Since Afford DES (Disability Employment Services) supported 19-year-old Gabriel to find meaningful employment suited to his disability needs, he has felt motivated, excited and passionate – not just about going to work, but about life, and what the future might hold.

Matching Gabriel to FMG Kitchens

Afford DES Gabriel working in factory

Gabriel on the job at FMG

Nineteen-year-old Gabriel lives with mild intellectual disability and epilepsy. He wanted to work but his disability and medical condition mean that he sometimes needs extra time to process new information and learn new skills, and he felt a bit stuck. His dad suggested a DES provider, so Gabriel went online and chose Afford, and is now happily employed at FMG Kitchens, in Bankstown.

Gabriel works eight hours a week as a general hand. His job involves cleaning the warehouse and helping out with tasks like cleaning the warehouse and helping with kitchen installs, locating stock and deliveries. . He feels well-supported by his manager and team at FMG Kitchens, and by Afford DES.

“If I don’t know how to do something, I ask my coworkers to show me. They are good teachers; they show me how to do things step by step. I get along with my coworkers – they respect me, and I respect them.”

Gabriel says he feels great about having a job and is looking forward to building up his hours and his skill set. He is exploring an apprenticeship so that he can build his career in the kitchen remodelling industry.

“I feel great. It makes me feel happy, proud, and excited that I found a job that’s suitable for my disability, and that I really like.”

Afford is an experienced DES provider

Afford DES employer, client and coach

Fred, Gabriel and Aida catch up in the showroom

When Gabriel approached Afford DES, Business Development Consultant Aida Kassis became his main contact.

Aida spent some time getting to know Gabriel. When she learned that he was interested in an apprenticeship, she approached FMG Kitchens.

“I knew Gabriel had the ability to understand. He had the language skills. He is a very bright young man and he has youth on his side Gabriel is very capable, so he was a perfect match for FMG Kitchens,” says Aida.

Every time that Gabriel works, his contact at Afford DES, Aida Kassis, is in touch to see how he is going.

“Aida always says to me if there’s anything that I need or I’m having a problem with, to call her up. I haven’t had any problems, but I know she’s there for me,” says Gabriel.

Afford is a registered DES provider. Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, DES is designed to support people with disability, injury or illness to find and keep a job.

Afford DES’ goal is to support people with disability to find sustainable jobs that match their skills and interests and enable them to learn and grow.

The benefits of having DES employees in the workplace

Afford DES employer and client working together

Fred and Gabriel inspecting stock

Aida is also in regular contact with Gabriel’s boss, Fred Ghalini, who owns and operates FMG Kitchens.

FMG Kitchens is a family-owned business that specialises in kitchen and shop fittings. An inclusive employer, FMG Kitchens currently employs two Afford DES clients.

Fred is proud to support Afford DES clients like Gabriel to achieve their employment goals, and said it is also great for his business.

“Having DES employees in the team is a very good experience for us. They’re very helpful and polite, and they bring something good to the atmosphere,” says Fred.

His customers like it too. “Our customers think it’s a good idea to give people with disability a chance to work with us; I really see the smile on the face when they hear about it.”

Of course, the biggest reward is seeing his employees start to build confidence and thrive.

“Gabriel and our other employee with disability, they want to improve themselves. Every time they learn something they feel more confident. So that’s very good for them. We really want to support Gabriel to do the apprenticeship if he can, so he can get somewhere and continue his life with confidence.”

About Afford DES

To learn more about DES at Afford, call 1800 233 673 or complete the online form at: You can also learn more about DES and find service providers at:


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