Dare to Ask | Breaking disability employment barriers

Complete video transcripts below: 

Pete: I'm a no-nonsense person, but I'm also very tolerant.


Interviewer: What do you do?

Pete: I look after Jeff Oldfield's of Oldfield Cardiology, development work. And I have about four employees, all told.

Interviewer: What does disability mean to you?

Pete: Having during my lifetime been in civil engineering since I was 19 years old, 20 years old, I have seen disability happen. I've seen accidents happen where people have had limbs torn away from them in the old days. And I've always felt sorry for them because when they tried to get back into the workplace they couldn't get back in. And I had a labor hire business where I had up to 300 employees working for me in Wollongong. Some of those people were disabled and they were joined the workforce without any problems at all, and I welcomed them.

Interviewer: Why do you hire people with disabilities?

Pete: Because if they were capable of doing the same job as somebody that didn't have the disability, why shouldn't they have employment?

Interviewer: Have you encountered any challenges?

Pete: We had all sorts of challenges, and at times I've had to dismiss the employee because they don't want to listen to what we want them to do, they're gonna do what they want to do, and unfortunately it doesn't work that way, but otherwise if they do the right thing, they stay, and we'll go through thick and thin to keep them.

Interviewer: Do you treat employees with a disability differently?

Pete: I don't recollect treating somebody with a disability any differently. They're human beings and they have their problems. And if their problems, if we can work around their problems with them, and then we can get them back to a normal life, they're fine. If they have a limp, they have a limp, whatever.

Interviewer: Why are some employers reluctant to hire someone with a disability?

Pete: Because they've got tickets on themselves. They will not come down into the real world. They're usually full of their own importance. I would suggest that they try it, because they will, I think they'll be very surprised what good service they'd get from Castle, because I've had excellent service from Castle and nothing but help, and they help the employee that we put on as well. We're all human beings, and these guys that we put on, need work, they need to be accepted in the community. And we do, and I recommend anybody else to do that, the same as us.

Interviewer: What does employment mean to someone with a disability?

Pete: I think it means everything because they can support, often they've got families, they can support their families. They can hold their head up high, and they can join in with the community as ordinary human beings, as we all are.


Learn more about how hiring a person with disability can of benefit to them, as well as your business.