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Disability Employment Award

Recognising excellence in disability employment initiatives and programs in the workplace.

Due to the calibre of applicants in this category from a range of different organisations, the judging panel have selected two winners for the Disability Employment Award in 2013


Calamity Monitoring

Calamity Monitoring’s work, like many office jobs, is perfectly suited to people with disabilities. This is not a humanitarian gesture but represents good business and is a model other businesses should follow. Calamity staff are highly capable and in relation to monitoring frail and aged-care customers, often have a level of empathy which benefits customer service and overall quality. In other words, disability can even be an advantage.

View Calamity Monitoring’s winning initiative

“Calamity Monitoring demonstrated a strong and innovative approach to a challenge faced by the organisation, which proved beneficial not only for the organisation as a whole, but individuals with a disability in the community. Calamity Monitoring's initiative could be replicated across other small-medium organisations with great success. ”
Judging panel

About Calamity Monitoring
Calamity Monitoring is a privately owned Australian company and has built Australia’s most advanced security monitoring centre. Calamity supervises security and life-safety systems in environments such as private residences, schools, factories, 24-hr workplaces and retail chains. Calamity has been widely recognised for offering the highest levels of quality and customer service.

Woolworths Ltd

The ‘What it DOES take’ program provided a practical approach to increasing the employment of people with disability. The project was focussed on building disability confidence across Woolworths’ stores in Melbourne’s South East, as well as strengthening linkages with local employment service providers.

At the same time the project formed a test bed for the creation of a comprehensive guidebook for recruiting people with disability. This resource is now used across Australia and New Zealand to improve the recruitment of people with disability.

View Woolworths Limited's winning initiative

“Woolworths developed a very scalable program that could easily translate to other large organisations. They have embraced the challenge of disability employment and have demonstrated great success and positive impact to the organisation and those in the local community with a disability. ”
Judging panel

About Woolworths Ltd
Woolworths Limited is made up of some of the biggest brands in Australia and New Zealand. The company has retailers in food and groceries, liquor outlets, petrol, general merchandise and consumer electronics. Woolworths has over 800 supermarkets in Australia and approximately 192,000 employees.

Award Criteria
The program or initiative represents a new and creative approach to the challenge faced by the organisation.
The program or initiative incorporates a cultural change approach to diversity where principles are embedded in the DNA of the organisation.
Outcomes and impact
The program or initiative has addressed the challenge, achieved the desired outcomes and/or positively impacted on the business.
The program or initiative and its impacts or outcomes are sustainable and replicable for the organisation.
The program or initiative is supported or led by the CEO and/or senior leadership team within the organisation.
Employees with disabilities representation within the organisation prior to the program/initiative and at time of application.
Industry recognition
The program or initiative has been developed in consultation with appropriate bodies and aligns itself with principles or guidelines as appropriate.
The program or initiative is aligned with the community/environment within which the organisation operates.


Victorian Disability Sector Awards 2012


Peter Rickards, founding President of ADDE and resident of Nunawading was the 2012 winner of the “Emerging Leader Award”, presented by Mary Wooldridge MLA, the Minister for Community Services. This award was presented as part of the annual Victorian Disability Sector Awards held at Federation Square, to recognize those who have made significant contributions for people with a disability.

Peter Rickards was interviewed by Robin Winslow on Morning Conversation, Vision Australia Radio.

Click to listen to Peter Rickard's interview with Robin Winslow on Morning Conversation, Vision Australia Radio.

Victorian Disability Sector Award


Diversity@Work 2010 Employment and Inclusion Awards



Recently, ADDE was involved in the judging of the Diversity@Work 2010 Employment and Inclusion Awards: People with a Disability. This award recognises excellence in initiatives or programs related to the employment and inclusion of people with a disability. Peter Rickards, ADDE president, was a judge on the panel and stated how happy he was to once again have the opportunity to judge the nominations. “The awards are an excellent way for companies and organisations to showcase their employment practices which lead to an increase in the employment of people with disability in Australia. There were many worthy nominations but we had the unenviable task of having to choose one.” The following are the winners and commendations from the 2010 Awards Dinner held on 14 October 2010:

Award Winner - Employment and Inclusion of People with a Disability - Small/Medium Enterprise (SME), (<1000 staff): Psychiatric Rehabilitation Australia

Commendation - Employment and Inclusion of People with a Disability - SME: Lyndoch Hill

Commendation - Employment and Inclusion of People with a Disability - SME: Australian Retailers Association Retail Institute

Award Winner - Employment and Inclusion of People with a Disability - Large Organisation, (>1000 staff): Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC)

Commendation - Employment and Inclusion of People with a Disability - Large Organisation: Best and Less - Pacific Fair

Winner, SME, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Australia (PRA), was an admirable winner due to a number of outstanding employment practices which have lead to this not for profit organisation showing an impressive measurable outcome of  25% of their workforce being people with disability. PRA’s great strength lies in the fact that it does not pigeon-hole people with disability into doing menial or repetitive jobs, which can lead to many of them soon realising that there is little hope of either advancement or opportunities to make a contribution at a policy and organisational level. The organisation embraces the participation of their consumer group in its workforce. Many of the 60 employees with disability work in specialist professional positions including Executives, Vocational Trainers, Team Leaders, Coordinators, Advocates, Support Workers to name just a few. Peter Rickards said: “Employing this level of staff who have lived experience of mental illness and who started off their involvement as consumers of PRA services, is worthy of the winning award”.
PRA have an attitude of not distinguishing between consumers of their services and the staff which has lead to another noteworthy result for the organisation – an increase in numbers of people coming to PRA to use their services and an increase every year in the number of consumers who are now staff. Democracy in the workforce has many benefits!

Winner, Large Organisation, Aging, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), have a commitment to ensuring older people, people with disability and their carers are valued, lead independent lives and have the opportunity to participate fully in community life. To achieve this, the domestic Services Manager, has established a domestic pool of staff, who trained as service Support Officers to work on a casual basis. Staff conditions include being offered at least 2 shifts per week covering 15 hours. The result is 15 people with disability have trained through the on-the-job program and are now employed. This result in 8 months is notable and as an organisation which serves people with disability it makes sense that they should ‘practice what they preach’.
ADDE commissioned research into the employment of people with disability in the Victorian disability sector titled “Leading From the Front?” (http://adde.org.au/events_survey08.html ). The research showed that this was not happening in the majority of disability organisations. PRA and ADHC are both organisations in the disability sector and both are showing that they can “Lead from the Front” in employing people with disability. ADDE recommends that other organisations look at their own employment practices to see if they can create measurable targets and ‘put their money where their mouth is’ to show that they too can offer best practice disability employment.                                                                   

Left to right: Peter Rickards, ADDE President; Li Cunxin, Mao’s Last Dancer, keynote speaker at the awards; Kathy Leitch, ADDE Development Officer at the Diversity @ Work Awards night, 21/10/10


Diversity @ Work Awards


Left to right: Kathy Leitch, ADDE Development Officer; Graeme Innes, Disability Discrimination Commissioner and Race Discrimination Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights Commission; Peter Rickards, ADDE President at the Diversity @ Work Awards night, 21/10/10

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