House debates

Monday, 15 February 2021

Statements by Members

Indi Electorate: People with Disability

1:42 pm

Photo of Helen HainesHelen Haines (Indi, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

There are times when I'm so proud to share the story of a local hero in my electorate. Today, I commend Ms Jennifer Tait, who has dedicated her life to helping people with disabilities. Ms Tait has opened both a plan management and support company, called Blue Goose, and a social enterprise cafe, the Purple Chicken. These businesses create jobs for young adults with disabilities and help them to transition into open employment in a variety of industries right across the border region.

Many young adults with disabilities in our community are either unemployed or underemployed, and this is being addressed through the Purple Chicken cafe. The cafe employs up to 30 young adults, who learn hospitality, social employment, social skills, employment preparation and daily living skills to live more independently. The participants love their training at the cafe so much that they're often heard to say, 'I'm never leaving.' Currently, three young adults have moved into their own homes, nine have achieved jobs, four have progressed to further training at school or work placements, and six are going for their driver learner permits. Young adults such as Rhys, Shaun, Ray, Harry and Mitch are a true inspiration and are working hard to lead fulfilling lives with the support of many in their NDIS plans.

I commend Jen Tait and all involved in the Purple Chicken cafe but, mainly, all the incredible young adults who are benefiting from the opportunity this fantastic initiative provides.