SMILES: Sarah Milne, who works for the  Sunshine Coast Daily,   with host contractor Brooke Ryan.
SMILES: Sarah Milne, who works for the Sunshine Coast Daily, with host contractor Brooke Ryan. Patrick Woods

Newspaper job is just the start

A FRIENDLY face with a contagious smile has been working behind the scenes at the local paper to keep everything spic and span for her colleagues.

But 27-year-old Sarah Milne is a woman of many talents.

Visiting the Sunshine Coast Daily offices in Maroochydore each week is just part of her busy schedule; with gym workouts, swimming lessons, dance classes, and a trip to see Eminem live in concert planned for early next year.

Sarah has Down syndrome, but she never lets the medical diagnosis get in the way of enjoying life.

With her host contractor, Brooke Ryan, with whom she lives in Brightwater, Sarah is spending her days just like any other young woman on the Sunshine Coast.

She works two days a week sorting papers, watering plants and organising the recycling.

Her favourite part about coming into work is spending time with her friends.

"Steve is my friend, and Paul, and Phil," she said.

"We tell jokes, yeah."

She scored her job through the STEPS organisation, which helps to get youth like her into employment.

"We were interviewed and right away he said, 'I know a guy'," Brooke said.

"He actually employed Sarah's friend Emily at the radio station, so next thing we knew we were meeting with Steve Hirst (Sunshine Coast Daily general manager) and he had a new employee."

Sarah's bubbly personality has instantly had an effect on everyone she meets, both inside and outside of work.

"She just makes people smile, she's kind," her host contractor said.

"She's just such a beautiful girl inside and out.

"She makes everyone happy, she's contagious."

Her favourite musician is Eminem, her favourite food is salmon pasta and her NRL team is Brisbane Broncos, whose signed jersey she wears with pride.

She watches Netflix and YouTube videos in her spare time, when she's not going for walks or swimming at the beach.

On weekends she visits friends and family and watches concerts. She spoke fondly of the lead singer in Electrik Lemonade at Caloundra Music Festival, in his skinny jeans with cool tattoos.

Life for Sarah is much like anyone else her age, thriving in the era of social media and forming close bonds with her colleagues.

For her birthday her co-workers pitched in to buy her a Brisbane Broncos jersey and celebrated with Sarah's favourite dessert, cheesecake.

For more information about the STEPS program, visit stepsgroup.com.au.



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