Because Georgette has a history of violence, can be very difficult to understand, has 1:1 support because of her behaviour and is never left unsupervised and will eat anything, any time anywhere people seem not to expect her to do much in her life. They are wrong…..


Georgette has a history of violence, can be very difficult to understand, has 1:1 support because of her behaviour and is never left unsupervised and will eat any thing, any time, any where. She really likes shredding though. So we sat down with mum and Georgettes sister and talked about Georgette doing some volunteer work shredding in a local federal member of parliaments office.

We already had a good connection with the member and had proven that we knew what we were doing so they thought the idea of someone volunteering in their office was just great. We were able to tell mum and Georgettes sister some stories and how Georgette loved shredding, was able to do it for extended periods and was competent at it. There was some definite reluctance, Georgette was over 40, had never had a days work and had extreme behaviours. These worries over come by our continuing to listen to concerns and having conversations, by putting in place safeguards, planning and doing what we said we would do when we said we would do it.

Mum and Georgette went shopping for office clothes, went to a hairdresser, manicurist and got some new office shoes. When all of the preparation work was in place, the right staff identified, visits to the suburb where the office is (just up the road from where Georgette lived so it wasn’t that new), meeting her work mates, getting the public transport right and many other bits and pieces that go towards getting the right fit were complete, Georgette started her first day ever of having a work role. You won’t be surprised to know that we were hoping for the best but prepared for all outcomes. We know that with Georgette tiny little seemingly insignificant things can lead to major meltdowns.

Complete success is what happened. Georgette settled quickly into a pattern of calmly and competently shredding all of the paper that needed shredding, wished people good morning, asked how was your week end and all of the other traditional normal interactions between office staff. When she finished work she said good bye and see you next week.

The feed back from home was fantastic. Georgettes father had always thought she was capable of more than she was doing and this proved it. Ecstatic is one word that describes how the family felt. Georgette sleeps very well the night before work, gets up and has a pleasant morning having breakfast and getting ready for work in her own time. We set the start time so that Georgette had enough time in the morning to get ready yet not be sitting around too long waiting. She loves
catching the bus to work and is beginning to recognise her fellow passengers.

Georgette was invited to the office Christmas party; and we were worried. A wild night of music, food and beverage: a typical office party. Once again, we hoped for the best and prepared for all out comes. Georgette absolutely loved it!!! Looked terrific, said hello to people, was welcomed into groups and conversations. Did not try to eat more food than anyone else (this was our biggest concern) and was quite comfortable with the noise, crowd and heat. She lasted about 40 minutes and then left.

Being in the right place, with the right support doing something that makes sense to do, being with people who are engaging, being liked and sharing your ambitions with the right people doing the right thinking, planning and preparation works; and can end in a party.