Disability Employment Australia. Represent, Support, Resource

News & Information

Member News: Art and beer the perfect brew for Richard

Wed, 12 Aug 2020, 02:12 PM

EPIC Assist, 6 August 2020

Mateship, Sustainability and Inclusiveness. Head of Production at Your Mates Brewing Company Christen McGarry explains the Your Mates vision.

“We always wanted to make sure that anyone who was coming into the team felt like they were coming into a group of mates. Inclusiveness runs straight on from that,” Christen said.

“We have an open-door policy for both the people we employ, and the customers we serve.”

Your Mates is a company built around the friendship of Christen and his business partner, Matt. The business started in a shed at Moffatt Beach in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast in 2014 and has grown exponentially from there.

Their custom-built brew house in the Kawana industrial area opened at the end of 2018.

Christen heard about EPIC Assist (EPIC) through Brouhaha in Maleny, another brewery on the Sunshine Coast that EPIC has found employees for. Both breweries are part of the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN). FAN and EPIC formed a partnership in 2019 based on shared values of collaboration and inclusion.

Christen was looking for extra hands for the continually growing packaging side of the business and connected with EPIC to help fulfil the role.

Richard, an artist with an obvious sense of humour, fit the bill and started work in November 2019.

A self-described bipolar person, Richard affectionately calls his role at Your Mates ‘Packaging gopher’ or ‘Glue boy’.

“I glue together all the boxes for the Larry’s and the Sally’s – all the beer that goes out. All the boxes have my DNA on them,” he laughs.

His role also includes canning, stacking, warehouse duties, and anything else required to get the job done in a brewery.

Richard describes the work environment as a bunch of mates, making beer, having a good time, making it happen, and at the end of the day, having a couple of beers and a laugh together.

His life has changed in lots of ways since starting his role.

“My home relationship has changed enormously. The stability of an ongoing income is very important. My mental wellness is positively affected by the consistency of work,” Richard said.

“It’s also about the socialisation. A group of people that you work with become more than colleagues, they become your mates, which is what Your Mates is all about.”


Read full article: EPIC Assist

Disability Employment Australia sources and promotes articles and information that we deem relevant and interesting for our members. The views represented in the news items are the authors and not necessarily that of Disability Employment Australia. Disability Employment Australia claims no authorship or ownership over the articles and does not gain financially from their promotion.


  • No comments yet for this article.