Nathan Basha is a motivational speaker who is pushing the boundaries. Nathan might happen to have Down Syndrome but he says, “That’s not who I am”! He has spoken at inter/national conferences, political forums, universities, schools, workshops and in the corporate sector, sharing his insights about his inclusive life. Nathan is a homeowner, a filmmaker and works at a radio station. In this article Nathan shares his experience of following his passion for film and working for the ‘coolest radio station’ in Sydney!
“I am living the dream”, a phrase you will often hear me say when I tell people the sort of work I do every day. I graduated from High school in 2009. I loved my High School, it was a chance to meet new people, explore my learning passions such as drama, ancient history and English and most importantly a chance to be just one of the boys. My two younger brothers Lintyn and Jayden also went to the same school as me.
While still at school I started work experience – just like the others boys in my class. I was unsure what sort of work experience I wanted to do.
At the time, my parents asked me: What do you enjoy doing the most? What are you passionate about? What would be a good fit at the age of nearly 17? Well I’m really passionate about film!
So, my mum made a phone call to our local video store, told them about my love of film and simply asked the owner if I could do some work experience. I commenced work experience Thursday afternoons after school. I enjoyed this time and I learnt many skills. I also did work experience over an 18 month period at the major global financial services and wealth management firm, Morgan Stanley.
Although I got some great skills and met some really great people, I wanted to work somewhere else, somewhere that supported my interest in films, music and celebrities. My mum was really supportive of my ideas and just asked me “So you want to work with celebrities, well how can we make that happen?” And I promptly replied: “I could work at Nova 96.9 the radio station with Merrick and Rosso and Kate Richie”. These were the guys I listened to on the radio every morning as we drove to school!
A meeting was arranged with the Human Resource Manager at NOVA radio station and my mum, along with a representative from Job Support, a disability employment service. Job Support would support me in my transition into the workplace.
I was employed on a permanent part time basis by Nova in early 2010. And yes I am working with celebrities – and I like to tell everybody, I am “living the dream”.
You may be wondering what I do at Nova? Well I’m not in the DJ studio just yet although I’m working up to it! I’m employed as an Office Assistant and my job description is to do the mail run, the filing, re-filling of the photo copier machines, clean the kitchens, set up the boardroom and date stamping for finance.
With my interest in film and in music – it really is a good environment for me.
My role has changed over time and I am now also part of the Casanova team which has me involved in promotional work for Nova.
I have the coolest job as the people I work with are mostly young, hip and cool.
I’m also employed one day a week as a Team Assistant for Taste Creative – a creative agency that works on films and other cool projects. It’s a smaller environment than NOVA but the people who work there are a similar age to me and have a passion for all things film so I fit in well.
I am able to fulfil my work roles well and do a great job as I have been able to get support from Job Support and my employers. In the beginning we looked at my strengths and what role I could do to help them and make a meaningful contribution. We identified the tasks that I would do and worked out a routine. Now that I have been in the roles for a long time, I’m able to confidently get through my tasks each day without any support. Over time I have got more experienced at what I do so we are looking at new challenges. At Taste Creative I sometimes help out on film shoots or write film reviews.
I love my jobs! Not only do I get paid which helps me to save up for the things that I enjoy doing such as going to movies, socialising with friends and travelling overseas, it is such a great place to meet other people and to get out and socialise. At NOVA we have great Christmas parties each year and throughout the year get to go to movie premieres and various promotional events. At Taste Creative we have a lot of lunches out together or after work drinks and we also tend to have themed events for example The Bachelor finale dinner.
I have met some pretty big celebrities such as the band Good Charlotte, shaking hands with Hugh Jackman, going to the ARIA’s and being involved in some pretty incredible film shoots.
Just like everyone else who works, there are good days and there are bad days! I am not a fan of having to travel to work and navigate Sydney’s public transport when it’s raining but most of the time I love my work. I try to keep a good balance as well and do extra things outside of work. I was able to attend Sydney University through the Inclusive Education Program and attend a film course, both which has expanded my knowledge and experience.
I do believe that all the work experience I did helped me to get a clearer picture of the type of work I wanted to do and was best suited for. Like building blocks, I built on what I had learnt. It helped me build my courage to take risks and to keep trying new things.
So, it’s not impossible for people to get their dream job as I am living proof of that!