Dedicated Dave

Dave Perich hasn’t let his disability get the better of him.
Dave Perich hasn’t let his disability get the better of him.

He remains determined to keep moving forward despite his many setbacks in life including a serious fall, deteriorating joints, the loss of loved ones, and even being hit by a car.

Next year he celebrates 20 years since he started working for Coles as a customer service assistant in Morley, supported by Bizlink, which is funded by the Federal Department of Social Services.

Support co-ordinator Troy Sabetta has in the past helped make Mr Perich�s workstation more ergonomic.

Mr Perich (38) was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at two years of age after being born seven weeks premature in a brief labour that deprived him of oxygen.

His gross motor skills were affected, causing his right foot to turn in, and his optic nerve was damaged, resulting in visual impairment. But his determination showed right from a very young age and, thanks to walking aids, surgery and extensive physiotherapy, he was able to walk when he reached three.

Mr Perich said his stepfather suggested agricultural school in Bindoon.

�It was probably the best thing I did because I was given the opportunity to do everything,� he said.

�They said yes you are a person with a disability but do you want to give it go?�

Mr Perich walks with a limp and the joints in his ankles, knees and hips are wearing because his weight is not spread evenly. He faces the prospect of surgery to cut and reattach muscles and tendons but this would require a six-month recovery.

Mr Perich was the first person tested in WA for botox injections in the back of the legs but this is an expensive treatment.

He had a six-month recovery from a broken hip when he fell down stairs at his Morley home in 2010 and decided to move to a ground-level property in Rockingham.

He worked at Morley Coles for 15 years before starting work at Rockingham Coles.