Special Olympian Chris adds five-year service award to long list of accolades

In the world of sports, Chris McMahon has carved his name in gold, having won over 200 medals as a Special Olympian. However, among the glittering accolades there is another milestone equally cherished and significant to Chris, his five-year service award at the Eltham Leisure Centre.

He just loves it! Still, after five years, he never misses a day,
Mel McMahon
Chris’s Mum

Connecting to CVGT Employment

Chris started swimming with Special Olympics when he was 12 years old.  Over the years he has represented Victoria at the National Games in every State of Australia. He also went on to represent Australia at the Asia Pacific Games. But in 2019, Chris had set his sights on a new goal, to find meaningful work.

“Chris said he found an employment agency that would find him ‘a real job’,” says Mum Mel of the first time Chris connected with the CVGT Employment Specialist Disability Employment Team (SDET), who deliver the Disability Employment Services program in Melbourne.

“So, he took us to the CVGT Employment Greensborough office. Our lives changed that day.”

Finding a job that ignites your passion

CVGT Employment, Disability Employment Services offer dedicated, intensive support for participants. The program’s success can be attributed to taking the time to get to know participants, what their likes, dislikes and capabilities are to develop a plan to work towards achieving employment goals.   

When I first met Chris, I knew I wanted to turn his passion and dedication for competitive swimming into a life-long career,
Kelly Patrick
CVGT Employment Inclusion Coordinator

Determined to find Chris the ‘right place to work’ Kelly introduced Chris to Lisa Wilson, Head of Aquatics at the Eltham Leisure Centre.

“We fell in love with Chris at the first meeting,” Lisa says.  

Chris soon started working two days per week in the pool area of the centre.

I am so lucky I found CVGT Employment. They helped me get the job and it has been great.
CVGT Employment Participant

Watch our 2019 video ‘CVGT Employment Services helps Chris work somewhere he loves’ below.

Going from strength to strength

A year ago, Chris decided he wanted to work three days a week, so CVGT Employment SDET negotiated an increase in days for Chris.

“He now works an extra day a week in the gym cleaning the equipment and putting together first aid packs,” says Kelly.

Chris reaches five-year work milestone

In December 2023, Chris popped into the CVGT Specialist Disability Employment Ivanhoe office to celebrate being awarded his five-year service award at the Eltham Leisure Centre.  

I am so proud of myself. A big thank you to Kelly and Sabrina, you put a lot of effort into finding and helping me, you’ve done a great job!
CVGT Employment Participant

Chris’s five-year milestone highlights the importance of finding meaningful and well-matched employment opportunities for people with a disability and continuing to support participants throughout their employment journey.

“Kelly still pops in to see him. We really appreciate the care and support CVGT Employment has given to Chris,” says Mel.

Connect with CVGT Employment

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