Disability employer Bedford has built a larger aquaculture shed in Port Lincoln with the aim of employing more people with a disability.
- Bedford employs more than 1,000 people with a disability across South Australia
- The shed was named after prominent fisherman and businessman Sam Sarin
- Bedford hopes to employ more people with a disability to work in the shed
Bedford CEO Myron Mann said the shed would play a big part in the seafood industry and businesses in Port Lincoln.
"We actually maintain all the knots in the ropes that are used in fishing, we have abalone cleaning, we make packaging for mussels, and we make baskets for Coffin Bay Oysters," Mr Mann said.
"Just about every variety of seafood, we touch in some way.
"Port Lincoln is one of our larger regional sites and at full employment we would have over 30 employees."
Developing life-long skills
Employee Paul Dunn has been working at Bedford in Port Lincoln since 2008 and said he enjoyed coming to work every day.
He said the new shed would make it easier to get the work done.
"I do a lot of gardening, but I have also just started doing the abalone and we clean the shells," he said.
"They get sent overseas to places like Egypt."
"I love Bedford because I can help people out and I just like the people and all the friends I have here at Bedford."
The shed was officially opened last week and former employee Darcy Redding was recognised for his outstanding achievement with the company.
"I spent about five and a half years here and the time I spent here really helped me with my mental health," Mr Redding said.
"It's a supporting environment where people don't judge me.
"You can grow as a leader too, where you can show some of the guys how to do things."
A sense of pride and rich history
Operations Manager Anya Fiedler said the new shed was a remarkable achievement.
"This will increase our production and it's fantastic for our employees because this gives them a better space to work with different seafood organisations," she said.
"They're amazing. One of our employees tied 1,000 ropes in one day which is massive.
"Being involved in a work task, gives our employees such a sense of pride that they are achieving and contributing."
The shed was named after one of Port Lincoln's biggest fishing icons, Sam Sarin.
"Looking back over the years, Sam's involvement with Bedford was tireless," Mr Mann said.
"It didn't really matter what help we needed, he would either do it or knew someone that would do it or he would get a number of people together to make it happen.
"I think it's important we named it after him for everything he did for Bedford and the broader community as well.
"His memory will stick around for a long time."