A father and son have reached career milestones after years of raising awareness about employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Waste Management Coordinator Keith Rickman will retire after more than 50 years with the City of Stirling later this year.
His son Scott is celebrating his 15th birthday with disability service provider Workpower and working in a packaging warehouse in Belmont.
Mr. Rickman was instrumental in getting Workpower involved in running the Balcatta Recycling Center, employing people with disabilities to work at the tip store since 2016.
He said it was important for companies to be more aware of the employment of people with disabilities and greater involvement of local and state governments.
âI think companies don’t understand the big picture and they think everything is hard work and they are concerned about responsibility,â he said.
âThis is a proven example here that it can be done and that there is work for everyone.
âIt doesn’t matter what that job is, it could be putting nuts on bolts or putting stuff on Gatorade boots.
“You’re going to buy a bottle of Gatorade, you’ll never believe Scott put the sticker on it and that’s one of his job.”
The partnership with Workpower at the Balcatta Recycling Center has inspired other local governments, including the Mindarie Regional Council.
âWe had people from all over Australia who came inâ¦ it was the first local government, I believe, to have a tip shop going to a disability service provider,â Mr.
Mr. Rickman was also named the 2021 Waste Champion at the WasteSorted Awards.
âMy time with City of Stirling and the longevity of it all has rubbed off on Scott,â he said.
âI know he loves the job. He doesn’t like to stay at home, he’s definitely an outgoing person.
About 18% of Australians suffer from some form of disability, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.