Government Secretaries visit Myhorizon

What a pleasure it was to host a number of departmental secretaries, who requested a visit this week to Myhorizon’s Main Centre at Capalaba.

We were humbled to be able to take them through some of our wonderful facilities, such as our Cafe, Event Centre, and Packaging Room showcasing the hard work our supported employees do each day.

It was also a great opportunity to discuss NDIS related opportunities and challenges with Kathryn Campbell (the Secretary of the Department of Social Services), Renee Leon (Secretary of Department of Human Services), Kerri Hartland (Secretary of Department of Jobs and Small Business), and also visiting members of the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development.

The secretaries came together as part of the regular bilateral Australia-New Zealand Chief Executive Meeting (ANZCEM) this week.



Olivia on the path to greater independence

Gaining employment has been an empowering experience for local Cleveland resident, Olivia O’Donnell, who hasn’t let her intellectual disability stand in her way.

Thanks to flexible employers like Phaedra White who owns and runs Enhancers of Cleveland Hair Salon, 18 year old Olivia works regular weekly shifts where she helps keep the salon tidy and prepares some of the equipment needed by the stylists.

Since starting at the salon six weeks ago, Olivia now walks to work where she earns her own pay cheque each week, and is on the path to greater independence.

“I like working at the salon because I get to earn my own money and I can go to the shops and buy my own food or beanie boos’” says Olivia.

Olivia’s employer, Phaedra, initially approached Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Office in Cleveland, seeking someone to support her in her salon a few hours per week, and Olivia was quickly matched up as a perfect candidate.

“Olivia is very polite, friendly and caring, and we all love having her around” Says Phaedra. “I’ve also noticed positive changes in her confidence level, and her knowledge and skillset around the salon are also improving”.

Prue Saint, Olivia’s Employment Coordinator from Myhorizon Cleveland, has also seen a significant and positive difference in Olivia since starting her job at the salon.

“Olivia is becoming more confident with leaving home by herself now, and also improving in her communication with other people and being able to follow a list of jobs to be done. All those things are getting better each day.” Says Prue.

“It’s about placing people in the right jobs with the right employers and providing them with ongoing on-the job support and training so they have the best chance for success” says Prue.

As a local Redlands business owner, Phaedra also advocates for more local businesses to open their doors and minds to employing individuals with a disability.

“It has been so rewarding and fulfilling to have Olivia join our team, and we really appreciate her different perspective on things.” Says Phaedra. “I urge more businesses to consider employing someone with a disability as it’s a great contribution to the community as well”.

Click here for more information on Myhorizon’s Employment and Training services or connect with us via our online Contact Form.

Paul retires after 35 years with Myhorizon

After thirty-five years with local disability services provider, Myhorizon, Paul Ballard is officially retiring, and is excited about taking time out to enjoy the things he loves.


Paul joined Myhorizon as a service user back in 1984 when it went by the name of H.A.R.D and provided an activity therapy centre in Capalaba for local residents with disability.


“I remember back in the mid 1980’s when Myhorizon grew to include more service areas like Independent Living and Social Enterprises, which opened up supported employment opportunities for me.” Says Paul.


Paul talks fondly about his accomplishments within Myhorizon’s previous ‘Wire and Wood’ enterprise, where he contributed to product design, and was also the Social club’s Treasurer for a period of time.


Paul’s career at the organisation has more recently also included working for The Bush Pantry Café, The Event Centre at Myhorizon, as well as Myhorizon’s packaging and collating service.


“I’ve learnt lots of new skills over the years at Myhorizon, but I’ve also made many great friends who I’ll miss dearly. The people I’ve worked with are like a family, but I won’t be out of touch because I’ll still see them at Rec Club and Sunday bowling and some of my friends on the weekend. I’ve even agreed to help organise the Secret Santa like I have past couple of years.” Says Paul.


Paul says he has enjoyed his work life, but he is also very excited about now catching up on his TV and video games, and going for more walks and exercising at the gym.


Current Production Supervisor at Myhorizon, Troy Morton who has worked with Paul since early 2018 and supervised his daily work, describes Paul as a capable and helpful member of the team.


“Paul would often help others when he could, and he also had some great nicknames for members of the team such as ‘Happy Helen’, ‘Cheryl from the Navy’, and ‘Super Kev’. We will all miss his unique energy, but wish him all the best in his retirement.” Says Troy.



Learning real skills for the disability sector

Stradbroke Island resident Hayley Layton is beginning her rewarding career in the disability sector, thanks to government funding preparing jobseekers with the right skills and experience for the NDIS workforce. 

Myhorizon, are addressing the need for more skilled disability support workers in South East Qld by running regular Training courses for Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) at our Capalaba Event Centre.

As a current Myhorizon student, about to graduate and obtain her Cert III, Hayley is excited about starting her new career and getting to work with people from all walks of life.

“I was a little hesitant to sign up for the course because I’d never worked in the disability sector before, but because I’m passionate about people, it made me want to do it.” Said Hayley.

Hayley is a Florist by trade and also previously worked as a resort housekeeper supervisor on Stradbroke Island for many years, but after a workplace accident, she battled a period of unemployment and depression more recently.

After meeting Anne Blakeway who manages Myhorizon’s Dunwich office, Hayley was encouraged to apply for the course and hasn’t looked back.

“I told Anne what my interests and passions were and how I’d previously worked with the indigenous communities on the Island, and she helped me realise my love and passion for all people and how working in disability would be a great fit for me.

“My training course leaders have been so great and supportive, and I’ve learnt so many new and real skills. I’ve loved every minute of it and can’t wait to start working in the sector.” Said Hayley.

Myhorizon Training Manager Nikki Louange has supported dozens of students, having run the Certificate III course in Individual Support (Disability) for several years now thanks to ‘Skilling Queenslanders for Work’ (SQW) funding, granted by the Queensland State Government.

“Our course is designed for participants who have had barriers with finding employment due to a disability, illness or injury. Over the years we’ve had many individuals complete the course and find meaningful jobs in the disability sector which has been life changing and so rewarding for them.

“Quite a few graduates have even gained employment within Myhorizon’s Lifestyle service area as Disability Support Professionals” Says Nikki.

Visit our Employment & Training page for more information, or contact us via our Online Contact Form.

Access Ability Day

During the week of 26 – 30 November 2018, employers are encouraged to take part in Access Ability Day – a new Australian Government initiative developed to connect jobseekers with disability and employers.

There are 2.2 million Australians living with disability who are of working age, but Australians with disability are under-represented in the workforce. In fact, the employment rate for people with disability is almost half compared to those without disability.

Businesses in the local community have an opportunity to open their door to a new pool of talented and capable individuals, who are ready and willing to work.

“With International Disability Day coming up in a few weeks, this is a great way to recognise and support individuals with a disability, and provide more job opportunities for them in our community”. Says Myhorizon’s Employment & Training Assistant Manager, Lima Nawabi.

“So many of our clients are really eager to have a job, and really hard-working. As part of Access Ability Day, employers can host a job seeker with disability for one day, with no further obligation and help promote a more inclusive workplace” says Lima.

To register your interest as an Employer or as a Jobseeker, phone Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Service (a Disability Employment Service Provider) on 1300 MYHORIZON or contact us using our online form.

To find out more about Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Service, click here.

Employment proving life-changing for Wayne

Gaining a new job and sense of responsibility has been life changing for Wynnum resident, Wayne Vanderswaag thanks to a positive and flexible workplace in our community.

Wayne, a 33 year old with an intellectual disability, has experienced a hard life of homelessness and long-term unemployment, but recently turned his life around by securing regular employment with Capalaba Central Carvery almost four months ago.

 “My life was a mess and all over the shop. Every day I was going to the pub and getting drunk. My life was going around in circles and I knew I needed to get out of that lifestyle and get a job” Says Wayne.

Wayne approached Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Office in Wynnum seeking some support to find a job that suited his abilities and one where he could make a positive contribution to a workplace.

 “My Employment Coordinator at Myhorizon supported me to get a job with Capalaba Central Carvery where I do the washing up in the kitchen, and help out where I’m needed. I’m now learning to budget better with my own money and just trying to be strong each day and enjoy life again. One day I’d even love to have my own 24 hour restaurant, cooking good food for people” Says Wayne.

 Claire Pruskocki, Wayne’s Employment Coordinator from Myhorizon Wynnum, has seen a significant and positive difference in Wayne’s attitude since starting his job at the Carvery.

 “Wayne has become a really reliable employee. He catches a train and a bus every day to his regular shifts and always turns up early. I’ve seen a huge improvement in Wayne’s overall attitude and also his presentation, and he has a much greater sense of self-worth which is so great to see.” Says Claire.

 “It’s about placing people in the right jobs with the right employers and providing them with ongoing on-the job support and training so they have the best chance for success” says Claire.

 “So many of our clients are so eager to have a job, and really hard-working. When we are able to match them up in a job that they enjoy, and are good at, there is no better feeling.”

Myhorizon are proud to be rated a 5 STAR service for our Disability Employment Services by the Australian Government Department of Jobs & Small Business.

Learn more about Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Services.

Local job opportunities for all abilities

Real job opportunities are proving life changing for individuals with a disability thanks to flexible and positive workplaces in our local community.

Southside Toyota Service Department Manager, Brett MacDonald (Mt Gravatt), employee Jason Cooper and Aisha Sellers from Myhorizon Employment & Training

Jason Cooper and Ashley Chase are two great examples of this, both clients of Myhorizon’s Employment and Training service, and both working for Southside Toyota’s Service Departments. Jason has been working with Southside Toyota Mt Gravatt for six months where he eagerly gets in and does any job that’s asked of him including cleaning, organising the work benches, and being an all-round handyman for the entire team.

“Before I got this job, I spent my days not doing too much. I feel like now my life has turned 180 degrees. I’m now very positive and would one day love to be an apprentice mechanic. I would jump at the chance”. Says Jason.

“My manager and the rest of the team here are very accepting of my disability. They don’t treat me any different, they treat me as one of the guys and it makes it easy to come to work.”

Jason’s Manager, Brett MacDonald has also noticed the positive changes in him since he first started working at Southside Toyota.“Jason is now way more confident, he talks to more people, has opened up more, and the rest of the team here really like working with Jason because he puts in 100% effort in everything he does.” Says Brett.

Ashley Chase, a Myhorizon client who is in a similar role at Southside Toyota Woolloongabba also talks fondly about his work environment. “I was very nervous and cautious when I first started. Now it’s easier and familiar and I’m learning new things about cars. I’ve become more confident” says Ashley.

Ashley is also a participant of Myhorizon’s Lifestyle service where he receives assistance from a Disability Support Worker at his home a few days a week. After Ashley expressed a keen interest in working in the automotive industry, Myhorizon was able to work towards a new employment opportunity for Ashley.

Delivering sustainable employment outcomes is at the heart of everything our Employment and Training team do at Myhorizon.

“It’s about placing people in the right jobs with the right employers and providing them with ongoing on-the-job support and training so they have the best chance for success” says Jean Jensen, Employment & Training  Manager at Myhorizon.

“The management of Southside Toyota have always been accommodating of Ashley and Jason. Myhorizon appreciate their support in providing a positive and flexible workplace.” Says Jean.

“So many of our clients are so eager to have a job, and really hard-working. When we are able to match them up in a job that they enjoy, and are good at, there is no better feeling.”

Myhorizon are proud to have recently been awarded 5 STARS for our Disability Employment Services by the Australian Government Department of Jobs & Small Business.

Learn more about Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Services.

Rewarding careers in disability

Looking for a rewarding career in the disability sector? Our very own Jake Turcado from Myhorizon’s Lifestyle team tells you why it’s a great place to be right now.

For available positions at Myhorizon, visit

An empowering opportunity for Nick

Delightful Myhorizon participant, Nick Kreutzer, has had his sights set on working in the hospitality industry for a while now, and has recently commenced working at Capalaba Sports Club.

Going to work and helping the restaurant staff with a variety of different tasks is what Nick says he enjoys most within his new role, as well as learning new skills. He even says he would love to be the Manager one day.

Nick’s supervisor at the Sports Club, Troy Morton, who also happens to be his Disability Support Professional at Myhorizon, has praised Nick’s proactive and enthusiastic approach to his new role at the Club.

“Since Nick has been working at the club, he has improved his skills in listening, eye contact with people, and also his increased confidence, and the feedback I’ve had from Nick’s co-workers here at the club has been extremely positive” says Troy.

The supportive team at the Club enjoy having Nick as part of the team and value his contribution and positive energy. The Capalaba Sports Club is known for its strong community spirit and has been providing support to the local community for over 30 years.

Myhorizon Wins Australia Day Award

The annual Redland City Australia Day Awards were held last night (Tuesday 23rd January 2018) at Alexandra Hills Hotel where Myhorizon were honoured as winners of the ‘Community Organisation Award’.

Each year Redland City Council recognises residents and community organisations through these awards where they acknowledge members and organisations in our community who have made outstanding contributions to promote the welfare and wellbeing in the Redlands.

Myhorizon has been part of the Redlands Community since 1981 and today supports more than 2000 people with a disability, with a passionate and dedicated team of over 240 staff.

The prestigious award was graciously accepted by Myhorizon CEO, Joe Gamblin on behalf of the entire organisation.

“This award is a wonderful recognition of the leadership at Myhorizon over many years and the contribution made by all the staff. It is great for the organisation to be recognised in this way and it is a strong reflection of goodwill and acceptance of people with disability within the Redlands community.” said Joe.

Myhorizon sincerely thanks the Redlands community and all who took the time to nominate the organisation for these awards, and congratulate all the other worthy nominees and winners on the night.

(Photo: Myhorizon CEO, Joe Gamblin, and Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams)