Meet Kate Keogh: a story about second chances at her 50’s

Our People News: September 19, 2018

RedRoosterWomensWeek – Kate Keogh, a mature-age worker, is shaping a second successful life in an industry traditionally dominated by young people.

Kate Keogh - Red Rooster employee - International Women day

About four years ago, Kate Keogh left her old life in Tasmania and came to Ipswich.

“A 50-year-old lady just trying to get a job… It is nearly impossible as we all know,” she said. 

However, Kate hit the rock bottom when she sat down with Yamanto’s Red Rooster owner, Daniel McDouall.

The former restaurant owner and Air Force member begged for work.  “I said ‘I am good. If you let me in your door, I can be the best that you’ve got'”, she said. “From that day on, I promised I’d be the best that I could because he gave me a chance”. 

Ms Keogh’s friendly nature and passion resulted in her quick promotion. “It’s like my home that customers are all walking into, people are my passion.”

People skills

Ms Keogh’s secret skill? Sign language – something she learnt 25 years ago. This took her boss by surprise: “a customer came in and it was a bit of a scene when he came in and he was pointing”.

Kate started talking to him in sign language and he calmed down. It was a really good moment actually. That guy comes back quite a bit and we’ve got about half-a-dozen guys who come to our store because Kate can communicate with them.”

Mr McDouall said his mature-age employee brought different skills to the store.

He encouraged other owners to see the benefits in hiring mature-aged people.

(Story courtesy of Queensland Times)