Hard work and dedication is all part of the job for Garth Hutchinson

HARD work and dedication is all part of the job for Garth Hutchinson.

For 35 years, he has been a model employee for Koora Industries, a supported workshop in Muswellbrook run by Challenge Disability Services. 

Every Tuesday and Friday, Garth catches a bus to Koora, where he has worked as a timber assistant since leaving school in the early 1980s.

“When I get to work I’ll see what stakes have to be sharpened and painted,” he said.

“I then sharpen the points of the stakes and then paint them. 

“Sometimes I make pallets; we do lots of different things.”

According to Koora Industries business coordinator Kim Beverstock, Garth has been a supported employee through many staff and workshop changes. 

“He’s worked in all aspects of our workshop and is one of the most loyal and respected employees,” she said.

“He has a beautiful personality and his cheeky sense of humour brings lots of laughter into the workshop.” 

Recently, Garth made waves on the workshop floor, when he managed to point 1000 stakes in less than six hours. 

“We would be very happy for a timber assistant to point between 250 and 500 stakes in that time, so it was a remarkable achievement that I am unsure could be replicated by anyone else,” Kim said.

“Everyone on the workshop floor noticed his achievement and were clapping and congratulating him on his efforts. 

“But, Garth quickly diverted attention away from himself. 

“He doesn’t do it for attention or to be the best; he did it because he works hard and is dedicated to his job. 

“That is just the kind of person Garth is.” 

Koora Industries supplies and manufactures timber products, as well providing lawn maintenance, assembling and packing services. 

As an NDIS provider, Koora also offers supported employment opportunities, including on and off-the-job training. 

“The NDIS can fund supports to assist with employment opportunities for people living with a disability, like those provided at Koora Industries, where these supports are not the responsibility of an employer or employment service,” Kim said. 

“These supports can assist with skills development and training, as well as assistance to find and maintain a job. 

“Funding can be allocated to social skills and job-readiness training, as well as providing support for travelling to and from work; specialised assistive technology; and, personal care if required.”

Garth said he enjoyed the people he met while working at Koora Industries, along with spending time with the friends he has made there. 

“I think others should go to Koora because you learn good skills and meet people,” he said. 

For more information on Koora Industries or how you NDIS budget can be used to help with supported employment, email Challenge Disability Services at disabilityservices@challengecommunity.org.au

Alternatively, if you would like to use the services of Koora Industries, phone 6543 2222 or email koora@challengecommunity.org.au for an obligation-free quote.