Day 15: Ellen

Ellen Maher works as an office assistant for Coates Hire at their head office in Mascot. Over two and a half years she has learnt a range of new skills and has become a valuable member of the team.
Day 15: Ellen thumbnail.

What is your job?

I work as an office assistant for Coates Hire at head office in Mascot. I do everything. I go around to every department. They [my colleagues] like to say good morning to me. I fill up the coffee beans, I do the dishwashers, I clean the kitchen, I do the mail. I put the paper in the photocopiers. And then at 12 o’clock I have my lunch. I clean the copy machines and then I do accounts payable and scanning receipts for other people. With the filing I have to put everything in alphabetical order. I’ve got my own timetable at my desk. Having a list helps me quite a lot. It tells me what’s next, and what’s after. 

How long have you done your job for?

Nearly two-and-a-half years.

What are some things you love about your job?

My favourite things to do are scanning and shredding. Shredding is my favourite. I like to shred. I shred very important things they don’t need. I also like my pay and wearing nice clothes to work.

I just love my job so much. I like seeing people and they just like me. I’m happy every time I come to work.

How do people at work support you?

They show me any new jobs. They make it easy to ask questions when I’m not sure of something. They praise me when I do a good job and let me know in a supportive and positive way if there is something I need to improve on. They are patient with me. My co-workers are very friendly, and I know I’m part of the Coates Hire family.

What are some of the things you have learned in your job?

How to do all my tasks. Shred. Deliver mail to different departments. Know people’s names. I have also learnt what behaviour is okay and not okay in a workplace. I have to use good manners. I have to stop and listen to what people have to say to me. I also learnt how to do filing. 

How have you stayed connected to your community last year? 

When I couldn’t come to work, I was a bit devastated at first. I missed everyone every day. It was very hard not to go back to work. We stayed in touch through a Coates Hire Facebook page called WorkPlace when I couldn’t go to work. When I could come back, I was very excited because everything had changed. New people had come, and I had to get to know their names. 

I also chatted to my friends through Facetime on Messenger. My Personal Trainer trained me in a park when the gym closed. I did some Zoom meetings with my friends for Up!Club on the weekends.

What really kept me connected was all the Up!Club ‘Staying Connected’ Zoom sessions I did! Sometimes I did two a day when I was off work for three months. I met heaps of new people in the sessions and have made some lovely friends. Especially Sam!!!

I stayed connected with my friends at gymnastics as well. And I did Girl Guides on Friday nights. We did that on Zoom when COVID was going, but we came back to the guide hall. It was quite hard, but you can use your phone as well, you can contact people if they want to have a catch-up. It made me feel a bit better. 

What has been hard about this last year?

Not being able to go to work. Not being able to have a big 21st. Not being able to represent my country at the World Trisome Games in Turkey. Not being able to be a bridesmaid at my cousin’s wedding in America. Not being able to train in gymnastics and see my friends.

What are some of the good things you contribute to your community?

Help at Girl Guides as a Guide Unit Helper. Positive attitude towards all things I do. I love trying new things.

What makes you feel connected with people in your community?

Going to the gym at Fernwood with my personal trainer. Socialising with them. Attending Bus Stop Films. Walking to the station each day and seeing the same people. Attending Up!Club sessions online and I’m hoping to attend more face-to-face events this year.

What are some of the things you do to be connected with people?

I get involved in activities I’m interested in and make and maintain connections and friendships. I have my personal training friends, my gymnastics friends, my Bus Stop Films friends, and I also have my old school friends. I love spending time with my family too.

Yvette Jones-Gardiner, Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer and Ellen’s supervisor, Coates Hire Head Office

Ellen has lifted the morale within the office, and it has been such a beautiful journey to watch as she formed part of the Coates Hire team.

To see Ellen blossom from somebody young and not long out of school into an accomplished Office Assistant has been a humbling experience for me.  To watch her grow and develop to where she is today, it is a real credit to Ellen. 

Ellen is our first employee with an intellectual disability. Through the help of Jobsupport we went on the journey together, and still to this day have a close working relationship to ensure Ellen is successful.

It’s such a joy to have Ellen around. To make a difference to someone growing and developing and to support her to be part of the workforce is brilliant. It’s not only rewarding for Ellen, but it’s also rewarding for all of us at Coates Hire.