Madison finds job success with strong support system

Madison in her McDonald’s Crew Member uniform smiling brightly behind the counter at the Bateau Bay restaurant in NSW.

Madison Cooper has overcome several hurdles in her lifetime. The 31-year-old lives with an intellectual disability and found it difficult to find an employer who would hire her. But with a tenacious mindset and a strong support system in place, she is now working and ready to take more positive steps towards achieving her career goals. 

After moving to Central Coast NSW, Madison was motivated to find work as soon as possible.

“I was applying for jobs like crazy but it was really hard…I had moved from a little country town where everyone knew you, to a place where no one knows you at all.”

Then COVID hit and the job market became challenging. Determined to keep a positive mind-set, Madison used her time during lockdown to gain new skills.

“Madison has been one of hardest working job seekers we have seen and never lets her disability get in the way of her goals,” MatchWorks Employment Consultant, Launa Rand said. 

“She wants to show that people with disability can do anything.”

When the MatchWorks team suggested a role at McDonald’s, Madison was initially reluctant to embrace the idea. Then she put her doubts behind her and took the initiative to ring the local store.

“I asked if they were hiring and we had a brief chat on the phone to the Manager. She thought this was all too good to be true and said ‘Come in for an interview tomorrow.’

“I am not the strongest [at interviews] so having MatchWorks support was absolutely amazing and they hired me on the spot. It was very exciting…It’s certainly interesting and a lot of fun.” 

Madison has become a valued Crew Member of the McDonald’s team and is working over her benchmark hours. She now sees a future where she can gain independence and support her family.

“A lot has changed for me. I’m not having to worry about money and can relax a little more…We had a late birthday celebration for my mum recently and I ended up paying for her. It was a very enjoyable night.

“My family, friends and MatchWorks have all been a massive support system for me. I can’t thank them enough.”    

Madison is keen to keep building on her skills with McDonald’s. She is also passionate about supporting other people with intellectual disabilities and wants to become a teacher aid.

“I have a ‘big heart’ for special needs,” she said.

“The school I attended – all the staff including the teacher aids – they all started that passion and I want to give back what they gave to me.   

“No matter what struggles or hurdles you have got, you can get there with a bit of extra help.” 

Find out more about MatchWorks Disability Employment Services