A year ago, Sarah Schiliro made a big life decision that would have ramifications for not only herself, but many others. Good ramifications. Good things.
The now 26-year-old turned her back on a career in real estate and bought The Big Green Cup Cafe in Bungendore.
Today, 10 of her 11 staff are people with disabilities, ranging from Down syndrome to autism, to afflictions such as anxiety.
After also previously working in the disability sector, Sarah wanted to ensure jobs went to people with disabilities, not because they were government funded or the position was created for them, but because there was work to be done and they could do it.
So people like 21-year-old Edwina Marchant, from Hoskinstown, has a three-hour shift every Wednesday.
The young woman with intellectual disabilities washes up and clears the tables and chats with the customers.
Other employees work longer shifts, including full days. It depends on whatever they can cope with.
Sarah, who receives no government funding and does not ask for it, says she usually gets one of two reactions to her decision to focus on employing people with disabilities.
"One is, 'Oh, you're just trying to get cheap labour' and that's a misconception I hate. Everyone is paid award wages," she said.
"But then the other reaction is, 'Wow, this is great'.
"And I have staff from Bungendore, Hoskinstown, as far as Weston Creek, because there is nowhere else for them to go."
The parents and carers of the employees are as equally grateful as the employees themselves.
"I just love that something so little, well, it's little to me because I'm giving them a job because I need the help, is so big to them. They're so grateful they've got a job."
Sarah is taking it to the next level with a series of free workshops for people with disabilities who want to upskill. She hopes her Let's Talk workshops will create networks and provide a source of employees for other cafes. Sarah says she can't employ everyone who asks for a job, as much as she would like to.
"It would be great if it could be a way for them to connect with other jobs," she said.
The workshops will be quarterly, the first starting later this month, and include barista training, interview skills and presentation tips. More details will be on the cafe's website at thebiggreencupcafe.com.
And Sarah has no regrets about her career change.
"Real estate is really cut-throat and this is completely different," she said.