Cafe owners find the perfect employee

Kaitling at work, standing in the cafe holding a bunch of plates with a smile on her face

Kaitlin developed the confidence to try something outside of her comfort zone

Kaitlin was referred to APM in June 2019. She had recently enrolled in a six-month course in Zoo Keeping and her focus on animals and desire to work in the given field really shone through.

Her Employment Consultant Lisa discussed with Kaitlin the shortage of jobs within this field in regional NSW which would make it difficult to achieve sustainable employment.

After finishing her course in December 2019, Lisa helped Kaitlin explore other options in retail. A position became available within a local coffee shop in Wauchope owned by Tanya and Dean Hennessey.

Wauchope is a short drive inland from the scenic coastal town of Port Macquarie, about 4 hours north of Sydney, NSW.

Kaitlin lives with autism and anxiety – the support she received through APM’s Disability Employment Services program has been transformative.

Initially Kaitlin was hesitant to apply as she was filled with self-doubt about working in a cafe environment.

Lisa encouraged her to attend an interview with Tanya and Dean as they are lovely people and very supportive.

After agreeing to attend, Kaitlin did so well in the interview that she was employed on the spot and began her two-week trial.

Lisa conducted a post-placement visit on Kaitlin’s second day. Her employers informed her that Kaitlin was fitting in perfectly and they loved having her as part of their staff.

“I was thrilled to see Kaitlin so happy when I first visited” Lisa said “she had a wonderful smile on her face, she was definitely smiling from ear to ear.”

“I love working here” Kaitlin said “everyone is really nice to me.”

Kaitlin and her employers Tanya and Dean, pictured in front of their shop

The following week, Lisa completed her second Post-Placement Site visit. Tanya informed Lisa that she was excited to return to the store as she could not wait to see Kaitlin.

“I’m so grateful that Lisa had been able to bring Kaitlin into our lives” Tanya said, “as long as we have a store, Kaitlin will always have employment with us – she’s wonderful.”

Kaitlin’s life has changed forever. Lisa is proud to have provided such a perfect fit for both the job seeker and employer.

Although Kaitlin is not yet working in her dream job with animals, this role is building her confidence and skill set, while providing experience in a supportive workplace until her dream opportunity arises.

Injury, illness or disability and want to work?

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

As Australia’s largest provider of the Disability Employment Services program we help thousands of people with permanent or temporary disabilities, injuries, mental health conditions and other diagnosed barriers which may prevent them finding successful employment.

If you want to find out more, register with us today, or call our team on 1800 276 276 for more information.


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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.

Find out more about this rewarding opportunity for employers by speaking to your nearest APM Employment Services team, or emailing