Luke started working at Merrypak in 2008 and is so proud to be a staff member of this vibrant and welcoming workplace. I don’t think there has ever been a day that he has not headed off to work with a smile on his face, and we often overhear him explaining to friends and family-members who he works for and what he does with such pride.
Luke was our second-born child and first boy and we felt his slower milestones should not be compared with his sister. However, after a period of hospitalisation with high temperatures just before he turned one; repeated ear infections; therapy for poor muscle tone and delayed speech, we realized that our son was learning and developing much more slowly that is typical and he was diagnosed as being intellectually disabled.
That was the beginning part of a long journey to find what would help Luke to be the best he could be in a world that is not totally embracing of difference! We were fully supported by our families and met some amazing people along the way without whom we would not have made it to here!
We always felt that Luke benefitted from being a part of the mainstream world – as long as it came with acceptance and support – and were so happy that he had opportunities to experience being part of mainstream schooling, latterly in the Special Needs Unit at St Joseph’s Marist College.
What we realized as time went by was how those in the mainstream also benefitted from Luke being around. It seemed to bring out the caring side of those he was with – especially when that was modelled and encouraged by the teachers and other adults involved. Maybe it is in part because Luke and his friends are totally accepting of others in an entirely non-judgemental way – something we all can learn from!
For Luke to be welcomed into the Merrypak company has been an opportunity we are so grateful for and would so love to see happening more routinely in other workplaces.
Luke loves nothing more that to be productive in a safe and caring setting and we hope he helps contribute to that being the culture of Merrypak as a whole!