by Andrew Thomson on November 14, 2017
Alex Kolberg is a man who has a remarkable story to tell about overcoming adversity and achieving his goals.
Alex has a passion for food and cooking and wanted to be a Chef from his early teen years. Making a difference to people’s lives was important for him but he was finding it hard gaining any employment because of his vision impairment.
Alex recounted his story when we recently spoke. When Alex was 16 he had enrolled into a Commercial Cookery course.
This was one of his first experiences of discrimination. Being legally blind has many challenges including his time as a student in the Vocational Education and Training sector where he encountered a TAFE teacher who viewed Alex as a liability or an incompetent student.
It was at this point Alex developed a stronger desire to conquer his goals in the face of adversity.
After completing his studies in Commercial Cookery, Alex searched for two and a half years for employment, only to be told time and time again that he was unemployable due to his limited vision.
“Employers said straight out ‘you are just not capable’ “.
Turning to the Royal Society for the Blind for help, Alex completed further studies and completed twelve months of volunteer work in a café to prove he could work in the industry and to make it impossible for any employer to say no.
An introduction to Kristian Livolsi and Frank Vounasis from ‘The Taxpayer’ (a buzzing diner with street side tables overlooking Victoria Square in Adelaide), turned his whole life around and he started work as a kitchen hand and is now the Head Chef.
Alex employs only dedicated and reliable staff, many of whom are people he already knows, this assists him to consistently produce great fare but to also meet his regulatory obligations such as food safety.
When I met Kristian Livolsi he was full of praise for Alex “I see him as a gift to our business and it is a massive loss for those people who didn’t give him a chance before.”
Think ST Solutions offers you practical solutions at a management level and to your staff whether you operate in hospitals, aged care facilities, restaurants, hotels or the food industry generally. We specialise in developing useful tools to assist you in the areas of food safety, strategic planning, business management, risk and compliance training and easy to implement business consultancy solutions.