Employ their Ability – Fay Jackson

Employ their Ability – Fay Jackson

I’m the General Manager of Inclusion
at Flourish Australia. I’ve been an advocate and activist
in mental health for 20 years. I used to be an artist. That’s what
I thought I was born to do. But when I was diagnosed
with my mental health issue, I was put on lithium. It caused these tremors in my hands and so I lost my fine motor skills. I lost my art as well as
getting this diagnosis. I needed to find
what else I could bring that was beautiful to this world. My job keeps me well, you know, because I’ve got meaning and purpose
and I have to keep going and I don’t have time
to be looking inwardly too much. It’s a wonderful thing to have
meaning and purpose in your life. I feel very blessed
and I’m very lucky. I’m the Chief Executive Officer
of Flourish Australia. People who have a lived experience
are a big part of our workforce, and we want to say to everybody
that we value you. So we include all of those sorts of
things that we might need to provide flexible work practices
or reasonable adjustments into all of our policies because everybody has times when
they might need additional supports. We’re talking to employers
and potential employers about Job Access all the time, and how they might be able
to actually learn about how they might need to tweak some of their internal
policies and procedures or their approaches to jobs to make them more accessible
to people with disability. Fay offers great hope to people
who access our services and people with lived experience
on staff. And Fay is an embodiment
of that hope, of what can happen. And the influence Fay has
is dramatic. No matter where Fay goes, people talk about the experience of
encountering Fay and hearing Fay. We’re a value-add, you know. We’re usually creative thinkers.
We’re very visionary. We can often see different ways
of solving problems. We often recognise problems
before other people do. I believe every human
has a role to play. We’re all here to do something
valuable with our lives, and workplaces are missing out
on the value that we can bring.

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