Donna Bastow: Celebrating 25 years

A woman in a blue shirt, named Donna Bastow, is holding a bunch of native Australian flowers.

When you love your job, the years can pass by very quickly. Or so says Donna Bastow, one of our employment consultants who has just celebrated 25 years with Forrest Personnel.

Donna came to Forrest Personnel after spending 13 years working at the Activ Foundation. She already had an established relationship with Forrest Personnel through her work at Activ and was eager to come on board when offered the role of Employment Consultant.

Her role involved working with many Activ Foundation clients who wanted to move into open employment.

She’s still in that role today, and works with a mix of participants, some who require support to find employment and others who require support to remain in employment.

“Twenty-five years has passed very quickly. It does not seem so long ago that I started,” she says.

“I love being able to make a difference and strive to give people a chance to achieve their goals in life, and to leave them in a better place than when I met them,” she says.

Changing attitudes

The role itself has not changed that dramatically over the years, Donna says. But employer attitudes have.

“When I began, employment for people with disability was just starting in a formal way. Employers were supportive and keen but unsure of how to manage and engage with people who might have challenges,” she recalls.

“Today it’s a more competitive world and employers are open to placing a person who can do the job whether they have a disability or not – especially when they have the support of Forrest Personnel to overcome any hurdles.

“Employers are very busy and time poor so the assistance we can give to support the employment arrangement is invaluable.”

As for what she would like the coming years to look like, Donna would simply like to see the term “disability” vanish from discussions.

“My wish would be for people to see every person for their differing abilities. Let’s take away the disability word altogether and look at a person’s strengths, because there is a place and a job for everyone.”

Forrest Personnel supports people with an injury, illness or disability to find and keep jobs.
If you’re looking for work or looking for staff – we’d love to work with you. 
Send us an email or call us on 1800 224 548.