Following in Frederic Ozanam’s footsteps, a consortium of parents, who had children with a disability, saw the need to help their children who were about to complete schooling but had little or no prospect of gaining employment.
As a result Ozanam Enterprises was established in 1976 and, 45 years later, is still providing work and training opportunities to people living with a disability.
Employees are Ozanam Enterprises’ greatest asset. One such employee is Lee Buchanan who has been a cherished member of the Ozanam Enterprises family since inception – having worked there for 45 years!
“I started here (Ozanam Enterprises) in October 1976, right after I finished school – the very next day,” says Lee with a proud smile.
Over so many years, Lee has been engaged in several activities including assembling boxes and pulling switchboards apart but her favourite activity is helping with laundry, “It’s a fun one. It’s my favourite job.”
Lee is happy to share her experiences, “I really enjoy working here. We generally clock in at 9.00am and do warm-ups at 9:30am. I enjoy doing warm-ups with the team. Then we work and have a morning tea together. We have the ‘Employee of the Month’ award and I love that everyone gets together for that. Sometimes we have special lunches – like Soup Day. Pumpkin soup is my favourite!”
Meg Emmerton, Communications & Training Officer at Ozanam Enterprises said, “Lee is a bit of an iconic employee here. It just astounds me how long she’s been here. It’s very impressive. She’s so passionate. She comes in, does a great job and is friends with everybody.”
Despite the disruption of the pandemic over the past 18 months, Lee says that she fondly looks back on her time at Ozanam Enterprises, the great bunch of people she has worked alongside and the marvellous friendships she has formed
– with joy and gratitude. She chuckles and adds, “My support worker here says ‘see if you can do 55 more’ and I smile each time!”