Living to work
NZCU Employees’ Loans Officer Wayne Childs is not one to dawdle. Originally working in factories and manual jobs, a motorbike accident left him paralysed at the age of 22. Working at NZCU Employees is fulfilling Wayne’s drive to learn new skills and help our members with their loan applications and other financial needs, and he’s thriving.
It’s a running joke between Wayne Childs and his sister that if he could work on the weekends, he would.
“I don’t want to sit around at home and do nothing,” says the 54-year-old South-Auckland raised Kiwi.
Wayne left school at the tender age of 15 and worked in factory and manual labour jobs, which he preferred, saying they were more ‘him’.
But a motorbike accident at age 22 changed everything when he became paralysed and wheelchair-bound.
No longer able to work in a factory or as a mechanical engineer, Wayne explored other options to allow him to keep working.
“I could sit around at home doing nothing and still receive money, but that’s just boring. I think if people can get up and go and do something, go and do it,” he says.
He applied for voluntary positions and looked for work experience. Knowing he didn’t have office experience, Wayne was willing to work voluntarily in the hope it would lead to paid employment.
He gained work experience at Middlemore Hospital before moving to the telephone exchange department as a permanent employee.
After 10 years there Wayne’s medical problems flared up. He was in and out of hospital for periods from three to six months at a time, forcing him to leave his position.
Eventually things settled down. More importantly, he realised he could work again.
“I had to get out of the house because it was driving me crazy”.
At the time his sister was working at NZCU Employees. She asked Wayne to come in and do some data entry work experience, which he happily did.
Before long, he was learning about loans.
General Manager Kona Hatalafale saw Wayne’s potential and hired him in April 2016.
When asked what it’s like working with NZCU Employees, Wayne says he’s nothing but grateful. Whether it’s face to face or over the phone, he enjoys being able to help members however he can.
He still finds it amusing that a factory worker, such as himself, is answering calls, helping people with their finances and working on special projects.
“If you told me I would be working in an office I never would have believed you”.
Wayne is now working on a digital project to fine-tune online loan applications.
“It’s exciting to be a part of the project, because although people will be able to apply for their loans online, it’ll still be handled by a person, so each member is being looked after personally,” he says.
“We’ll be able to text them more and they can keep an eye on their loan progress.”
Talk to us
If you’d like to speak to Wayne or any of our friendly team, contact us for a chat today!
Phone: 09 579 0448
Visit: 591 Great South Road, Penrose, Auckland 1061