her transplant, Jane connected with CVGT Australia’s Jennifer Richards.
“Jen helped build my confidence and ensured I was ready to return to employment. Even though I have a job, it’s good to know that I still have her there for support,” says Jane.
Adds Jennifer: “Jane found this job herself, but some people with a disability face challenges seeking and engaging in employment. My team can help remove barriers to ensure everyone has equal access to better health and employment outcomes – it’s a core goal for everyone we work with.”
Jane’s employer is happy to have her on board.
“We couldn’t do without Jane. She is the mum of the centre,” says manager James Rouel. “To other employers, I would say don’t be afraid of a disability, just consider the person and think about the opportunity and positive dynamic they can bring to your workplace.”
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This article also appeared in the Bendigo Advertiser on Thursday 3 December for International Day of People with Disability.