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Luke Ferguson

Operations Manager

When Imagination Meets Action: How Luke Ferguson is Leading Our Teams to Create Better Futures

As an artist, Luke Ferguson is adept at bringing ideas to life through his illustrations. And each day at Endeavour Foundation, he uses this same creativity to help make possibilities a reality for people with disability. From Support Worker to Operations Manager, Luke’s career progression has been as swift as it’s been rewarding. At the heart of his journey? A deep desire to empower the people he supports to live life their way.

Creativity and connection

Growth, perseverance, achievement. These strengths are often symbolised by the dragon - a powerful yet benevolent mythical creature in many cultures.

At Endeavour Foundation, Luke Ferguson sees these qualities on display every day - by our teams and, most importantly, the amazing people we support. Which is why the incredible mural of a dragon, created by our clients at our Learning and Lifestyle hub in Nambour, is so symbolic.

“I’m a creative person, and I love the creativity I’m able to bring to the Endeavour Foundation,” says Luke, Endeavour Foundation’s Operations Manager - Community and Work. “When I was a Learning and Lifestyle Support Worker, I used my background in education to formulate a mural painting program for our clients. We used spray paints and brushes to create a dragon mural. It was a really cool achievement, and now it’s a bit of an attraction. Visitors to the centre see it immediately. The clients get a real kick out of knowing they’ve contributed to something so special.”

Creating opportunities for people to thrive is what Luke does best. As a visual artist and illustrator, Luke brings a wealth of creativity to our #TeamPossible. From Support Worker to Operations Manager, Luke’s career with Endeavour Foundation has gone from strength to strength.

“What I love most about my role is there’s a purpose behind it. It makes me feel satisfied. I’m not just working a daily grind - I’m contributing to a meaningful cause. Our priority is the people we support. Every action and decision we make is about ensuring our clients achieve their individual goals.”

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A swift career progression

Growing up with a younger sister with disability, Luke had a deep insight into the obstacles people with disability face. Although he didn’t plan on a long-term career in disability support, he took on a part-time Support Worker role in 2010 to supplement his university studies.

“I studied all sorts of things - from paramedic science to secondary education to graphic design. One day, I saw a job ad for Endeavour Foundation and really liked how they presented themselves. It was client focused and innovative. One of Endeavour Foundation’s values is ‘imaginative’, and that really came through on their website and appealed to me.”

It was then that Luke truly found his feet in a rewarding industry and career. Joining us as a Community Access Support Worker in 2017, Luke provided one-to-one support to our clients attending appointments and activities in the community. His compassion and ability to think outside the box made him a perfect fit for the role.

“Being creative is important to me, and with Support Work, I could be as creative as I like, so long as it served a purpose. I had the autonomy to try new things, and I still enjoy that now at Endeavour.”

With enthusiasm and drive, Luke’s career swiftly grew. In 2019, he moved to our Learning and Lifestyle (L&L) team, helping our clients identify and meet their personal and NDIS goals. Within six months, this emerging and empathetic leader became Site Manager.

“Often, the people we support present a challenge, and they may not have the problem-solving skills to get around it. So, we need to think laterally to help them address that problem. For example, one young man at L&L was struggling to interact with people. We got all the people involved in his life together to brainstorm strategies to help him, which was really productive and fruitful. As a result, we saw this young man being invited to birthday parties and social events, which was what he’d been craving. He started making friends and felt part of a community. That was a great example of Endeavour Foundation really making a difference in someone’s life.”

In 2021, Luke’s strong leadership skills and passion for sustaining positive change saw him promoted to Operations Manager - Community and Work. Based on the Sunshine Coast, Luke now supports his team of Site Managers to ensure the smooth running of eight of our south-east Queensland sites - a mix of our L&L hubs and worksites.

“There’s no typical day for me, and I do a lot of travelling. At one of our worksites, Kingaroy Kitchen, our supported employees make biscuits, chutneys and jams. It’s just amazing; everyone loves working there, and I always love visiting that site. Our services give people an opportunity to gain real skills and feel part of a team in a fully supported environment. We want to help our clients to become as independent as they want to be and gain real skills they can use in employment.”

Managing a team in disability services may not have been what Luke envisioned in his university days. But at Endeavour Foundation, he has been supported in his professional growth journey every step of the way.

“I’ve surprised myself with my achievements and career progression. I’m part of an amazing team and have had fantastic support. I’m one of eight Operations Managers, and when I started this role, I knew I could ask any of the others for direction and guidance. They would always give it freely and with encouragement. You see that same positive attitude at all levels of the organisation.”

The power of positivity

When Luke isn’t travelling between sites, supporting our Site Managers, he’s usually at the gym, surfing, or jumping into his four-wheel-drive for an outdoor adventure. He’s also devoted to his art, which he describes as similar to graphic novel art.

“I like to create art that has a meaning to it. It has to be a little deeper than just a picture, but it also has to be visually stunning. I’m a bit of a perfectionist!”

One thing’s for sure, Luke never stops imagining a better future for our clients. He looks forward to growing his career with us, and offers the following advice for anyone considering a career at Endeavour Foundation:

“Imagination is important. It’s something close to my heart, and it’s embraced throughout the whole organisation. Positivity goes far, too. What you bring to work is reflected in your words and actions. People who aren’t verbal and use other means of communication can be quite observant - they pick up on body language and facial expressions. So, bring a positive attitude every day, and do what you can to ensure our clients can have the best day possible.”

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