Leschenault Community Nursery: Adding value to a growing business

Two women standing among plants at the Leschenault Community Nursery

When asked about her newest recruits, Jacquie Rusha, Manager of the Leschenault Community Nursery, can’t say enough.

“We have a group of people who are enthusiastic and happy to be in a workplace – they are all really engaged. It has worked out so well,” she says.

The group she is referring to is five Forrest Personnel clients who were employed part-time by the community nursery earlier this year using State government funding made available under the Green Jobs Plan. While the costings and grant application process did take some work, Jacquie (pictured right) says it has more than paid off.

“Our team is a mix of a small group paid staff and volunteers, which means we really require people who are switched on and who can just jump in and do whatever needs doing at the time,” she says.

“The group from Forrest Personnel have been really capable – they have added so much value to the business.”

On the whole, she notes, the group has not needed much additional support.

“Once we identified what their skills were and then put them where they could use those skills, their disability was not a concern,” she says.

A life-changing opportunity

One group member in particular has proven invaluable to the business. Sharni Tehemara (pictured left) initially started work in the cuttings shed but according to Jacquie she proved so adept in this area it wasn’t long before she was training others.

“After that we moved her into the retail section and once again she really came along. She meets our expectations, she follows through on everything – she really has all the attributes you look for as an employer,” Jacquie says. “We definitely would like to keep her.”

For Sharni the work at the community nursery has been life-changing.

“I’ve always struggled with communication and I get anxiety. Even just going into a new place and handing in a resume was hard. I was unemployed for about a year,” she says.

“When Forrest Personnel mentioned the job to me, I jumped on it. I have always been interested in working outside, so this was a great match.

“This job has been good for me all round. It’s helped me with my confidence, and I’ve moved out of home so I have more independence now.

“This job is giving me a purpose – I feel like I am contributing, and it’s a good feeling.”


Read more about the benefits of recruiting a person with an injury, illness or disability.

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