Personal Story

Feature Issue on Transition in a Global Context for People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities

Max Rooke: New Challenge

A man wearing a baseball cap backwards, blue shirt, and apron holds up a piece of cilantro in a restaurant kitchen.

Max Rooke has worked in two locations for JDA and is saving for the future.

Max Rooke joined JDA Hotels’ Union Place Hotel immediately after leaving school, and he has been a great fit. In 2021, Max took on a new challenge, relocating to the General Gordon Hotel after a major renovation. He works about 22 hours per week, Monday to Friday, and is an absolute asset. He is a food and beverage attendant, setting up the bars and making sure bar staff have everything they need, such as ice, lemons, and limes. He also ensures the dining areas are ready for customers, with neatly arranged chairs and coasters and menus on the tables. He then assists with food preparation tasks in the kitchen. With the support of management and his co-workers, Max has developed a passion for the kitchen and often assists the head chef. “I have a fantastic job and work with nice people, waitresses, and chefs,” Max said. “I feel part of the team here. I love working and saving money and hope to one day buy a house and raise a family.” A Jobsupport trainer said JDA Hotels’ culture of diversity and inclusion has contributed to the Max’ success, as well as the success of other employees. The General Gordon staff enjoy his demeanour and Max thrives on their friendship. Max moves through his tasks with purpose and takes pride in his job. He loves a laugh and keeps the staff smiling as he plays his favourite music while picking herbs and peeling potatoes in the kitchen.