Adam Georgelin might not appear to be a typical Worktrainers client, having more than 15 years of fairly steady employment as a bookkeeper on his resume.

Finding jobs has never been the issue for Adam, but keeping them became a problem more recently. A survivor of Spina Bifida, he has had surgery on the shunt in his brain seven times in the last six years.

“I worked for a couple of larger companies that were able to cover my role because there were a few of us in the team, but unfortunately those jobs were transferred overseas. It meant I had to retrain to work in smaller organisations, but they can’t cover me when I’m away and so I’ve lost two jobs in the last 18 months because of it,” Adam said.

The difficulty for Adam is the unknown length of time a shunt will last. He describes it as similar to a garden hose; some will last years and years, while others burst almost immediately.

Since starting work at the Wallan Neighbourhood House almost three months ago, Adam has settled in brilliantly with the team and has been able to implement classes to help older residents of the area to learn basic computer skills and how to work iPad. The participants pay a gold coin donation for each of the hour-long classes and they’re full of praise for Adam and his patience with them.

“The thing that Adam has lacked is a support network and an employer who is fully aware and understanding of his need for time off. When we spoke to Pauline  at the Wallan Neighbourhood House, it just seemed like a perfect fit.  Adam is healthier than ever and happy to have an understanding workplace,” Verena McPherson, Adam’s Employment Consultant said.

“Adam’s so good at running the classes. We had wanted to run them for a long time but we just didn’t have the right knowhow.  Adam’s always on time and he’s very efficient.  He’s even back only two weeks after an operation that should have kept him at home for six weeks.  He’s one inspiring guy,” Pauline Cornish, the manager of the Neighbourhood House said.

In his free time, Adam has been undertaking a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and Accounting, and since beginning it in February, he is already three-quarters of the way through a course that normally takes two years.

“I’m planning on starting my own business.  It will mean I can work from the hospital or home and I’ll still be able to do what I really enjoy.  It will mean I can have the flexibility I need to work without my spina bifida having too much of an impact on my job,” Adam said.