Where are they now? We catch up with Barkuma’s Transition Program Graduates

25th July, 2023

Barkuma’s Transition Program supports students with disabilities and learning difficulties in Adelaide to move smoothly from school to their future.

The program is available to students who need additional support to transition from school to their next step. It lasts for 12 months and provides transition planning, training and work experience to help young people find and keep a job. Students receive help with education, career guidance and support to earn nationally recognised vocational qualifications and SACE credits.

Additionally, Barkuma’s Employment Pathways, including School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) and Disability Employment Services (DES), help with job readiness and finding work outside of school.

The Transition Program supports students, their family and their teachers during this important time and prepares students for reaching their full potential. In addition to developing the skills to transition from school to future employment and study, the program has other benefits.Vanessa Gordon, Transition Program Coordinator at Barkuma, explains, “The feedback from the participants regarding what they enjoy most about the program is always meeting new people and making new friends.”

We caught up with three graduates of The Transition Program to see where they are now.



Alex is a young man who participated in Barkuma’s Transition Program. He was initially uncertain about his future and was considering horticulture.

During the program, Alex discovered his passion for working with people in a warehouse environment. He developed communication skills and secured a work experience opportunity at K&B Mitre 10 Trade Centre Torrensville.

Impressed by his positive attitude and eagerness to learn, Mitre 10 offered him employment. Alex loves his job, values his supportive colleagues and appreciates the social aspect of his work.

Alex speaks very highly of his work colleagues, “very, very good people … they are excellent. I love that my job offers me the opportunity to socialise. Work is a combination of tasks; sometimes it challenges me, but I have assistance from my key worker from Barkuma Employment and everyone is always so helpful. I feel valued at work”

Alex also attends SLES at Barkuma to build confidence and life skills. Alex’s inspiring journey highlights the importance of the right attitude and pursuing one’s true passions.



Ahmad completed the Transition Program with a strong desire to work in hospitality. He found the program to be valuable and supportive, gaining useful skills and making lasting friendships.

Ahmad registered with Barkuma Employment and quickly secured a part-time position at KFC Prospect. Known for his exceptional customer service, he has received positive feedback and recognition from customers and his team.

Ahmad is eager to develop his skills, speaks highly of his managers and colleagues, and envisions further study and supporting people with disabilities in the future. His story exemplifies determination and success in the hospitality industry.

Ahmad feels proud of his achievements, saying that “everything is important in my job … everyone is great and lovely; I really enjoy it here”.



Belle completed the Transition Program in 2022 and joined SLES to further develop her skills and gain experience.She formed strong friendships during the program and set goals for her future. Through a work experience placement at a childcare centre, Belle gained new insights by working with babies in the baby room. She embraced tasks such as applying sunscreen, comforting crying babies and interacting with non-verbal children.

Belle impressed her case manager with her responsive approach and respect for the children’s comfort levels. Alongside her work experience, Belle has successfully delivered catalogues for almost two years, showing her freedom and flexibility. While working with children remains a long-term goal, Belle is actively exploring other career opportunities. Belle’s journey highlights the importance of continuous learning and openness to diverse career paths.


Are you ready to get started?

To be eligible, you need to:

  • Have a developmental disability
  • Be 16 years or order
  • Have the capacity and desire to work in open employment in the future
  • Be willing to access transport independently

Expressions of Interest are now open. Interviews will be held in Term 4. The program is open to students from all schools.

To find out more, contact the Transition Program Team on 8414 7100

The Transition Program is proudly funded by Barkuma, with the support of Streetfleet.