Seeing her future: Club supports NOVA employment

Richmond Club's Kylie Londish powers on with NOVA's support

by Justine Doherty
Picture Geoff Jones
Hawkesbury Gazette, Fairfax Media

WHEN Richmond Club patrons are served a beer by Kylie Londish, they don’t bat an eyelid. But when they then see her on her break with a seeing-eye dog, they sit up.

The Richmond resident has a progressive eye condition. While she’s been at the club for 15 years, it’s only recently after deterioration in her sight that she signed up for support from NOVA Employment in Richmond to ensure she can continue full bar duties.

She walks to work every day with her black labrador Lyric, who sleeps in a back room at the club, going out every three hours for a toilet break. “But not on the greens!” Ms Londish laughed.

She is able to do her job without patrons knowing she’s legally blind as every bottle in all the bars is in a set spot. She, and all staff, have been trained in where everything is. If staff have to move anything, they tell her, and if they are near her they tap her to let her know.

NOVA’s Kerry Spindler said they don’t just help people with a disability find a job, they help them keep it, whether it’s getting to Centrelink, finding accommodation or getting a licence. 

Ms Londish said it was hard having a disability at work if it starts to deteriorate. “You don’t want to be a burden on your team members,” she said. Consequently she didn’t let on for a while that she was needing extra help, but when she finally did let NOVA know, they were quick to swing into action.

“We help with training so that the extra burden isn’t put on the manager or staff or organisation,” Ms Spindler said. “ClubsNSW work closely with us on this.” 

Richmond Club CEO Kimberley Talbot said it was great having Ms Londish as an employee. “It’s easy, it’s good,” she said about employing people with disabilities, adding she hoped Ms Londish would be there for many years to come.

Published by Hawkesbury Gazette (Fairfax Media).
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