How Chris overcame his obstacles to work

When Chris Tregea was diagnosed with a life altering condition at 33, he didn’t know where to begin with finding suitable work. The business he was working for closed down, and after a few months of unemployment he decided it was time to ask for help. Now he is enjoying full-time work at a company that is a perfect match.

Chris’ manager Paul said that he has seen a noticeable change in Chris since he first started at Greenway Turf Solutions (GTS).

“Initially when we were approached by Natalie at Mylestones Employment, we weren’t looking for a new team member. We created a position for Chris based on what we thought the business would need in the future. There was no reason why he couldn’t do the work, so I said let’s get him on board and see what he can do.

“Chris started off doing some graphics and IT work for us, and around the same time our Bookkeeper left, so we asked Chris if he’d like to do the bookkeeping side of things. We taught him how to use the accounting software and now he handles our bookkeeping,” explained Paul.

“Plus he has built our Lawn Pride online store, which has been running successfully for a year now; he’s really contributed to the business.

“He seems a lot more positive now. He’s having a joke, laughing and talking to everyone. He even initiated a footy comp with us and I think a year ago he wouldn’t have done that.

“If you give people a chance and give them the space to flourish and grow, quite often they will.”

Chris explained that having a job is the best thing for keeping active, mentally and physically.

“The more I do the better. Sitting at home is not a good option. Doing something is better than sitting around being depressed,” said Chris.

“I was diagnosed in 2013 with Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), a genetic neuro-degenerative disease. It’s a condition where my mobility gradually deteriorates to the point where I will eventually lose the ability to walk,” explained Chris.

“At the time I was working for a company that later closed down, so I was off work for a couple of months.

“Originally I didn’t look for a new job. I was a bit down in the dumps, but then I thought okay well I’ve got this condition so maybe there is someone out there who can help me.”

“I know it’s the same for a lot of people out there. You’ve got to ask for help. Most people don’t want to, but you’ve got to.”

Chris reached out to Mylestones Employment and he started working with Natalie Searson, a Job Development Officer at Mylestones, to find work. After talking through Chris’ skills and experience, Natalie found an opportunity at Greenway Turf Solutions where Chris has now been working for two years. 

“I just looked online for companies or agencies that helped people with disabilities, and Mylestones Employment deals with a whole range of people with physical and mental disabilities, injuries, mental illnesses, everything,” said Chris.

“Natalie met with me and we talked through my abilities and what sort of work I’d like to do. She matched my experience and skills with GTS.

“I started off part-time doing 10 hours a week, and now I am now working 32 hours a week.”

Natalie said that Chris was keen to use his skills and experience to get back into the work force, but he didn’t know where to start.

“Chris had experience in multimedia and IT from university, and his previous job was in irrigation, so I researched some companies where he could use those skills and was successful in placing him at Greenway Turf Solutions (GTS).  

“Chris has kept me updated on how things are going along the way. At Mylestones, we know how important it is to provide ongoing support. Our main goal is to maintain the relationships we have and build trust so people feel they can talk openly to us and we can make sure they succeed.

“It’s fantastic that we could find Chris a job that he enjoys and that he is able to use his expertise in his field, because that was so important to him.”

If you’re ready to ask for help and find a job that suits you, reach out today at 1300 635 627