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In the beach haven town of Bowen brews an entrepreneurial spirit that has nothing to do with its famed mangoes. People with disability have found an educational space to bring their business ideas to life! 

Feros Care recently hosted their very first “Career Journey” program in the Whitsunday paradise. It was quite a big deal because it brought together 11 really determined people with disability, each one with a big entrepreneurial dream. 

Real world ideas

The educational initiative is all about supporting people with disability to turn their commercial ideas into real, successful businesses. We’re not just talking about any ideas, but smart, doable ones that can actually work in the real world.  

Three “Exploring Self-Employment” workshops were run over three weeks designed to help participants understand what self-employment is. The three key areas delved into were: 

  • understanding what’s involved in starting a business 
  • generating or confirming a business idea 
  • making informed decisions about whether self-employment is right for you 


The people chosen for this event were picked through the Workforce Australia specific selection criteria, ensuring they were not just passionate but also had the right skills to benefit from this program.    

Participant Emily and Diane Chataway at Feros Care's first Career Journey program in Bowen


The classes were far from boring.  They were interactive, engaging, and really got into the heart of what it means to start and run your own business. They covered everything from brainstorming a solid business idea to figuring out if running a business is the right path for you. 

It was exciting to see the variety of business ideas brought forward by the keen participants.  


Participants at Feros Care's first Career Journey program in Bowen


Ready to take the next step

There were 11 participants identified as possibly having a sustainable business idea and these people were given a warm hand-over to the local Self-Employment Assistance program (SEA) provider, MYPathway who facilitated an additional workshop. 

Dave, who’s a talented photographer and has a keen eye for capturing beautiful moments said,

“Now that I’ve completed the CJ program, and have been funded by NDIS for my new wheelchair and equipment, ‘Deadly Dave’s Photography Group’ is ready to rock.”

Dave’s best buddy Brent worked on starting his own car wash business during the Career Journey program and has since been employed by Bowen Flexi Care to wash their cars. He is supported on the job by his disability employment service, Community Solutions.  Brent plans to continue to grow his client base with the skills he has learnt. 

Sherrie, who is skilled at jewellery making, wants to turn her hobby into a creative business.  She’s been working on her business from home taking special orders for people wanting a bespoke piece. She would like to also start selling at the Bowen Markets and is looking to share a stall with one of her Career Journey peers to split the cost.  Slight quantity problem though…her jewellery is selling faster than she can make it! Sherrie said,

“I really enjoyed my experience with the Career Journey. I found it interesting to listen to the different business ideas and appreciated the group’s supportive atmosphere.”

And dog lover Emily wants to start her own dog grooming business. She loved being involved in Career Journey and would be part of the group again.  She’s now investigating a course in vet nursing to further her knowledge and pet handling skills.  


Building an entrepreneurial community

What’s cool about these workshops is that they weren’t just about learning business skills. They were also about building a community of like-minded individuals who are all on the same journey. Everyone there had unique abilities and ideas, and they were all supporting each other to achieve their goals. 

Participants at Feros Care's first Career Journey program in BowenMorning tea at Feros Care's Career Journey program


Feros Care Bowen was really impressed with the outcome of the first Career Journey program and is excited about running more sessions like this in the future. They’re looking forward to supporting even more people with disability to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. 

The stay up to date with all that Feros Care does in this space, click here to visit our Inclusive Employment Hub. It’s a one-stop shop for resources and information about employment and training for people with disability.  

*The photographs you see above were taken by participant Dave, from Deadly Dave’s Photography Group.




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