It’s been a long time since Sharleane and her former boss Darrin last saw each other. John Howard was Prime Minister, Cathy Freeman was racing her way into the history books, and Shania Twain was riding high in the charts.
Mum Sharleane left her job at a KFC restaurant in Roma, where she’d been working with Darrin, after she was seriously injured in a car accident at the age of 21. It was a moment that was to have a very profound impact on her life. Affecting her memory and mobility.
“I didn’t think I’d ever see Darrin again,” says Sharleane, after the two colleagues moved from Roma on their different paths. Twenty years later though, an unlikely workplace reunion was on the way.
Following a decision to re-enter the workforce, Sharlene began working with MAX to find a role near her new home in Hervey Bay. Where else to start but her local KFC restaurant?
Darrin, now Area Coach for KFC in the Fraser Coast, did a double take when a manager at Hervey Bay brought Sharleane’s resume to his attention.
“I was in Roma for about three years and employed Sharleane then,” said Darrin. “She was a ray of sunshine, loved by staff and customers. When I saw her CV, I was straight on the phone to our manager in Hervey Bay to tell him what a wonderful employee she is.”
Collins Foods offered Sharleane a role working part-time in its KFC restaurant in Hervey Bay. The end of a long journey back to work that was punctuated by long periods of rehabilitation following the accident.
“It feels like I’ve come home,” said Sharleane. “This is the third KFC restaurant I’ve worked at. Each team has had their own personality and the team here is beautiful.”
“It was a surprise seeing Darrin. A good surprise though! He’s a really lovely boss.”
The feeling is reciprocated. Darrin said Sharleane’s impact had been immediate.
“Sharleane is a joy. The staff and customers love having her around and I will never forget the moment I saw her name on the CV after all these years. It feels like fate.”
“Sharlene just sets an example to all of us every day. After all she has been through, she views work as a joy, privilege and opportunity. Really though, it is us who are privileged to have her on our team.”
The MAX team in Hervey Bay is honoured to have supported Sharleane on her journey back to work. It would also like to thank Collins Foods, who go out of their way to pursue and identify talent in people from all backgrounds as part of their commitment to diversity and inclusion.