JobAccess supports Forrest’s energy dream
Life changed in an instant for Forrest Campbell.
The self-confessed “adrenalin-junkie” survived a catastrophic downhill skiing accident in 2015, which resulted in quadriplegia and becoming a wheelchair user.
“It was a very difficult time in my life. We were living in Canada, and I was in the hospital for six months, four hours away from our home and my family.”
But Forrest’s determination and competitive spirit fired his recovery. The Canadian-born electrician focused on returning to the solar industry, which he loved.
While the wheelchair prevented his return as a tradie, his passion for renewable energy led him to a career in solar design and sales.
“My message to anyone facing similar challenges is to let people know that it is possible to go back to work. Just persevere. Keep strong and working towards your goal.
“It’s not easy. Give yourself time but know that you can do it,” Forrest said.
Australia best option for workplace support
Forrest and his Australian-born wife Cassandra thought that his career aspirations and the family’s general situation would be best served in Australia. They relocated to Sydney with their teenage sons, Owen and Taylor, in 2019 and are making excellent progress.
While receiving services from MatchWorks, a Disability Employment Services (DES) provider, Forrest got a job as a Service Administrator at a solar company, Autonomous Energy, in March 2021.
MatchWorks supported Forrest with workplace adjustments by applying on his behalf for the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) through JobAccess. After a workplace assessment, JobAccess provided funding for an electric standing desk, headsets, and other equipment through the EAF to support Forrest at work.
“JobAccess has been fantastic. They have been so helpful. There will always be barriers in the workforce, but it’s just about finding the right solutions,” said the 47-year-old. Forrest has recently moved on and is currently in discussion with a new employer.
New passion for Forrest
Away from work, to satisfy his love for adventure, Forrest has embraced adaptive mountain bike riding.
He is dedicated to advocating for more adaptive bike trails in Australia to allow for wider carriage and bridges on trails. He is also working to become one of Australia’s first quadriplegic mountain bike instructors.
“I love it. My goal is to make mountain bike riding more accessible for those who need it and to give people with disability a chance to experience new things,” he concludes.
Need support with workplace adjustments? Get in touch.
A wide range of support is available from JobAccess for people with disability, employers, and service providers.
JobAccess has managed more than 61,000 applications for funding workplace adjustments since 2006. Each one makes a difference by helping people with disability get work, keep work, and progress their careers.
Contact JobAccess on 1800 464 800 to speak to our friendly and resourceful Advisers about workplace adjustments and the Employment Assistance Fund.
You can also submit an online enquiry through the JobAccess website.