13 October 2022

Shannon holding the box which has his name on it

  • Shannon continues to excel in his job two years after APM helped him secure the role
  • Family thrilled by positive changes in Shannon with secure, regular employment
  • Fins Seafood presented Shannon with a special honour to celebrate his impact on the team
  • Shannon is one of the stars of APM Employment Services' TV ad campaign

For Shannon’s father Larry, talking about how his son continues to succeed in employment after years of challenges, brings a tear to his eye.

The impact of seeing his Shannon become a happy and popular employee who jokes with colleagues and is a respected member of a team is incredibly rewarding.

Shannon is the youngest of his four sons and was born with Down syndrome.

As he was growing up dad Larry and mum Kerry often worried about what his future would hold.

But since finding a job with Fins Seafood in WA’s port city Fremantle, Shannon’s family is feeling positive.

“Since Shannon started working at Fins he’s dramatically changed his lifestyle and everything,” Larry said.

“He’s so keen to go to work in the morning and loves working there.

“I go to pick him up and have to go inside to try and find him – he just doesn’t want to come home.”

“We’ve seen Shannon look so bored and fed up with having nothing to do. Now he’s got so much to look forward to, it’s brilliant. It’s just changed his whole outlook.” he added.

 

Shannon started at Fins Seafood after support from APM Employment Service through the Disability Employment Services program.

By getting to know Shannon and the types of work he was interested in and capable of, his employment consultant was able to tailor a plan that led to a meeting with potential employers.

Following a meeting with Fins Shannon was hired for a role supporting the busy seafood supplier’s packing and preparation crew and quickly found a place within the team.

As well as being reliable and friendly, Shannon became a hit with his colleagues for his sense of humour and generosity.

He remembers everyone’s birthdays and rarely a shift goes by without him bringing in cakes and presents for his teammates.

After a successful start with Fins, Shannon had a starring role in APM’s advertising campaign to demonstrate the value people with disability can bring to workplaces and the opportunities available for people with disability who wanted to find work.

Filming a short video advert and appearing in posters, Shannon had a taste of fame as friends and family from across Australia and as far away as Europe and the UK contacted his family to say they had seen his performance.

 

Meanwhile within APM’s multiple businesses, Shannon’s advert and the accompanying video about how he successfully found a job he loved, inspired everyone dedicated to the organisation’s global purpose of ‘enabling better lives’.

Shannon’s story was so captivating that APM revisited the former participant to see how he was progressing after more than two years in his role.

As well as seeing the incredible progress Shannon had made in his day to day life, it was discovered that Fins had recently recognised Shannon’s work and team commitment with a special honour.

“Fins Seafood needed a new all-purpose box and we thought it was a good opportunity to create a box with Shannon’s name on it, seeing as he makes every box in this factory, said Asher, from Fins Seafood.

“It was a bit of a surprise for him. He didn’t say much when he first saw the box but we heard from his dad later that he had sent photos to everyone he knew, so he’s pretty proud of it.”

the box with Shannon's name on it

Asher said Shannon has had a big impact on the workplace and they were eager to reward him.

“Shannon’s an amazing employee. He brings people morning tea, turns up half an hour early for every shift and he’s reliable,” he said.

“In our industry things can get pretty stressful and to have someone like Shannon around bringing us back to earth is really a good thing.

“When everyone’s stressed out and running around, seeing that Shannon can still enjoy being at work sort of brings everyone into line.”

“I’d say to other employers, if you have an opportunity to hire someone like Shannon, go ahead,” Asher added.

Dani and Shannon sitting on a bench talking

APM Employment Services regional manager Danielle has stayed in touch with Shannon and his family since he started working at Fins and was delighted to see the new box in action.

“It is incredible to see that Shannon has been celebrated as an important part of the team. Shannon’s journey is phenomenal and amazing to be a part of.

“Employers looking to hire new staff should reach out. We have so much support, we have the person for your business. Let’s make it work.”


Injury, illness or disability and need a job?

You could be eligible for help in finding a suitable job from APM Employment Services, just like Shannon.

As Australia’s largest provider of the Disability Employment Services program we help people with permanent or temporary disabilities, injuries, mental health conditions and other diagnosed barriers which may prevent them finding successful employment.
Register with us today, or call our team on 1800 276 276 to get started.

Looking for staff?

We don’t just support job seekers, we also help thousands of employers find reliable staff and access government incentives when hiring new employees.

If you’re an employer, you could access wage subsidies, plus funds for training and workplace modifications when hiring a person with disability for full or part-time work.

Plus, you will be enhancing the diversity of your business while making a real positive difference in a person’s life. Get in touch with your nearest APM Employment Services team, or email support@apm.net.au.

Author

Corey Stephenson

For media enquiries, please contact

adrian.bradley@apm.net.au

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