“We will miss you John,” was a common sentiment expressed by all in attendance at the send-off for outgoing Myhorizon Employment & Training Service Manager John White last Thursday.
During the morning tea event at Myhorizon’s new Capalaba Centre, CEO Joe Gamblin and Project Officer Lima Nawabi presented John with a number of gifts in front of more than 40 colleagues who had gathered to thank him for his leadership and dedication over the years.
Some supported employees who work for Myhorizon’s disability enterprise HBE were so overcome with emotion at the news of John’s departure they were unable to speak for crying, such was the impact he had made on their lives.
“It doesn’t take much to make a big difference to someone’s day,” John said. “It’s just taking the time to learn a little bit about someone to befriend them. Don’t focus on the disability; focus on the person”.
He leaves enormous shoes to fill.
Starting with Myhorizon’s Employment & Training service in May 1995 as a case manager, and then working his way up the ranks to the position of Service Manager, John has overseen the growth of the organisation’s Employment & Training division from a team of three to more than 40 staff members today.
Despite constantly changing government departments, disability legislation, guidelines, and funding models, John has weathered all storms to maintain a high level of customer service and excellent client job outcomes at Myhorizon Employment & Training for more than 18 years as its leader. During this time he has led his team to empower thousands of people with disability to find fulfilling work throughout South East Queensland.
John said he was motivated to stay with Myhorizon over the years because it had always been “a nice, friendly place to work with genuine people”. He said his team’s excellent performance was related to their genuine happiness in the workplace, which is the career achievement he is most proud of.
“We have a good reputation – you earn that; you don’t just get that given to you. It takes hard work,” John said. “My team enjoys what they do, we have fun, and they are proud of where they work. We look after one another here,” he said.
The happy and secure employment context John has facilitated for people of all abilities is reflected in the high retention rates of his staff and the excellent job outcome ratings of Myhorizon’s clients – Myhorizon Employment & Training has been awarded a five star quality rating by the Department.
All good things must come to an end though, and John is now looking forward to the next chapter in his life on the Sunshine Coast where he is moving to for a lifestyle change. Jean Jensen will now step up to carry on John’s legacy in the service manager role. No doubt his management motto “you’re only as good as the staff under you” will continue to inspire Myhorizon employees long into the future.
For more information about how Myhorizon’s Employment and Training service can support you please visit www.myhorizon.org.au or contact 1300 MYHORIZON.