Robbie takes the lead at Coles

Mylestones know that given the right opportunities and support, anyone can reach their goals; Robbie is a real-life example of just that! After successfully developing a clear career pathway, his investment in his long-term career plan is paying dividends for both himself and his employer of nine years, Coles.  

Prior to joining Mylestones, Robbie, who is autistic, experienced a number of setbacks while working with providers who weren’t giving him the support and resources he needed to pursue his chosen career.  

In 2019 Robbie made the switch to Mylestones, due to their reputation for reliability, kindness, and commitment to supporting people with disabilities to become more independent, earn an income, and gain valuable life skills for the future.  

Upon joining Mylestones, Robbie sat down with Job Development Officer (JDO) Jess, who to this day continues to support Robbie, to discuss his options to ensure he remained on a learning pathway to achieves his career goals.  

“Jess goes above and beyond to support me, and I appreciate that type of relationship I have with her. Jess is in my circle of trust, and I know that I can depend on her,” said Robbie.  

One of Robbie’s goals was to obtain his driver’s license so he could gain the independence of driving himself to work. Thanks to his determination, commitment, and Jess’s support, Robbie successfully passed his test; and now drives to work every day. With Jess by his side, Robbie feels empowered to take on significant tasks, and face day-to-day challenges head on. When faced with roadblocks that seem unmovable, Jess has been there to lend a helping hand when needed, be it through in-person meetings or over the phone.  

Jess has coached Robbie and his managers at Coles around communication strategies and methods for neurodivergent, alongside focusing on leadership and problem-solving technique training with Robbie. It is with this support that Robbie has embarked on a learning pathway that not only bolstered his confidence but, enhanced his capacity to handle situations independently.  

These days, where Robbie previously would have called Jess to talk through work concerns, he now feels confident to communicate directly with his Coles Team Leader about issues as they arise. This shift in communication has empowered Robbie to manage work-related matters himself, which is a testament to the work Robbie and Jess have put in to develop his abilities, expand his skills and build his capacity.  

Since commencing with Mylestones, Robbie’s journey has been one of immense personal growth. Not only has he achieved his goal of getting his driver’s license, but he currently serves in a Coles Services In-Charge role, managing a team of four.  

“Robbie and I worked closely together on this. I provided assistance to help him complete his training modules including online leadership and teamwork training course. We worked with his managers to complete on-the-job training around professional development and communication, people skills, while ensuring we focus on any social concerns,” said JDO Jess. 

“I personally feel so proud of Robbie and the personal growth he has shown. He is so much more capable than he gives himself credit for,” Jess added.  

“Mylestones, and mainly Jess, have helped me so much to achieve this. Initially, I didn’t want to, but Jess advised me to take this career pathway – and I am so glad I did,” Robbie said.   

A typical day for Robbie, in his Coles Services In-Charge role, involves the morning recovery clean and printing off rosters, supporting teammates and planning and organising tasks to ensure the team functions smoothly even when he is not there. Robbie emphasizes that Coles provides an excellent environment for people with disabilities, and his positive experience has been a testament to the inclusive and supportive work environment they foster.  

“I like Coles. I find it is a good environment for people with disability,” said Robbie.  

“My current Area Manager has two kids with Autism, so he understands the journey, and he knows how to communicate with me. I get along really well with him” Robbie said.  

“{Robbie} loves being part of the Coles team, it’s like a second family to him and they genuinely care about him and his success within the organisation,” said Jess. 

Supported by Jess and the team at Mylestones, and working within an encouraging environment at Coles has motivated Robbie to embark on achieving his next career goal - moving into a Team Leader position, with further aspirations to follow his current Area Manager into a similar role.  Jess will continue to guide Robbie when he applies for these roles through assisting him to complete the necessary training.   

The impact the team at Mylestones have on Robbie by supporting him to pursue opportunities that expand his skills and knowledge, break down barriers and foster personal success has motivated him to take ownership of his journey. While he still relies on Jess whenever he needs it, Robbie aims to become more independent and autonomous in his decision making.  

“Vising Robbie is the highlight of my week. He lights up any room with his positive personality and is eager to learn and develop,” Jess said.  

Robbie firmly believes that there are always people willing to support and guide individuals on their journey, just as Jess and Mylestones have done for him. He encourages individuals with disabilities to pursue their dreams, even in the face of obstacles.  

“You should just go for it,” said Robbie.  

Coles Magazine with a photo of Robbie on the front