News

Paralympic gold medallist says finding a job was hard

JOB SEARCH: (From left) Paralympian Tracy Barrell OAM, Member for Page and Project Ambassador Kevin Hogan and Thomas Anstoetz from TAFE.
JOB SEARCH: (From left) Paralympian Tracy Barrell OAM, Member for Page and Project Ambassador Kevin Hogan and Thomas Anstoetz from TAFE. Patrick Gorbunovs

SHE'S won two gold medals at the Paralympics and is raising two kids, but Tracy Barrell said the hardest thing she's ever done was look for a job.

"People sometimes talk to me like I'm deaf. I say 'I'm missing my legs, not my ears'."

Ms Barrell was at the launch of a new campaign to find 50 jobs in 30 days for people with a disability in the Northern Rivers.

A Brunswick Heads-based travel service that aims to create "holidays without hassles" for people with a disability has been the first business to stick up its hand, saying it would employ two people.

Marketing manager for cangoeverywhere.com Jeff McLeod said: "When they're working behind a computer, there is no disability."

He said they wanted to "put their money where there mouth is" and he hopes to increase the workforce to include five people with disabilities as the business expands in the next year or so.

Tracy Barrell said the biggest obstacle was often people's perceptions.

"Sometimes people expect that you can't do a task ... but we only apply for jobs that we know we can do.

"There may be access or other infrastructure issues, but these can be overcome.

"We've got dreams and hopes and aspirations that we want to have homes and holidays and be able to buy cars. And we want to be able to work to achieve this," she said.

The Federal Government's local employment coordinator for the Richmond-Tweed and Clarence Valley region, Terry Watson, said there were sound economic reasons for businesses to take on somebody with a disability. He said research shows they are often more reliable and more flexible in their working hours than people without a disability.

"So often society defines people by their disability and not by their abilities. This is a chance for businesses to help change that."

 The disability jobs drive involves Epic, Max, Nortec, CRS, Chess and Tursa employment services.

For businesses interested in finding out more about the program, phone 1300 552 296.

Topics:  athlete, career, job search, paralympics, tracy barrell




New shops, big changes at Ballina retail centre

Big changes are happening at Ballina Central.

Major changes are under way at one of the town's shopping centres

Shark bump was 'very similar to Mick Fanning incident'

Curran See and Harris Lake, both 18, were waiting for a set at Sharpes Beach on Tuesday when they were both attacked by an aggressive white shark.

THREE surfers have been knocked off their boards by sharks

Four people evacuated from fire on the Northern Rivers

Four people were evacuated after a fire in a Northern Rivers home on Tuesday.

Fire fighers arrived within four minutes and noticed smoke

Latest deals and offers

An Ab Fab charity screening, darling

THEY ARE BACK: Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley as Eddie and Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.

At Kyogle Community Cinemas on Thursday, August 11

Kerri-Anne Kennerley to Sonia Kruger: "Stay brave"

She said her television peer should "stay brave"

Swimwear designer looking for love on The Bachelor

Noni Janur on her first day of filming.

The 25-year-old is one of 22 women vying for Richie Strahan’s heart

Three reasons your mind will be blown this week

Alan Dale and Jacki Weaver in a scene from the TV series Secret City.

THREE shows on Foxtel to make your mind boggle.

Elena wins MasterChef: “I’m ecstatic and eager to celebrate"

MasterChef Australia 2016 winner Elena Duggan, from Noosa.

NOOSA chefs survive marathon grand final dish by Heston Blumenthal.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started