Justin Gemmill: Getting things done, never giving up

Smiling young man named Justin Gemmill is crouched in front of supermarket shelves

Justin Gemmill is putting things right. He’s organising things.
He’s getting things done.

With support from his Forrest Personnel Employment Consultant, Donna Bastow, his family and his community, Justin is finding his way in the world and living his motto of ‘never give up’.

Justin came on board as a Forrest Personnel participant when he finished high school. He had his mind set on working at Eaton Tavern. Donna negotiated a work experience, but the multi-tasking needed to work in the restaurant business was challenging.

“In this case the job that Justin thought he wanted was not the best match, so we went back to the drawing board and considered other possibilities,” said Donna.

New job, new skills

Justin then decided he would like to work at Woolies in Eaton. His brother and girlfriend worked at the store, and he was keen on the idea of having their support.

However, he needed additional skills for a Woolies job to become a viable option.

“Our next step was to organise another work experience so that Justin could build his retail skills. He needed to learn how to handle stock and provide customer service,” said Donna.

Red Dot answered the call, and Justin completed a successful work experience.

Finding the right fit

Following that, Donna and Justin zeroed in on an opportunity that arose at Woolies in Treendale – a job that would not come with the family support available at the Eaton store. In November 2020, a position became available for someone to work on front facing (organising items on shelves so they are facing forward and look neat and tidy) and cardboard collection. The store wanted an employee who was enthusiastic and bright. Justin was the perfect fit for the role given his convivial personality, keenness to learn and adaptable nature.

We visited the store and witnessed Justin in action. While demonstrating his front facing work, he told us that: “Not only do I do my original jobs, but I do trolleys too and I make announcements on the PA system to let staff know that the trucks have arrived and need unloading.”

It bodes really well for Justin that he took initiative and was able to expand his role.

When asked if he enjoys his job, his beaming smile said it all.

According to Chantelle Stone, one of Justin’s supervisors at Woolies: “It is absolutely a delight having Justin in the store. He is such a joy. To be honest, he absolutely makes my day. I can’t wait to see him each day and he brings such a smile to my face.”

Achieving his goals

Having a job has brought Justin a degree of freedom and independence. Not only does he have his driver’s licence but he also saved enough money to buy a car, which he is visibly proud of. We’ve checked our math, and the job, the licence and the car purchase all happened within a span of seven months! What an achievement for this young man.

The enthusiasm that Justin demonstrates at work spills over into other areas of his life. He’s a passionate supporter of the Hawthorn Football Club. When asked why, he exclaimed: “They’ve been the best side for a long time and have won three premierships in a row!”

When asked if he would continue supporting the Hawks if they lost, he said “I’m a true supporter, and I never give up.”

Justin, it would appear, never gives up in football or in life!


Read more of our Success Stories.

Feature photo: Justin Gemmill, 2021 by Forrest Personnel

Forrest Personnel is a local charity. We specialise in supporting people with health conditions, injuries and disabilities to find and keep jobs.

If you think we can help you find employment, or if you are an employer interested in giving someone an opportunity to work, please get in touch today.

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