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Tristan at work

34-year-old father Tristan Maloney has defied the odds after being told by Doctors five years ago that he had broken his neck and wouldn’t be able to walk again or return to work.

“I broke four vertebrae in my neck and have rods holding it together,” Tristan said.

This meant that Tristan was unable to work while he was recovering and it sent him into a bad state of depression.

“I’m not the kind of person who can just sit around. I wasn’t going to just sit there on a disability pension,” Tristan said.

“I felt good when I was going to work and getting that pay cheque at the end of the week. For four long years of not getting that – it really put me down in the dumps. I didn’t think I could do anything. I felt useless, I was broken, I thought nobody was going to want me.”

Determined to return to the workforce, Tristan approached Centrelink and requested to be placed with Disability Employment Services (DES) provider ETC.

“ETC understood what my abilities were and made sure I was work ready. They provided me with interview clothes, transportation, a mobile phone and fuel vouchers to get to work. My Jobs Advisor Debbie Mowle was a wonderful lady – she was constantly listening to my problems and helping to push me in the right direction,” he said.

Tristan went on to complete a Certificate III in Individual Support so that he could work in the Disability and Home Care industry.

“I now work as a Support Worker for Macleay Community Gateway. I absolutely love my job and the wide range of people that I can help. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

“Over the past six months I’ve shown my dedication, I’ve worked hard and proved that I actually want to be here. Now I am one of the most sought after NDIS support workers. I’m not putting these tickets on myself, I’ve been given this feedback from my management.”

“The Doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to walk again and look here I am standing. They told me I can’t work. Well I’m proud to have proven them wrong.”

Tristan is now thriving and said it was great being able to support his family financially and that he was proud of himself.

“I’m getting on top of my bills and I can give my kids things that they had missed out on in the past – like going out for takeaway and treats,” Tristan said.

“I’d just really like to thank ETC, if it wasn’t for their help, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

ETC can help you to find meaningful work that supports your injury, illness or disability via our Disability Employment Services


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