Former world champion Paralympic powerlifter turned bus driver Kahi Puru typifies the mantra that wherever there’s a will, there’s most definitely a way.
Almost 30 years after he lost his left leg in a work accident that almost killed him – and two decades since he represented Australia at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney – Kahi is still embracing every day like it’s his last.
As a driver for Hunter Valley Buses, Kahi, 56, spends his days ferrying locals around the community and by night he’s a much sought-after motivational speaker and a Safety Ambassador for ICare Australia.
But Kahi’s life, and employment opportunities, weren’t always so productive – not at least until he approached Joblife Employment 3 years ago, desperate for a job.
“Kahi said he chose Joblife Employment because he thought we were the most positive organisation he had spoken to and that we would open the most doors for him due to our dedication to our clients,” Joblife Employment Consultant Kellie Beveridge said.
“It was quite an adventure with Kahi because he had received a few rejections and hardships before we landed him the role at Hunter Valley Buses.” Kellie recalls.
Self-doubt creeped when Kahi walked into yet another employer’s office and was told he was unsuitable before even getting a word in.
True to his undeniable courage Kahi, buoyed by Kellie’s commitment to his cause, didn’t waver.
“Rejection just spurs me on. People are surprised when I can do things such as drive a bus, but I rise above it,” Kahi said.
On his way home from the unsuccessful interview, Kahi saw Hunter Valley Buses- a company Kellie had introduced him to- and decided to stop by. This display of enthusiasm and initiative scored him an interview.
He was offered a position soon after and now works 30 hours a week. Kahi says Hunter Valley Buses makes him feel “a part of the team.”
To celebrate the commencement of the 2020 Paralympics, Hunter Valley Buses has permitted Kahi to wear his Paralympics jacket on his shift.
Kahi was quick to add “I could not have done it without Joblife.” Referring to finding such an open-minded employer that celebrates him and his achievements.
“I am so grateful to Kellie – she has been awesome,” Kahi said.
“Thank you to Joblife Employment for all the help and encouragement that you gave me along the way. Derek who was my first Employment Consultant, and Tim as well; and the support from Sammie-Jade and Sam.” he said.
If you or any of your friends and family are looking for a job, phone Joblife Employment Customer Service Team on 1800 319 502, email [email protected] or fill our our online form here and we’ll have you employed in no time.