Tales from Two: Granit and Tony

By Granit Haliti, Tony Petrin and Luisa Bustos, 28 June 2019 , Comments

Northcott support workers, Granit and Tony have a lot in common. They’re both former Northcott customers; they both love socialising and going out; and they’re both very passionate about their jobs and advocating for people with disability. Clearly the best of mates with a soft spot for each other’s unique qualities, Granit and Tony share what makes their friendship – in and out of work – so special.

Granit: I first met Tony when I began my work placement at Northcott’s Everyday Life Skills program in Parramatta. I had seen him around from my time at Northcott Vocational Skills but it was during my placement that I really got to know him. I was a little nervous as the placement was something that I had never done before. It was really reassuring coming into a program where Tony was fully accepted and was able to support me settling in.

Tony and I both have cerebral palsy and we understand the challenges each other faces. Tony was a great support to me during my placement. When that was over I applied for a position as a Northcott support worker and I GOT IT!

Tony and I are similar in a lot of ways. We are both social people’ love to go out and explore new places; love being active; and mostly we love what we do at Northcott and have a real passion for advocating for people with disability.

Tony is passionate in all that he does here. He is creative and fun to work with. He is always coming up with ideas and always inspiring us to be better for our customers.

We work together twice a week, sometimes more. It’s great working him and having someone who understands and relates fully to the challenges we both face. We can support and encourage each other to overcome barriers. Tony has so much energy and is always positive so it is always fun working with him. Some would say we are the terrible two, but don’t listen to them!

I have so many great memories with Tony, but what really stands out to me is when we both get to work together with the customers to support them to achieve new goals – such as when the customers decided they really wanted to give back to the farmers struggling with the drought. We were able to support them to run an awesome fundraiser that raised $500! This was really rewarding for us and felt great to be part of the customers’ success.

People who don’t know Tony should take some time to get to know him. He has great passion for working with people with disability. He is inspiring and hardworking and I’m grateful to have such a great mate to work with.

Tony: I first met Granit when I was volunteering at Northcott’s Everyday Life Skills service and Granit was in the Vocational Skills (formerly Transition to Work) program. We met each other in the courtyard at lunchtime. I knew then we would be good friends because we had a lot in common. Granit wanted to work in Everyday Life Skills and so did I. From then on, we just really got along well.

My first impressions of Granit were that he seemed to be a very determined person and someone who was easy to get along with and approachable. I felt that we found common ground within our disability and that we could share our experiences with each other.

Granit and I love going away together on weekends. With friends, we’ve been to places like Kangaroo Valley and out for bushwalks. We also like to hang out after work, chat about life over a beer or coffee, party together at pubs, or hang at home and have BBQs. Occasionally we ‘shoot some hoops’ at the new Parramatta Bankwest Stadium basketball courts. I’ve also been to one of Granit’s soccer games to cheer him on.

Working together has been pretty fun. We often exchange banter during work as Granit is easy to get along with. When working with him, I see that he really cares for the customer that he works with. Granit has a good heart and a great sense of humour. He goes the extra mile to make customers have a great day at Northcott.

When he was applying for the support worker position, Granit would say, “It’s taking so long”. I felt like I could reassure him as I had been through the same process. I kind of felt like a big brother, coaching him through those thoughts. Seeing him excelling at his role now really makes me think that he will go far in the Health and Community Service industry.

As friends, the most memorable thing I’ve done with Granit was horse riding down through the Megalong Valley. As colleagues, the most memorable moment I’ve had was when he finally got the job in the Everyday Life Skills program. I was so happy for him and happy that I would get to work alongside my new mate. Another memorable time was when we worked together for an Everyday Life Skills Halloween event where Granit was dressed as a Zombie and I was dressed as the Grim Reaper.

Granit is funny with a wicked sense of humour. He is not good at soccer (only joking, he is really great). He loves his soccer with a passion and will post, every single day, about soccer, on his Instagram. He brings that energy and passion into work at Northcott, which endears him to the customers and makes for a great support worker. I really like his ‘never give up’ attitude and the courage that he brings to the program and the community.

Related content

Interested in a job as a support worker like Tony and Granit? Read about why Wilmot loves his role with Northcott.

Find out about Tony’s transition from Northcott customer to Northcott staff member.

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