We are excited to welcome Helen to the Get That Good Life! conference. Helen and her son Tom will share Tom's employment journey from school leaver to business owner.
Helen Neale, Community Living Project, SA
Helen is Tom’s mum as well as his current social secretary! She has always had high expectations for Tom and hasn’t let the narrow mindedness of others change his life trajectory.
Helen now works for Community Living Project in South Australia, an organisation driven by strong values. In this role, she shares information about microenterprise as a career option for people with disability.
Creating a Good Life through Meaningful Employment
The story of Ground Control by Major Tom
Presented by Tom Neale and Helen Neale
When Tom was preparing to leave school, and no one was offering any suitable post-school work options, his parents knew they had to come up with the answer. Skip forward 5 years, and Tom is happily and successfully running his own lawn maintenance business with approximately 50 regular clients.
Ground Control by Major Tom came into being because his family
- chose to focus on Tom’s interests and skills, and
- had a goal that Tom would have a valued role in the community.
Tom’s Circle of Support, which was established at the same time as his business, still meets regularly. The Circle’s roles are
- to support Tom in his decision making
- to provide new social and recreational opportunities
- and to hold and protect his vision of a good life.
Helen, Tom’s mum, will describe the pathway from its beginnings, where she dreamed of a Microenterprise for Tom, to today, where the dream is a reality. In her presentation, Helen will
- discuss their use of formal (paid) and informal supports
- share strategies for sustainability, business growth, skill development and independence
- provide tips on “thinking typical”.
Outside-the-box-thinkers will appreciate the ideas, tactics, and strategies that abound in Tom’s story.