Mandy the Frock Star

At times it can be hard to get a word in with Mandy Lee.

Super motivated, super reliable and super happy in her current role with online fashion retailer, St. Frock, she speaks quickly and works even quicker!
Mandy lives with autism and has been supported by Omnia Inclusive for more a decade now. Over the years, she’s held a number of different roles and built an impressive array of qualifications. But, most recently, she’s become a much-loved member of the warehouse team at Sydney-based St. Frock where she works four days a week – and loves every second.
"My favourite day is Monday!"
“I’ve been at St. Frock for almost one year, currently 11 months,” smiles Mandy. “I work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. But my favourite day is Monday. It’s the beginning of the week and that’s when I have to start packing all my orders. I collect the items and squeeze them into the smallest bags possible. Smaller bags cost less, they’re environmentally-friendly and bigger bags also cost more too!”
“We sell mostly ladies fashion, dresses, trousers, tops, cardigans, jackets, shoes, hats, belts, scarves and jewellery such as earrings and necklaces.” Does she like St. Frock clothing? “Yes, but most of the sizes are bit too big for me!” she laughs.
The other thing Mandy likes is being part of such a supportive workplace environment. “It’s nice to be part of the team at St. Frock, people are helpful and friendly to me. I always help other people too, making sure they are doing the job properly. I also remind everyone to clock in every morning and clock out before leaving – and to start work after the lunch break!”
A secret weapon
Highly organised and always meticulous in her work, it’s fair to say Mandy hasn’t been held back by her autism. In fact, her detail-oriented approach has proven to be a secret weapon – something her boss at St. Frock, Georgie D’Arbon, marvels at on a daily basis.
“Mandy brings the most amazing attention to detail,” says Georgie. “Anything you ask her to do, she does it with 100% accuracy, better than a computer and better than any system you’ll ever have. She asks questions, she concentrates and she does it perfectly. If I could clone Mandy, the whole warehouse would just be Mandy’s everywhere!”
"Benefits beyond work"
For Mandy, the benefits of having a secure and meaningful position at St. Frock aren’t merely confined to her career. They’ve also provided her with greater confidence and financial independence. “With higher pay, I can go out for social events and enjoy other parts of my life,” she explains. “On Fridays I like to go bush walking if the weather is fine. Saturday nights I play badminton and on Sunday mornings I go to church and then have lunch with friends.”
"Progress, passion and value!"
Omnia Inclusive Regional Manager, Kate Fraser, has watched Mandy’s journey up-close for the past 12 years and couldn’t be any prouder of what she’s achieved with the support of her Career Consultant, Sonia. “During Mandy’s time with Omnia Inclusive, she’s developed skills in processing, data collection, quality control and her high attention to detail has really allowed her to flourish. It’s wonderful to see her progress and her passion. It’s also hugely rewarding to hear Georgie talk about the value Mandy is bringing to St. Frock. It’s a great example of the many benefits a person with disability can bring to the workforce.”
Georgie certainly agrees. “I think Mandy is everyone’s favourite team member here,” she says. “Even as her boss, it’s a bit like being a mum. You shouldn’t have favourites, but I think she is my favourite. She just brings so much to St. Frock and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I think Mandy will be here with us for a long time.”

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