Quadriplegic lands his first job in more than 25 years
Brett loves GC Airport HR role
IN WHAT is a tale of inspiration and humbleness, quadriplegic Brett Morris has landed his first job in 25 years after the Gold Coast Airport gave him a long-awaited lift in life and took him on-board.
The 46-year-old Tweed Heads resident has been in a wheelchair and unable to find work since a rugby league accident in Dalby when he was 21 left him with a bruised spinal cord and damaged vertebrae.
“I was playing a game of rep footy and just doing a normal tackle when one of the other players came over the top of me and landed on my head. It was then I heard my back crack,” Brett said.
“At first, I was a quadriplegic from the neck down, but about three to four months after the accident I began to get some feeling back in my body and get some movement back in my arms.
“I was very lucky.” Two years ago, Brett took a trip to New Zealand and loved it so much he decided to try and get into the travel industry.
He studied for six months to become a volunteer ambassador at Gold Coast Airport and was stationed at the airport’s new information desk in the terminal’s busy check-in hall – specially designed to accommodate his wheelchair – where he helps passengers navigate their way through the terminal.
Brett, who travels each day on his electric buggy along the beachfront from Tweed Heads to Coolangatta, proved to be so good at his job he was recommended by management for a human resources role with the airport’s food and beverage contractor.
“I was really excited to get the role, it was great news and good to just have a job and have a bit of money again,” Brett said.
“I let them know I wanted a job while I was volunteering there and then this position came up so it all worked out perfectly.
“I do employee reviews and show the new employees around the airport, I do all the new inductions and just help out with the administration and whatever they require me to do.
“I love it, I look forward to going to work and I’ve found something I’m passionate about.”
Brett, who continues to volunteer two days a week as a Gold Coast Airport ambassador while also working three days a week, says he gets to see “the best of both worlds”, and also gets to spend some flexi time on his computer at home completing paperwork.
“I get to do a bit of volunteering and do my other job on other days, I get to meet more people and just interact with them, it’s fantastic.”
And while Brett doesn’t see himself as an inspiration, he is hopeful of helping anyone else who may be in a similar situation.
“I don’t really see it as that (an inspiration), I just see it as someone going back to work, but if it helps someone that’s great, I hope it does.”
Airport Retail Enterprises manager Nathan O’brien, said hiring Brett was “one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.”
“We have noticed a definite cultural change in the workplace since Brett started with us,” Mr O’brien said.
“His enthusiasm and passion is infectious.
“He has helped us really focus on people’s strengths and what each person can bring to our business.
“Brett has got ideas I wouldn’t have thought of and his role just grows every day.”
WINNING AT LIFE: Quadriplegic Brett Morris haslanded his first job in 25 years at the Gold Coast Airport.
Brett Morris, his boss Nathan O'brien and new airport staff.
Brett Morris is now working in human resources at the airport following a voluntary ambassador role.