Transitions. They’re important, as are the rituals and celebrations around them.Without acknowledgement of effort leading to success, we might lope along from one thing to the next, not ever yelling, ‘Hurrah!’ at the top of our lungs!

Transitions come at all ages – into school, out of school. Birthdays, marriages, divorces and then marriages again. Graduations through all forms of further education.

It’s the latter that I’m pleased to celebrate every year as nearly 100 young people all over Sydney graduate with a Certificate 1 in Work Education via NOVA Transition. We recently toasted the achievements of our graduates of 2017 with rituals that included a 3-course lunch with live entertainment and dancing, speeches and awards.

Over 85% of this group of young people had already found award-wage work in open employment by the time of their graduation. The roles are full-time, part-time and casual. Some are entry-level jobsat 8 hours per week, while others are full-time traineeships or apprenticeships in the job of their first choice. Either way, they’re set up for life.

Because we insist on Employment First.

During the two-year transition program, if our trainees need to develop skills that will help them prepare for work, we guide them through. If they need related training, such as learning how to travel independently, techniques for managing anxiety or understanding budgeting, we’ve got it covered. If a trainee stumbles, we scoop them up and set them back on track.

The constant, the absolute constant, that we provide those people with disability in our care is confidence. We hear it time and gain – the graduates and their parents or carers thank us for growing their confidence.

It’s the least we can do. We have an inviolate belief in the ability of a person with disability to tap into their innate skills and use them to their potential. Potential that’s wasted if you don’t have the confidence to take the next step. We then celebrate each step and every milestone. As I say, transitions are important.