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Employment stories

'Now I'm really happy' - Tristran's Story - Ostara

Tristran reflects on the challenges - and successes - he has faced in searching for work after leaving school, as well as the assistance his DES prodivder, Ostara, was able to provide him. 

While I completed Year 12, I had a lot of trouble finding work after finishing school because of my intellectual disability – employers just weren't interested in me. I was kicked out of home by my uncle and went to live with my girlfriend’s family. I was 22, had no money and was pretty unhappy. 

At the time I was linked with a Disability Employment Provider, but they didn’t really help me. They expected me to find a job myself, but I didn’t have any paid work experience and I didn’t have a proper resume. 

My girlfriend’s mother was great. She helped me obtain my driver’s licence and purchase a car. She also referred me to Ostara Australia, as she had a friend who was able to find work with their support. I went and met with Ostara Australia in February, 2013.

I was nervous about working. Due to my disability, it can take a little longer for me to learn things. I liked the idea of working in retail, but was too shy and anxious to be in a role where I had to speak with customers. 

Ostara started looking for jobs for me that were away from customers, like stock filling, but had found it difficult to find available positions. They taught me interview techniques, helped with my resume and helped me build my self-esteem and confidence. Eventually my employment consultant asked me if I was willing to try customer service, and I agreed to give it a shot.

My consultant called and said she had an interview for me with Cravin Crepes in Niddrie. The employers, Sheb and Sam, were fully aware of my medical condition and interviewed me knowing that I had absolutely no experience within the industry. I started working with them doing hospitality work and serving food to customers. Sheb and Sam were really supportive and patient throughout my training.

I started working 8-10 hours a week, and in September, commenced a hospitality traineeship with Cravin Crepes. I don’t feel as though I’ve had any obstacles along the way, and Ostara Australia is awesome and have supported me the whole way. I’m still in contact with them regularly.

At the start of the year things felt as though they were going down the drain; I wasn’t happy and had no money. But now I’m really happy, have an income and look forward to working full-time soon. I even saved up enough money to take my girlfriend to Hamilton Island for her 21st birthday!