50-year-old Russel O’Grady first join the force in 1986 at the Sydney West branch, at the age of 18. He was an icon and is very popular among his colleague and customers.
Russell started working for the restaurant at a time when it was less common for people with learning disabilities to embark on career paths.
His supervisor, Courtney Purcell, said:
“We’ve got regular customers who come in to see Russell on Thursday and Friday, and the staff look after him, so we’re going to miss him.”
The career changed Russell’s outlook on his life.
His dad, Geoff explained people have stopped in the street to shake his son’s hand, adding: “He’s very affectionate, dearly loved and appreciated, to such an extent that we just don’t believe it.”
He started with the company on work experience through the Job Support scheme, but showed how hard he would graft and moved through the ranks, securing a full-time job packing party boxes.
He decided that retirement was the best option due to his health.