A safe and accessible city

Employees Ari, Frazer and Matt explain how Jigsaw makes working with a disability easier

We're working with organisations to increase employment opportunities for people with disability

Group shot - Frazer, Ari and Matt

As part of our Inclusion (Disability) Action Plan 2021 – 2025 we’ve partnered with organisations to increase employment opportunities for people with disability.

We spoke to 3 of our part-time colleagues who have come to us through Jigsaw about their experiences in work and life:

  • Ari Nassiokas and Matt Bird, Geographic Information System assistants in Urban Analytics
  • Frazer Bayles, HR assistant in People and Culture

Settling into the workplace together

Matt: I’m a geographic information system assistant, so I draw plans made by surveyors in our software system. I label relevant information floor by floor until I complete a building and then an entire block. Ari works in the same team and sits next to me which is nice – I'm able to explain things which solidifies my learning.

Ari: I work with Matt as a geographic information system assistant, and our team is building a 3D model of the city. Surveyors went to every division in the building collecting data floor by floor. The results help us monitor our progress towards Sustainable Sydney 2030 – 2050 Continuing the Vision and support economic, social, cultural and environmental strategies to inform land use planning and development.

We cut, split and merge different rooms on different floor plans. Working on the same team as Matt has made things a lot easier!

Frazer: I’m a part time HR assistant in the human resources team. I work on the data and the system processes for our payroll system. I also check and update profiles and am responsible for payroll audits.

Ari and Matt have helped me settle into the new role much more easily. I’ve created a group chat on Teams so we can communicate, and we have lunch together.

Building a more inclusive workplace with the help of Jigsaw

Matt: I had a mental health diagnosis in the past couple of years and was introduced to Jigsaw. I was interested in the job ready skills offered and an office environment. During my first meeting, Jigsaw mentioned the competencies required to work in an office and soon I graduated from being an unpaid trainee to a paid trainee.

Ari: I was referred to Jigsaw by my high school principal. I looked at the website, made some enquiries and started a trial. What made me join was Jigsaw’s values and what it teaches you along the way.

Frazer: A teacher in high school suggested Jigsaw. I started as a trainee after a few years, and then became a paid trainee.

Learning new skills and seeing your contribution come to life

Matt: I’ve learnt that the whole team is required to complete the section of work that I’m doing now. This data is then used to help the fire department with evacuation measures and other problems that might come up. This data also shows how many people are coming in and out of the city, to help with resource planning. I’ve liked working in the city and have also enjoyed seeing my contribution to the team map.

Ari: I’ve learnt how to create new rooms using our software program and how to work with my team to complete tasks and participate in meetings for project updates. I’ve enjoyed learning brand-new tasks – it gives me something completely different to do.

Frazer: I’ve learnt a lot of new things including how to merge profiles together on our internal system. The team I work with is super friendly and if I’m stuck on something I can always ask for help. I’ve enjoyed getting better at my computer skills, learning new tasks and exploring the city together on our lunch break.

Our shared love for music and movies

Ari: We’re in the first stages of creating a band – I'll be on acoustic guitar; Matt plays electric guitar and Frazer will be our producer. I’m a big lover of music – I just bought Subtract by Ed Sheeran on CD. Otherwise, I love listening to music. I also love watching movies – a couple of my favourites are The Karate Kid and Grown Ups. I also love reading books, I am currently read Jurassic World: The Lost World.

Frazer: Outside of work, I’ve been a volunteer with Meals and Wheels for 6 years. It’s something I really enjoy. I often catch up with my social group, Two Shoes network. We enjoy skate boarding, go karting and camping. On one of these camps, I had the opportunity to do a tandem skydive which I have done twice.

Matt: In my spare time I love watching YouTube channels and reviews. My favourite channels are Perri Nemiroff, Beyond the Trailer and Kermode and Mayo's Take. I also love watching movies. I’ve created a movie group with 5 people from Jigsaw and the last movie we watched was Indiana Jones.

People with disability can do good work, if given the chance

Matt: I would like people to understand that people with a disability know what support they need to function in a working environment. I worked with the connect team on a disability support plan that detailed everything we needed to consider so that I could train for office work effectively.

Ari: There are a lot of misconceptions about people with disability. Given my disability is invisible others might see me as an unskilled worker, think I don’t fit in or that I'm less productive than people that don’t have a disability, which isn’t true.

Frazer: Disabilities are very diverse. Some people have physical problems, others have trouble learning or have speech difficulties. A little bit of patience goes a long way to making us feel included.

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Published 31 July 2023