Having disabilities and a language barrier has not stopped Prem Khadka from living his life to the fullest.
The Bhutanese former refugee - who lived in a small hut at a camp in Nepal between the ages of one and 20 - recently found a new job as a production line worker at Merriwa's Wodonga facility on the NSW-Victorian border.
Mr Khadka has an intellectual disability.
He is also speech and hearing impaired, and relies on a hearing aid.
His job at Merriwa, which began in March, was a big confidence boost for the 28-year-old, who received little formal schooling.
In the space of about two months, he has mastered the skills required to package food items on the shop floor.
Mr Khadka likes to share with others about how much his job means to him whenever he has the chance.
"I like the work, I like the people here," he said.
After 19 years living in a small hut with no electricity and limited water supply, Mr Khadka arrived in Australia with his father, mother, brother and sister-in-law in 2013.
The family settled in Albury after spending their first year in Sydney.
Since arriving in the Border region, the family has bought a house and welcomed Mr Khadka's nephew.
"My family is very supportive," he said.
Due to the stigma related to his disabilities, Mr Khadka initially refused to attend school at TAFE out of fear of being bullied.
With reassurance and encouragement from his bi-lingual support worker Tika Poudyel, he has eased into studying English one day a week at Albury TAFE through the Adult Migrant English Program.
"The big thing is the language barrier for people with disabilities," Mr Poudyel said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Aside from working at the Merriwa factory and earning permanent support wages, Mr Khadka likes to occupy himself with cooking and cleaning at home, and also visits his family.
With the help of his support worker, he is socialising more with members of his work community.
His next goal is to save up for a better camera, and develop his interest in photography.
In Nepal, there is limited learning available for people with disabilities, but no support.
Through the NDIS, Mr Khadka has access to allied health services for speech and psychology.
Mr Poudyel said Merriwa was one of the few places that didn't require is client to have a certificate in order to gain employment.
On the job, Mr Khadka has found a sense of belonging and support with a group of 12 other Nepalese-speaking colleagues.
"Now that he has a job, he's very happy," Mr Poudyel said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.