When you like getting out and about and walking to keep fit, a career that also keeps you on your feet gives added benefits.  

Bruce Holmes works in Ventia’s Whole of Government cleaning contract and is responsible for facilities including the SES facility at Tighes Hill in Newcastle north of Sydney, as well as the local fire station.  

Bruce says he likes that his job helps keep him fit, especially at the SES facility where he regularly goes up and down three flights of stairs.  

“I make sure I drink lots of water to stay hydrated,” Bruce says, noting that both his health and working safely are a big priority for him.  

Bruce has held a wide variety of jobs over the years, including working in a cotton mill where they made cotton used by the clothing brand King G, and then 25 years working in the mining industry as a machinist, making bolts for underground mining.   

That role was quite stressful. My job now is much better for my health.

The SES facility at Tighes Hill in Newcastle

Supporting Bruce’s mental health 

Ventia’s Social Inclusion Manager Dan Osgood was part of the team that brought Bruce into Ventia earlier this year. In partnership with Anthony Workman from Omnia Inclusive Employment Solutions and other agencies, he worked with Bruce to find a role that would allow him to work around his therapeutic requirements as he manages his mental health.  

“Bruce needs to attend a therapy group once a week, so it was crucial that we created a schedule for him that enabled him to work around that session,” Dan says.

It’s about a holistic approach to Bruce’s care. If he’s happy and healthy, then he’s doing a great job and everyone wins

He’s a bit of a history buff 

Anthony Workman has known Bruce for around eight years now and has helped place him in a few roles.  

“It’s been great to be able to work with Dan and others in finding a role that’s the right fit for Bruce and his needs,” Anthony says.  

Anthony is also a local Newcastle boy and loves chatting about the history of the area with Bruce and could compare thoughts on the historic buildings around town for hours!  

“I love the old buildings I work in,” Bruce says. “I find the brickwork interesting and I like learning about their history.”  

Bruce is also a bit of a history buff, especially the history of the Newcastle and Waratah region. 

“I’ve been researching the Wallsend Brickworks which operated in the 1800’s and is now a park,” Bruce says.  

At its peak, the operation had orders of 400,000 bricks a week. The park is dotted with remnants of the historic operation including brick making machine and chimney remains.  

In addition to keeping fit and researching local history, Bruce is a keen gardener and collects DVD’s, with a focus on classic 80’s movies.  

With such a well-rounded life, and the support of people like Anthony and Dan, Bruce is thriving in his role at Ventia.  

For more information on disability employment or on roles with our Whole of Government team, visit here.