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Jul 26, 2023

Youth-led work experience for young people with disability


The celebration kicked off with a meet and greet, a welcome speech and Acknowledgement of Country, followed by speeches from some of the graduating participants, and then the distribution of their Statement of Attainments. Everyone had a great time with singing entertainment provided by Northcott customer Tracey in her melodious voice and a delicious morning tea.

How did the Experience Tasker program come about?

A youth-led work experience for young people with disability – the Experience Tasker program was made possible through a grant from NSW Government to support participant’s to boost their community engagement and independence. It involves establishing a simulated support business to develop participant’s vocational skills while working towards completing a unit of the Business Administration – Organise & Complete Daily Activities course through TAFE NSW.

Soon enough, a grant received from  NSW Government’s Youth Opportunities program made this a reality.  A simulated work environment was created where customers could go through the real life process of applying for a job as well as a selection process that involved an interview to be able to work within a team.

What did the participants do?

Participants were divided into two groups and were essentially running the experience with staff support in a mentoring capacity.

They developed team roles such as Team Leader, Quality control and allocated these roles among themselves based on their skillsets or areas that they wanted to work on.


Some of the practical tasks included – mail outs, researching articles for Northcott staff newsletter, printing and organising expo resources and materials, preparing resources for INNOV8 to a quality standard (printing, laminating, organising), creating draft designs of logo for Experience Tasker.

They are also in the process of re-designing a local business’ menu to make it more Disability friendly by applying easy English techniques and are consulting with Northcott Therapy staff on this.

How has the program helped?

The program has helped participants empower their growth mindset, agility, skills and practical experience to embrace work and life opportunities.

Waldo and Tracey who were a part of the Experience Tasker group 1, learnt to do many admin tasks. Some of these included laminating, filing, organising files and folders and managing tight deadlines. They also created many posters and flyers for the Casula office events such as Christmas party and Bunnings Barbeque.

For Tracey, the program helped her gain a better insight about her abilities.

“I was elected into the leadership team by the others I found through the leadership team that I had the skills in leading a team and delegating tasks,” said Tracey.

Shruthi and Haydon, were both a part of Experience Taskers group 2. Together, they formed a part of the leadership team which was voted for by their teammates. Through the responsibility they both found the skills and courage to lead a team and delegate tasks to other group members.

“We would like to thank NSW Government, Northcott staff and managers and TAFE NSW in giving us the opportunity to participate in this work experience. We have learned so much during this journey,” said Shruthi and Haydon.

The success of this experience has been huge on James and Denis. James has started working 4 to 5 days a week and willing to upskill through a TAFE course. Denis has also recently gained a part-time opportunity through open employment. His mother Angela, couldn’t be more proud.

“Before Northcott, he was shy and could only mingle with relatives. His disability put him so much behind. Ever since he started with Northcott, he has gained so much confidence, he talks to more people, he can catch public transport by himself, help around the house. I am extremely happy.” says Angela, Denis’s mother.

We would like to congratulate all the graduates on your hard work and achievement. We are all very proud of you. We can’t wait hear all the wonderful things you all achieve in the future.

We’re excited that the Experience Tasker program will continue as NEXT, thanks to a Citi Foundation grant that will help Northcott expand the program to other centres in metropolitan Sydney beside Casula. With Citi Foundation’s support, NEXT will empower more school leavers with disability to gain the skills required to transition to their next life stage.

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If you have any questions, please speak to your Service Manager, Service Coordinator or call us on 1800 818 286.