Shaun’s blossoming in hospitality role

Published by MAXSolutions on August 09, 2022
Smiling Shaun stands in front of a KFC sign, "Col. Harland Sanders" in cursive script

Shaun Gray lives in Bundaberg, Queensland. He loves horror movies, video games, board games and has a passion for technology, bowling and fishing. He lives at home with his parents and his much loved dog Roxy.

He is also now part of the KFC team in Bundaberg East.


When Shaun chose to connect with MAX’s Disability Employment Services (DES) team in Bundaberg in 2019 he had two goals: to attain his driver’s licence, and to get his very first job.

Shaun was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at a young age and also lives with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

People with ADHD typically struggle with impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention while those with Tourette Syndrome typically experience movement or vocal tics. Movement tics might include head jerking or feet stamping while vocal tics might include throat clearing, tongue clicking, shouting or repeating certain sounds or phrases*.

For Shaun, finding a supportive employer and having an in-work support plan to help grow his confidence in a new environment was key.


MAX have partnered with Collins Foods Limited (CFL), operators of KFC and Taco Bell in Australia, since 2017, supporting them in their vision to create inclusive employment pathways for communities in which they operate. 

“Initially Shaun was worried about working at KFC. His confidence levels were low – he struggled to approach customers and make eye contact” says Theresa, Shaun’s MAX In-Work Support Consultant. 
“However, over the past few months, we’ve provided in-work support to Shaun, helping him to grow his social confidence and achieving micro goals along the way,” she says. 

For example, when Shaun first started at KFC, he was reluctant to discuss rostering issues with his manager and had difficulty knowing how to communicate his needs.


While they provided coaching to help grow Shaun’s communication skills, his MAX team became his workplace champion. Shaun would contact them if he was unable to make a shift due to illness, or if he needed to change his availability, and in turn they would relay his needs with the Store Manager, Nathan. 

Once Shaun’s confidence had blossomed, he was able to take that role on, and now confidently contacts Nathan directly. 

Furthermore, while the team initially visited Shaun weekly during his shifts to provide support, Shaun is now more assured in his role and now alternates in-work visits with his own visits to the office. 

“His confidence levels have gone through the roof and we’re now discussing the various roles and skills in which he will be trained over the coming months,” says Theresa. 

Shaun says the biggest challenge for him in the role is the feeling comfortable with the social aspect but believes it’s worth persevering so he can enjoy the benefits of working. 


He loves that his new job gets him outside of his comfort zone, gives him a purpose to get out of the house, and that he’s working hard to earn his own money. And he’s even been able to get his drivers licence!  

Shaun has now achieved both of his original goals and has his sights on setting new goals for the future. 

He speaks highly of his co-workers including his manager, Nathan.

Shaun’s MAX Disability Employment Services (DES) Consultant Rikki also speaks highly of the support Nathan provides. 

“Having a manager like Nathan – someone who is flexible and understanding is a vital part in being able to provide customers like Shaun an employment pathway truly tailored to his needs,” says Rikki. 


In less than a year, Shaun has achieved both of his original goals and has his sights on setting new goals for the future. 


CFL strive to create best practice initiatives to support Australians living with disability, disadvantaged youth, Indigenous Australians and the long term unemployed into sustainable employment and we’re delighted to support them achieve their vision.


If you're interested in partnering with MAX to support Australians into sustainable employment and transform your workplace, contact our team. 


Tourette Syndrome: Health Direct



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