How Brindley Landed His Dream Job in Hospitality

Brindley Johnson, a resident of the Perth hills of Kalamunda and Pickering Brook, has shared his inspiring journey towards meaningful employment, mental health recovery, and community involvement.

Growing up, Brindley enjoyed activities such as walking, playing Xbox with family and friends, and listening to music. He attended Pickering Brook Primary School and later completed Year 11 at Lesmurdie Senior High School.

After graduation, Brindley pursued a Certificate II in General Education to enter TAFE, where he began a pre-apprenticeship course in Light Vehicle Service. Unfortunately, due to mental health challenges, he had to discontinue the course after three hospital admissions, eventually being diagnosed with Schizoaffective Bipolar Type. Seeking support, he turned to Headspace, which provided assistance for five years, followed by ongoing support from his psychologist.

In November 2019, Brindley embarked on his employment journey with Maxima. He got a job in the meat department of a supermarket, but had to leave after 8 months when he didn’t feel supported by his employer.

Brindley said “I felt that my workplace and employer was not inclusive or supportive of my disability.”

Brindley sought help from Headspace, a mental health service for young people. Brindley began his recovery journey with their support for five years and ongoing guidance from his psychologist. This included developing coping mechanisms and setting healthy boundaries in his relationships.

“After the recovery journey, I felt ready to search for employment again. This was when I was reconnected with Maxima Disability Employment Services.”

Feeling ready to re-enter the workforce, Brindley reconnected with Maxima Disability Employment Services. They linked him with the Hospitality Disability Network (HDN).

“The HDN screening process was relaxed and casual. Amelia from HDN asked all the normal interview questions but in a very nonjudgmental way.”

After taking on HDN’s recommendation to complete an RSA and COVID-19 safe food hygiene certificate, Brindley was able to secure a casual hospitality role with VenuesWest thanks to his newfound knowledge and Maxima’s support.

Brindley felt supported throughout his job interview process, bringing his Maxima Employment Support Consultant along to the interview to provide any necessary support.

“I felt I was really given the chance to be myself in the whole interview process. I felt heard and understood.”

After successfully securing the position, he received ongoing support from both Maxima and HDN during his onboarding and induction.

Now employed for six months in hospitality and tourism, Brindley feels fully supported and included by his colleagues and team. Looking back on his experience, Brindley says, “This employment opportunity has given me purpose, and something to look forward to. When we talk about meaningful employment, that is exactly how I feel about my job. I am proud of myself for pursuing my goals and believing in myself.”

Brindley has become a passionate advocate for others facing similar challenges. He now actively participates in the Youth Reference Group and Clinical Governance Group at Headspace, and the Consumer and Family Reference Group (CAFRG). By sharing his lived experiences, Brindley helps shape programs and services that empower others to overcome the obstacles he once faced.

Brindley encourages others in similar situations to consider jobs in tourism and hospitality, highlighting the available support.

“I am really enjoying working in hospitality and tourism, and I feel fully supported and included on every shift by my work colleagues and

If you would like to see how Maxima’s Disability Employment Services can also help you on the path to meaningful employment, click the link below:

Find out more