Carol, who lives with multiple health conditions, excels in management role at Port Lincoln car wash

Carol has spent a huge part of her working life in an industry that changes the lives of people living with a disability. Carol herself is on the Disability Support Pension due to injuries and unsuccessful operations. She also lives with 24 food and medical allergies and has battled depression and anxiety.

Whilst many would see such physical and mental limitations as a barrier to employment, Carol’s tenacity, trustworthiness and loyalty has enabled her to stay in ongoing employment for almost two decades. In 2017, when Carol decided to move on from a role, she was in for eight years, she came across WISE Employment in Port Lincoln.

“I finished up at my last job and tried to find another role that would fulfil me. It wasn’t until I met with Centrelink that they recommended WISE Employment. It was there I met Nadine, who still supports me today and after a few interviews with various companies, I finally found a great job with Car Spa,” said Carol.

At Car Spa, Carol is responsible for booking and washing the cars, managing the petty cash and office admin. In her previous role, she supervised cleaners working on a number of buildings and gardens; it was Carol’s brainwave to extend that offering to community service cars, such as hospital vans and medical and health support vehicles. As such, starting a new role with Car Spa was a genuine passion and a role Carol took on with ease.

“I love cleaning cars, it’s my favourite part of the job. Meeting new customers and seeing their faces once their cars are clean and shiny really makes my day. I work with nice people and I have an excellent boss who thanks me for my work,” explained Carol.

Carol’s employer is Derek, a man who has enjoyed having Carol on board for her work ethic and enthusiasm. He also believes that employers should open their minds and hearts to those living with a disability.

“I really enjoy watching Carol’s dedication to the work and how she deals with customers. All our customers love her. We made her Manager earlier in the year and along with our support, it’s good to see that she continues to have Nadine from WISE visiting her weekly.

This is the first time that I have employed someone living with a disability for an ongoing role. I would encourage other small businesses to give it a go. People might think they’re not up to the job, but it’s worth trying a person out. Carol is very clever and based on my experience, also loyal,” explained Derek.

Working at Car Spa and with Derek has been a rewarding experience for Carol. She is much happier, has come out of her depression and her confidence has grown. The financial stability has equally enabled Carol and her husband to be out and about and do more together.

“Trevor and I go to Venus Bay twice a year now and we can also travel to Whyalla to see my two granddaughters and grandson more. They do wonders for my soul; in fact yesterday we took them to mini golf and the movies,” explained Carol with a smile.

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Five interesting facts about Carol:

  1. She loves to go fishing
  2. On her bucket list is to see her husband Trevor take the grandkids kayaking
  3. Her hidden talent is crosswords and gardening
  4. Carol’s hooked on playing tablet games
  5. Guilty pleasure? Watching shows Ninja Warriors and Flip or Flop


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