In February 2010 our newsletter cover showed Gillian impressively clad in laboratory gear. Her traineeship as an animal resource technician was underway at Murdoch University. With support from the Association’s AIM Employment Services Gillian worked there for eight years until—through the persistence of AIM staff searching—her dream job appeared as reality.
Her prime passion in life
Gillian always wanted to work, hands on, with horses— her passion throughout life. She now has two four hour shifts each week working as a stable hand for a prominent racehorse trainer. For Gillian to be out of bed by 5.30am to get to work might have been a problem in the past, but not now—to be with the horses. “I love getting up and travelling to work with my support worker…we love to talk horse and footy—mostly Freo Dockers”, she said. It appears, the Dockers run second to horses, in Gillian’s life.
A dream come true!
This is a labour of love, for Gillian. Cleaning the stables (a job that many wouldn’t relish), feeding and walking the horses, putting the blankets on and off and providing assistance to the farrier. Gillian will gently, yet firmly hold the horse’s head while it is being shod. Her work also takes her track-side at Ascot, from time to time. Sounds like a bonus! This new employment, which began in March this year, was secured at just the right time for Gillian. Her own horse, ‘Nuggett’, had been injured and contact was limited. She was unable to ride. Being so closely involved with other horses, working for their welfare, was not only a dream come true but some compensation for the separation from her beloved horse. At time of writing Nuggett is on the road to recovery—Gillian will be riding again very soon.
A joy to work with
The Association’s employment consultants were relentless, over the years, in searching for a job such as this one for Gillian. They knew it would be the perfect fit—matching the person to the environment and tasks entailed—the priority with every AIM Employment job search. Throughout every four hour shift, Gillian is showing not only her passion but her ability to work efficiently with the required tasks. She is proving to be a valuable team member. Gillian’s employers are extremely happy with the way she has embraced her role, summing up, “she is a joy to work with”.
For further information for job seekers and employers, go to: www.autism.org.au/our-services/employment-support