‘Brewing up positive change at the Brewhouse’
Offering work to Kyle, a young man with autism and dyslexia, has made a positive change to the whole team at the Queenscliff Brewhouse. As manager of the Brewhouse, Deb is always looking out for good employees who have a passion for working in hospitality and who are willing to start a journey in an industry that requires real commitment. “You can’t mistake Kyle’s enthusiasm, it’s infectious!” says Deb, “we’re keen to look everywhere for the people who have a passion”.
Kyle was introduced to Deb through the Ticket to Work network in Geelong and the Passport to Employment program. She knew that through the process he had good support to help him transition smoothly into a role as a Chef’s assistant. “Ticket to Work is just so supportive, we know where we stand, who needs what, and who you go to for support”, she says, “it made it a really easy way to throw yourself a little bit into the deep end.”
“A few people on our team were worried that he might require too much support” says Deb, “but my experience is we all become so much better when we do challenge ourselves, when we do decide to look outside the box.” Giving Kyle the opportunity to work at the Brewhouse was something that Deb considers a terrific ‘health check’ for the business and prompted them to review many of their procedures. Rather than doing things the same way, she says it “made us all stop and think about what we did and how we did it”.
Deb feels that having Kyle join the team has contributed to everyone’s ability to communicate with each other, especially in the kitchen. Her approach with Kyle was to “make sure the communication was very clear, if Kyle was having difficulty he knew exactly who to go to and how to go about it, really analysing and making sure that we had constant checks from a communication point of view”. The effect, according to Deb, has been really calming in the kitchen and everyone is more mindful of how they treat each other. “Kyle has calmed down the team, it’s not so manic; it’s a little bit more ‘chill’”, she says.