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Charlotte's story

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‘Cooking up a career’

Charlotte got her first taste of work in 2018 at Two Before Ten Café while in year 12. This after school job is where she brewed her love for food and coffee. The early participation in work has opened more employment doors for Charlotte. She is now 20 years old and has two jobs. One of her roles is at the ACT Down Syndrome Association (DSA) and the other is at the Eastlakes Football Club, where she has further developed her coffee making skills.

Charlotte loves the inclusive environment at DSA. She got the job through applying online, where she submitted an expression of interest form and went through the recruitment process until she was selected as the top candidate. She started in July 2020, working every Thursday, where she takes care of a variety of tasks from answering phones, delivering mail, though to plant watering, badge making and working on other exciting community projects.

DSA have recently launched a beautiful garden in collaboration with other local businesses. The garden has a shelter with books, creating a space where people can relax and read books. Charlotte was involved in building and maintaining the garden and enjoys spending time there.

When asked what she likes most about her job “making my coworkers Gemma and Shannon happy” says Charlotte.  

In her other role at the Eastlakes Football Club, she works on Fridays, making coffees, serving food and providing customer service. “Working is hospitality is never dull, every day is different” says her mum Lynda. Charlotte comes home and beams to her mum Lynda about how many coffees she makes in a day.

“One of my customers calls me a legend” says Charlotte.

She likes to spend the money she earns on going to cafes and movies with her friends, buying clothes and going to the gym. The other things that make Charlotte happy in life is taking part in swimming and bowling with Special Olympics Greater Canberra. She also enjoys singing and dancing. When asked what kind of dancing she likes the best, Charlotte says “I like party dancing”. The best kind of dancing.

Charlotte really loves cooking. Eggs are her favorite ingredient to work with, and she makes a great omelette. She gives her dishes a ‘Charlotte twist’ and often cooks for her best friend Olivia.

Charlotte has progressed into a diverse and meaningful working life since finishing school. She has an active social life and loves working in hospitality, using her passion for cooking and coffee. She is attending cooking classes and is looking at further hospitality training to explore her flair for cooking.