With a clipboard in hand, Tristian Conn performs the Head of Dispatch role at Meals on Wheels in Bathurst with ease, confidence and precision.
But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the 21-year-old Bathurst man who has suffered from chronic health conditions, his whole life.
“I left school in year 11 due to health issues and didn’t work for another two years after that,” Mr Conn said.
“It wasn’t until I was introduced to VERTO that I realised there were options for finding meaningful work while managing my illness.”
VERTO, a not-for-profit employment and training provider, supported Tristian through the Disability Employment Services (DES) program, which is funded by the Department of Social Services.
“VERTO introduced to me to Meals on Wheels and I started there in April 2022. I love the work and the team, and I enjoy the dispatch role because it’s about being organised and working with numbers,” Mr Conn said.
“Meals on Wheels Manager Sarah Thomas is very accommodating if I ever need to take sick leave, and the rest of the team pitches in when I’m not able to be at work. The flexibility means a lot to me.”
Ms Thomas described Mr Conn as a capable young man and a valuable member of the Bathurst team.
“Tristian started out as a plating attendant and very quickly showed that he could take on more responsibility. That’s when he was appointed to the Head of Dispatch and he is doing a wonderful job,” Ms Thomas said.
“He’s also helping me develop a new website for the Bathurst Meals on Wheels brand. He’s come so far in just over 12 months and we’re all very proud of him.”
VERTO CEO Ron Maxwell believes Mr Conn’s story is inspiring and should encourage others to seek help when needed, no matter the circumstances.
“Managing health conditions while finding work can be very daunting, but Tristian’s journey is proof that with the right advice and support, life-changing opportunities are out there,” he said.
“Meals on Wheels is a very important charity that produces around 40,000 meals a year for the Bathurst community, so the work that Tristian is doing is making a big difference in our local community, and he should be really proud of how far he’s come and inspire others in similar positions to seek help whenever it’s needed.”
If you are a job seeker in need of support, please reach out to VERTO’s experienced employment consultants on 1300 483 786 or visit www.verto.org.au.