Wheelnutz Garage is doing things differently and making a difference

Having just received its second industry award in as many months, Wheelnutz Garage says it is determined to not only pave the way for young people with disabilities into employment, but its recently opened garage in Brendale will be staffed predominantly by people with disabilities.
Established in 2020 as a one-of-a-kind innovative program that builds capacity and skill development, the garage promotes social connectedness and good mental health.
Traditionally a loud and offensive environment, every aspect of the automotive garage has been designed or altered to support a culture of acceptance and an environment of social, emotional and physical safety.
“Employing people with disabilities isn’t just a feel-good strategy, but makes good business sense,” Wheelnutz Garage Chief Executive Officer, Gavin McCarthy, said.
“There is over a decade of research that demonstrates, time and again, that people with disability have a positive work attitude and work ethos, and that hiring people with disability can boost productivity and morale in the workplace.”
In an environment where the automotive industry is struggling with staff recruitment and retention, Gavin has taken a different approach.
His first call was to a local Disability Employment Service. Immediately he was presented with six resumes – all highly qualified and experienced in the automotive field, who had acquired a disability that resulted in long term unemployment.
“Employing a team with the collective experience of 200 years is a no-brainer,” Gavin said.
“They just happen to have a spinal or brain injury, or neurological condition such as Parkinson’s Disease.”

To learn more about Wheelnutz Garage, visit