The WA Disability Support Awards are run on an annual basis through National Disability Services. Each year sees more and more submissions and it is always a sold-out event. The purpose of the awards is to celebrate the significant contribution of individuals and teams in providing services to support people with disability to achieve their goals.
This year there were seven award categories. Forrest Personnel, and our participants, nominated two of our Employment Consultants, Donna Bastow (Bunbury) and Deb Franks (Collie), for the Excellence in Improving Employment Opportunities Award. This award recognises a person or team that has made a significant contribution in improving employment outcomes for a person with disability. This can include supporting a person with disability to secure meaningful and rewarding work, develop a micro-business, undertake work experience, or to develop the skills to work, find or keep a job.
Donna, Deb, the two staff members who nominated them, the two Forrest Personnel participants who nominated them as well as their support persons, are heading to the Disability Support Awards held at The Crown in coming Saturday 28 April 2018. We are simply amazed by the achievements of Donna and Deb and wish them the very best for an exciting and successful evening.
Donna Bastow’s career at Forrest Personnel started 20 years ago, on the 7th of March 1997, in the position of Job Coordinator. Donna has high end communication skills and an amazing ability to relate well with people with disability. Over the years Donna has worked tirelessly with many people with disability, health conditions or injury to obtain meaningful employment and many are still in their jobs today. Her impact on their lives has been significant and many call her friend due to the fact that she clearly cares about her clients and the outcomes they achieve to ensure their lives are enriched. Donna’s wealth of knowledge has seen her become Specialist Senior Employment Consultant where she trains Employment Consultants in assisting job seekers with high support needs and teaching the Employment Consultants how to relate to and work with clients in this cohort. Donna has also created, produced and runs a seven-week ‘Work Preparation Course’ for job seekers, which covers building self-esteem and confidence, goal setting, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, personal presentation skills, career development and financial planning, interview techniques, and a final mock formal interview which is conducted with two staff. On completion of the course, all participants receive a certificate of recognition and congratulations.
Deb is an Employment Consultant with Forrest Personnel and is based in the Collie office. Deb is a relatively new Employment Consultant with no previous Disability Employment Services experience. She comes from a background working with youth and has a Diploma of Youth and a Certificate IV in Community Services. Prior to starting with Forrest Personnel, Deb came second in the National Training Excellence Awards for her determination and ability to inspire young people. Deb herself is a person with a disability. As a young child she was subjected to third degree burns and is missing toes. At the age of 45 she went back to school and now holds five qualifications. She believes that, if she can do it, so can the people she helps. This is what inspires our clients most about Deb; her determination and ability to see the strengths in others that they can’t see in themselves. She shows people that it is never too late to learn.