Lucy Kopp – Australian Public Service, Canberra.

Lucy came to Youth Options wanting to build on her 3 years of employment where she worked in administration roles including for an NDIS plan manager. She had the courage to know she wanted a role that was a better fit for her and engaged our career development capacity building services to build her confidence and skills to achieve this. We were inspired by Lucy’s attention to detail, diligence, customer service skills, and her commitment to dedicate herself to make a valued contribution to her future employers.

We matched her to our career development mentor who developed deep insights into Lucy as a person in order to empower her to build her confidence and skills to identify and successfully apply for roles that aligned to her career aspirations. They did this through personality quizzes, career planning, and refining her interview skills alongside another mentee who was also going through the same process as a shared learning experience.

During this time Lucy was successful in her application for a short-term contract in an administration role at the Hutt Street Centre in the Adelaide CBD. Our service empowered her with the confidence and skills to advocate for an extension of her role which she succeeded in. Her short-term contract was extended, twice, such was the extent to which the organisation valued her work.

Lucy’s self-confidence increased so much so she realised it was time to aim higher and she successfully applied for a full time administration role in the Australian Public Service in Canberra through the Aurora program. Since May 2023 she has been working as a valued member of her team and her manager has praised her work and has indicated they will support the extension of Lucy’s employment beyond the program.

Lucy has identified her role has enabled her to learn valuable project and program management skills, grow in confidence, and she is keen to continue to develop her networking skills professionally and personally.

We are so very proud of Lucy over the 4 months she was in our service and the inspiring example she sets. We wish her every success in her career!

Lucy has this to stay about her experience of her career development mentor:

I love how he believes in me and other clients. He has already shown me what I am capable of doing in the workplace. He makes me believe in myself! He takes the time to get to know me. He already knows so much. I like how he listens and encourages and doesn’t let my disability stop me from achieving what I want in my life, and that includes employment. He is super friendly and approachable and really good with people!
 



Chris Roberts

Chris came to our service in November 2020 wanting to gain his driver’s licence and to find a career pathway that was a great fit for him and not just any job he could get. Youth Options mentors supported Chris to complete his night time driving hours and to continue building his driving skills in readiness to sit a driving test. They also empowered Chris to identify that a career path in welding would be a great fit for him.

Over 14 months in our capacity building service, Chris built his driving skills, his welding skills, and his employability skills. Towards the end of this capacity building phase, his career development mentor also supported him to complete two work experiences, develop his job interview skills, and to sit two job interviews. During this time he also gained his driver’s licence, which is often a requirement of employment.

His career development mentor then provided transition support and empowered him to gain his first ever job, working full time at Saxon’s Engineering at Lonsdale as a non qualified welder. He received individualised support during his probation from Youth Options in partnership with his other NDIS supports. This approach paid off and he worked casually for Saxon’s for 9 months to support the company to meet a welding contract. Chris received outstanding feedback about the quality of his welding which was viewed as superior to colleagues at Saxon’s for some two decades!

After the casual employment ended with the fulfillment of the welding contract, Chris re-entered our career development services where we again empowered him to gain employment at Allin Towbars in November 2022, some two years after we began working with him. Since May 2023, Chris has been employed as a full time welder producing 4WD accessories. He is also undertaking an apprenticeship with them to gain a formal qualification in welding and to cement his place as an integral part of their team.

We are very proud of Chris and wish him the very best with his welding career.
 



Travel Training

Tram
Bus
Train

Empowering Independence – Travel Training Program for NDIS Participants

Our individualised capacity building travel training program is designed to empower NDIS participants to be more independent, confident, and safe when traveling on their own. By building their skills to use public transport, they can save their NDIS funding for other capacity-building services to further enhance their independence.

About the Program

Our program offers twice-weekly, 13-week individualised travel training sessions, where participants travel as a team to the CBD and destination hubs in northern, southern, eastern, and western metropolitan Adelaide. In a supportive and social small-group environment, participants will:

  • Plan Trips Independently: Learn how to organise a trip to any part of metropolitan Adelaide using buses, trains, and trams;
  • Prepare for Travel: Understand when to pack which essential items for different weather conditions and travel lengths such as food, drinks, clothing, house keys, chargers, etc;
  • Ensure Safety: Develop strategies to stay safe, including what to do in emergencies;
  • Manage Metro Cards: Learn to purchase, use, and recharge Adelaide Metro cards;
  • Navigate Destinations: Gain skills and confidence to walk around unfamiliar places without getting lost;
  • Create Personal Maps: Build a personalised map of locations they have visited for future reference.

Financial Impact

Our program not only empowers participants to travel independently but can also enable significant savings to NDIS plans. By reducing the need for paid transport services, participants can redirect their NDIS funds towards other capacity-building supports to further achieve greater independence.

Collectively, our graduates have currently saved $102,000 a year.*

This is equivalent to 1500 hours of extra capacity building services per year.**

*Approximately based on individualised allocated NDIS funding.

**Based on current 1:1 capacity building NDIS rates.

Sam Alexander

Sam is a NDIS Youth Mentor in the YO Makerspace. Sam has completed his Diploma in Live Production and Technical services and a Certificate 3 in Individual Support. Sam has a wide range of skills that include Woodwork, IT Skills, 3d Printing, CNC knowledge and Horticulture. Sam has worked in a variety of fields including working on film sets and in a theatre workshop. Sam is passionate about empowering young people’s creativity and providing mentorship and guidance to help them realise their goals. 



Rod McRedmond

Rod has been a volunteer at Youth Options since 2022 and has been working with our participants in the workshop. He enjoys helping in this capacity and has made many new friends.
Rod has always loved aviation and worked for 36 years as senior pilot for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and prior to this was in the Royal Australian Air Force for 7 years.
He still holds rank as a Flight Lieutenant with the Australian Air Force Cadets where he spends Friday evenings teaching aviation subjects and supervising Flight Simulator lessons.



David Dew

David is a youth mentor helping to facilitate and mentor young people within the YO MakerSpace NDIS program. David completed his Diploma in Youth Work from Open Colleges after over 25 years of customer service experience working within the different areas in the plumbing trade sector. David proudly served his country in the Australian armed services for 10 years domestically and abroad in a variety of roles. David’s passion lays with working and advocating with young people and individuals from different backgrounds helping them to find pathways to their goals and to negate barriers along their journey.