Gympie resident Daniel O'Loughlin is loving his new place in the workforce.
Gympie resident Daniel O'Loughlin is loving his new place in the workforce.

Daniel finds hope through new job opportunity in Gympie

NEW Gympie resident Daniel O’Loughlin has dealt with his fair share of hurdles, but finding a job he’s passionate about has helped him begin a new chapter with health and happiness in abundance.

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Living with a severe intellectual disability has been tough at times for Mr O’Loughlin, and he knew he wanted to make a change when he moved to the region about a month ago.

Daniel O'Loughlin
Daniel O'Loughlin

So when opportunity came knocking last month in the form of Leonie Dawson and her aged care and disability support business Leonie’s Caring, the 28-year-old jumped at the chance.

“Leonie was originally caring for me and when she came to do her sign-ups I asked her if she could employ me, and she was very interested in that,” Mr O’Loughlin said.

“At the moment I’m taking clients shopping, or if they have to go to the doctors or the bank or the post office, if they need some sort of community access.

“It’s the sort of job I love and enjoy.

“I enjoy the hours and I love looking after elderly people, and people who have a disability. I’ve got a disability and I’ve got severe mental health troubles so I can relate to people … because I know what they go through.

Mr O’Loughlin said he understood the importance of having a support network available when “it’s a struggle to get up in the morning”.

Daniel O'Loughlin, new employee at Leonie's Caring.
Daniel O'Loughlin, new employee at Leonie's Caring.

“It improves my life and their lives as well. I’ve been a lot happier mentally and I’ve got a purpose, I don’t have to fight with every company that I apply for to just try and give me a go,” he said.

“Leonie’s passion is looking after people, and I’ve got that passion too.”

Ms Dawson, who operates Leonie’s Caring out of Bollier with 26 employees and “close to 30 clients”, got to know Mr O’Loughlin while looking after him as his NDIS care provider.

“He’s going very very well, he’s been fantastic,” Ms Dawson said.

“I started my own business because I want to add a personal touch, which is not what people are trained to do.

“I’m happy to employ him because he’s doing such a great job. My employees love it with a passion, they don’t have to work but they want to work, and if you love going to work it makes it easier for my clients.”