I’d heard about a café called All Things Equal via social media last year.
My instant thought was, Wow, a place that provides employment opportunities for young people with disability.
Interestingly, I live close to Carlisle St and frequent the area quite a bit yet never visited the café.
Only a few months ago I met my cousin and his partner on Carlisle St.
We were deciding where to go for a coffee and instantly I said ‘Hey, can we go to that café on the corner? It’s the yellow one. I’ve been wanting to go there and never been. They employ people with disability and do amazing work, so I’d love to visit and see what it’s about’.
We walked in, had coffee and banana bread which were lovely.
But what truly touched my soul was the writing on the wall in front of me…
‘We are all different and we are all equal. We are about bridging the gap between people with a disability and the wider community’.
Now that – that is a message with purpose.
Fast forward to only a couple of months ago and as fate has it, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to do some work with this amazing organisation and compelled to write about it.
I’ve been honoured to meet the founder of the organisation who wanted to help find his daughter a place to work in a mainstream environment.
You see his daughter has Autism. All she wanted to do once finishing school was share her love of cooking. Unfortunately, there was no workplace available for her to find paid employment in what she loved.
So, he brought others together who have an interest in the disability space, put together a Board and the All Things Equal café was born!
Here is an organisation that gives purpose and meaning where otherwise there may be none.
I’ve learnt that the skills some of the workers have gained at All Things Equal have resulted in them moving on to other mainstream workplaces. How amazing is that?
Something else I have learnt is that the staff at All Things Equal are paid award wages. Sadly, this is not common practice at all – some people with disability are paid only $3 an hour.
As Bianca [General Manager of All Things Equal] explained to me, the staff are doing a job and should be paid fairly – this is inclusive employment.
Working alongside this business on a project has not only opened my eyes to the importance of inclusion but it gives hope to family members, carers and impacts the wider community.
If you are like me and have heard of this cafe but not yet visited, why not make it your next coffee or lunch catch up? Or how about take a laptop and do some work from there.
Because it’s not always about donating money, it’s about giving back in other ways.
Simply visiting All Things Equal and telling your family and friends about it, offering your support that way means more than you can imagine.
By visiting the café, you are giving a young person with disability the opportunity to live their purpose by helping them increase their skill set and confidence.
After all, we are all equal and we should have the same opportunities, right?
They do a pretty good coffee and a mean shakshuka too 😉