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Michael McMahon has seen many changes since he joined Endeavour Foundation Industries (EFI) Gympie in 1985.
The enthusiastic, talkative man first walked through the gates of Spring Valley farm, which was run by Endeavour Foundation, at the age of 18. Along with the site’s other supported employees, Michael later moved to Goomborian Farm, and last year to Endeavour’s new lolly factory on Duke Street.
"I like the lolly factory because of the variety of work," Michael, 43, said. "It’s different from the farm work."
July marked Michael's anniversary of working with Endeavour. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
"I like working for Endeavour – I like learning new things, our training and working with other people," said Michael, who lives at an Endeavour residential service in Gympie.
"We help each other and have some fun. "And it’s nice to be paid."
Not just a keen worker, Michael is also known at EFI Gympie for his sporting ability, having brought back three medals from this year’s Special Olympics National Games in Adelaide in April, for ten-pin bowling.
Michael received a certificate for his valued contribution to Endeavour at a morning tea earlier this year, to celebrate today’s milestone.
He is one of four supported employees at EFI Gympie who this year mark a significant employment milestone. Mathew Carlton-Smith, Christopher Nolan and Kirk Dixon celebrated 20 years with Endeavour earlier this year.
Their celebratory BBQ and certificate ceremony came just months after Ronald Stafford was recognised for his 30 years of service last November. Ron is the longest-serving supported employee currently at EFI Gympie.
There are 26 EFI sites around Queensland and New South Wales, providing employment opportunities to more than 1800 people with a disability. EFI Gympie provides employment opportunities to 21 people with a disability.
Supported employees at EFI Gympie perform a variety of tasks, including filling, labelling and weighing lolly bags.
EFI Gympie is also calling for volunteers to help at the lolly factory show room, including selling products, customer service, register work, stock handling and pricing. Those interested can phone Sarah Dreaver on (07) 3908 7291 or email email@example.com.