Through the Lighthouse Project initiative, local government authorities are being supported and encouraged to increase employment of people with disability. Jonathan Flower’s story highlights the benefits of hiring a person with disability.
Jonathan Flower’s career has taken off since he began working as a cleaner at the City of Bunbury’s South West Sports Centre in 2007.
In addition to his regular duties, Jonathan, 27, also now takes on supervisory roles.
Jonathan, who has short-term memory loss, an intellectual disability, epilepsy and mild hearing loss, works independently except in some budgeting and bill-paying tasks.
Jonathan found the job at City of Bunbury’s South West Sports Centre in 2007 through Disability Employment Services (DES) provider Forrest Personnel.
With support from Forrest Personnel, Jonathan began his current role by completing a trial period at the sports centre.
Now he works independently three days a week at the centre.
Since then, his supervisors have had nothing but praise for his work and hope he never wants to leave his job.
His supervisor Gill Walmsley said he is a reliable worker and is willing to take on whatever tasks he is given.
“We sometimes ring his Mum up and ask if he is available for an extra couple of days to help us out, and he almost always is,” Gill said.
“If it’s been something he hasn’t done for a while, we may suggest running through it once.
“We get lots of work experience people come through, and we appoint Jonathan as their supervisor, and he always does a great job.”
Jonathan takes the opportunity of being in a supervisor role very seriously, and keeps in mind his parents’ advice about work in general.
“My Mum and Dad always ask me to think about how your supervisors rely on you,” Jonathan said.
He encouraged other people with disability to get out and have a go at looking for work.
“Be proud to have a job and don’t take lots of sick days,” he said.