East Lismore Bowling Club employee Danny Campbell and manager Jeff Beard.
East Lismore Bowling Club employee Danny Campbell and manager Jeff Beard.

Danny's brave journey to find work at bowlo

GETTING a job in Australia can often be hard, but finding work if you have a disability is an honest challenge with the unemployment rate for people with a disability nearly double than those without disability.

According to Australian Network on Disability there are 2.1 million Australians of working age with disability and of these, just over 1 million are employed..

Lismore man Danny Campbell has defied these discouraging odds and proven himself as a great employee despite several setbacks.

Mr Campbell suffers from a brain injury which he has had since birth. He suffers anxiety and gets agitated, it also affects his learning and concentration.

Raised in Sydney he left schooling in Year 9, and moved to Lismore at a later stage where he has lived for 16 years with his partner and two teenage daughters.

He has worked in various supported employment at a cinema as an usher and as a car detailer, but is now employed at East Lismore Bowling Club as a Guest Services Officer.

Mr Campbell found the job through APM which he joined in August, but it wasn't the first service provider he had been with. One commented to him that he wasn't "marketable", another commented that the 40-year-old's age was a factor.

EC Teena Roberts worked with Danny to identify his interests and strengths then set about looking for open employment opportunities.

Mr Campbell said upon joining APM he informed them he would like work in hospitality.

"Two weeks later Teena said a gentlemen would like to meet you," he said.

Seven weeks on he said his new boss and team were "awesome".

"I've got no words. I'm really enjoying it.

"I greet patrons and sign up members. I collect the glasses and plates and make sure the patrons are looked after.

"This club is unbelievably awesome. They welcomed me in. I feel like I am part of the family and community."

He said finding work with his condition could be "very challenging" and anxiety inducing but after a few days at the club the team brought Danny out of his shell.

"Thank you to Jeff and the staff at East Lismore Bowling Club for this opportunity and to Teena and the team at APM".

Club manager Jeff Beard said APM's phone call was opportune, he met Danny over a coffee "and the rest was history".

"He quickly embraced the role and has been an absolute success," Mr Beard said.

"He stands very astute and is happy to glance around and pick up other jobs on our busier nights like collecting plates and clearing tables.

"He's an absolute asset and a valuable member of our team, we all love him and he's doing a great job."

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