Fernando Grez Montiel wears many hats – athlete, leader, support worker and disability advocate, to name a few. Yet these titles only scratch the surface of his active involvement within his community, where he tirelessly helps others in reaching their potential. 

Our team had the privilege of sitting down with Fernando, a Jobedge participant, to delve into his life, career, passions and dreams to uncover what motivates him to reach for the stars. 

Fernando, a Support Coordinator, brings to the table not just professional expertise gained from several years’ experience in the Disability Support Industry, but also personal insight, having grown up with a disability himself. This dual perspective empowers him to support his clients with profound respect and empathy. 

His industry insights and professional experience sparked a dream to start his own company, offering a higher level of support that prioritises client’s needs and aims to rectify prevalent issues like low customer retention rates and inadequate employee training. 

As a Jobedge participant, Fernando works with Brittany, a dedicated Jobedge Mentor, where he finds solace in their partnership that’s built on trust and honesty. As a remote worker, Fernando sees Brittany as his trusted confidante, and she helps him navigate work-related challenges. This support system has had an immensely positive impact on Fernando’s overall wellbeing and focus.

Brittany looks forward to her appointments with Fernando, commenting,

“Fernando is an inspiration; his resilience and positivity is infectious, and he applies himself to everything he commits to.”

Beyond his professional endeavours, Fernando is best known for his commitment to professional sports, particularly wheelchair basketball. Having competed in tennis since age ten, Fernando attained a number one ranking by fifteen, traversing Australia as a competitive player. Yet, a serious elbow injury prompted him to transition to basketball, seeking an alternative sporting pursuit.

Fernando recently took on the challenge of becoming captain of Adelaide Thunder, a competitive wheelchair basketball team under the South Australian Wheelchair Basketball Association. Leading by example, he mentors his teammates, and together with his coach and the Association, uses their connections to take the team to new heights. 

Fernando believes that no matter what your goal is, your main priority should be creating and maintaining strong relationships, as it provides the foundation to build all other skills upon.

“The biggest thing is to build trust around your teammates. Once you do that, people will come to you and ask you questions. They will ask, ‘how do you do that?’ ‘What should I do differently?’ Step number one should always be to build that relationship,” shared Fernando.

Despite the demanding training schedule, Fernando approaches leadership with a mindset of continuous improvement, constantly reviewing the strategies to optimise team performance and nurture a sense of unity. His unwavering determination comes from a desire to create opportunities for wheelchair users, inspiring others to embrace challenges and pursue their dreams.

Rebecca Beaumont, Jobedge Regional Manager, shared her thoughts on Jobedge’s support of Fernando and Adelaide Thunder, commenting,

“Jobedge is excited to support Adelaide Thunder. This is an amazing opportunity for players across Australia to compete in high-level basketball and we are proud to support Fernando and his team! Let’s go Adelaide Thunder!”

Jobedge is proud to be an official sponsor of Adelaide Thunder and looks forward to following their progress in the upcoming season. Thank you to Fernando for sharing his story, and for inspiring many with his journey. As Fernando leads the charge for inclusivity and empowerment, Jobedge stands alongside him and his team, celebrating their achievements. 

To learn more about Fernando and the Adelaide Thunder wheelchair basketball team, visit their website. 

As a Disability Employment Services provider, Jobedge helps Fernando, and Adelaide job seekers like him in finding and keeping meaningful employment opportunities. If you have a disability, injury or illness, and are looking for support, we encourage you to contact our team today.