Got Barriers? No Worries! Employer finds “hidden gold” with capabilities of locals providing for diverse & inclusive workplace

When 5 local job seekers with chronic health conditions and mobility barriers applied for jobs at the Collie Hills Accommodation Village, manager Ann Wheeldon didn’t see disability, she saw opportunity.


 Ann Wheeldon manages the Collie Hills Accommodation Village, a facility that provides accommodation and meals, set in the beautiful countryside just outside of Collie WA.

When the catering and housekeeping contract with a national firm expired, Ann felt that the timing was right to go completely local.


“I appreciated the great work that ESS did for us,” Ann said.  “but we want to be a more central part of our community and that’s why we worked with Forrest Personnel.”

Deb and Mel, from Forrest Personnel’s Collie team, helped Ann to identify local candidates for the roles; people who had abilities, and also had mobility barriers and other health conditions.

Where others might have seen challenges, Ann saw opportunities to give capable people a chance to use their skills.  As a result, the Village has become a diverse and inclusive facility that looks beyond the limitations.

What Ann probably didn’t know at the time was that she was promoting the core mission of Forrest Personnel: NO ABILITY WASTED.

So now that the job seekers are no longer job seekers but workers, living with conditions ranging from muscular dystrophy and chronic diseases to depression, what does Ann think about it all?

“Like many employers, I wasn’t sure about how to go about diversity and inclusivity and whether it would work,” she told Deb.  But after talking with you guys and hearing about the ongoing support available, I began to see the hidden gold in our community.”

“I believe we all have some sort of barrier when it comes to working,” she continued, “and we all have something we can contribute.”

Deb also shared her thoughts.  “There’s a lot of talk around going local and diversity and inclusion. The Village is not talking about it.  It’s doing it.”

Got barriers? No worries!

We value our working relationships with employers such as Collie Village Accommodation in providing employment opportunities for local job seekers in diverse and inclusive workplaces.