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I'm ready for work, are you? with Fiona McIntosh
Episode 2922nd September 2022 • Get That Good Life! Conference Replay • Imagine More
00:00:00 00:36:00

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I'm Ready for Work, Are You? With Fiona McIntosh, Jessie Ward and Genna Ward

As young people with disability progress through the secondary school years, they and their family members often wonder:

  • what they will do after school?
  • what will they be able to do?

Families tell us they inevitably arrive at a narrow set of ‘post-school options’. These vary depending on the young person’s assessed readiness for work.

In this session, Fiona introduces participants to the concept of customised employment. It’s a great approach for people with disability who are looking for meaningful work. It helps everyone involved to imagine a broader range of employment possibilities. You may find that your understanding of “work readiness” will shift dramatically!

Participants will get an insight into creating customised employment opportunities. You’ll learn that the most successful approaches always

  • align with the interests of the young person, and
  • benefit the employer.

These insights will be revealed through interactive exercises and actionable information.


This session was introduced by Max Grinsell-Jones.

Hi, my name is Max. I would like to tell you about Fiona McIntosh. Fiona works with Imagine More. She leads their ‘School to Work’ project. She likes to help young people with disability find good and interesting work. 

Fiona will be joined by Genna and Jessie Ward. Jessie is in year 12. She loves drama and singing. She is doing an ASBA at a primary school. Jessie wants to help people with disability to be treated fairly.

Genna is Jessie’s Mum. She is an advocate for inclusion. She has always wanted Jessie to have a good life. Fiona, Jessie and Genna will talk about using discovery to find work. 

I hope you enjoy this presentation.

Meet Fiona McIntosh

Fiona is the School to Work Project Coordinator at Imagine More. This three-year project aims to strengthen the capacity of young people with disability and their families to achieve valued paid employment and self-employment.

Fiona has over 25 years of experience in policy and program development in the ACT Government and local non-government sector.  This experience spans housing, homelessness, child welfare and twelve years in the disability sector.

Fiona has a strong interest in creating employment opportunities for young people with disability.

She is a solo mum to a young daughter.  In her free time, she loves connecting with nature through camping and walking, creating her own small enterprise, and creating surreal collages.

Contact details

Meet Jessie Ward

Jessie is a Canberra-based Year 12 student. She is currently doing a Business ASBA (Australian School Based Apprenticeship) at a local primary school.

Jessie is a dog owner, a circus trainee, and a drama enthusiast who thrives on performing in the school productions. She is also a member of a youth singing group called the Octaves.

Jessie lives with the gifts and disabilities of Koolen de Vries, a super-rare genetic condition. She is passionate about changing discrimination against people with disabilities.

Jessie is very excited about her new job as a Peer Worker in a project collecting the wisdom of people with disabilities.

Meet Genna Ward

Genna Ward is Mum to daughter Jessie and a passionate practitioner of and advocate for inclusion. Genna and her partner Kim are very committed to laying the foundations for Jessie’s good life. They are helping her to

  • establish her place as a respected member of her community
  • have her contributions valued, and
  • enjoy belonging to a rich, diverse, and exciting community.

In her work life, Genna is a Clinical Psychologist who works in private practice.

Resources mentioned in this presentation

  • School to Work Project - This is a three-year project funded by the Department of Social Services. It will run until June 2023. The project hopes to see the trend reversed on poor disability employment figures. When work goals are set early in a child’s high school years, there are many potential benefits
  • Marc Gold and Associates
  • Milton Tyree’s presentation, mentioned during this presentation, can be found in Episodes 21-23 of this podcast series: Getting a Good Start in a Good Job
  • Jacob’s story: The Essential worker is told in Episode 11 of this podcast series