Welcome to Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment Inc. © 2014 GSpeech

Peter has become a passionate advocate for improving employment opportunities for people from disadvantaged communities. “I decided to form ADDE because I found so many barriers to getting back into the workforce” Peter said. Many organizations such as State Federal, and Local Government, and Disability Agencies which you would expect would be leading from the front in employment of people with disabilities, were not doing so. I became tired of trying to change these injustices by myself with no obvious results. After nearly two years of frustration I realized that organizations and government only take you seriously if you speak from an organization which has credibility and numbers. There were so many people like me having the same problems and many people I came across had just given up trying to find work because it is too difficult when employers are not taking a pro-active approach. The next step was to get together to try and get change happening and create our own employment opportunities” Peter Rickards said.

Since completing a post graduate qualification in Recreation and leisure studies, Peter played a leading role in developing Recreation and Leisure services for people with vision loss for 26 years at Vision Australia before being made redunt 2003.

His achievements included production of videos, a program series broadcast on National Radio for the Print Handicapped, and the publishing and writing of several books which sold world wide. Also the establishment of many National and State Blind and Disability sporting and recreation associations.

Peter played a leading role on the Disability Advisory Committee at Boroondara (winners of Prime Ministers employer award 2005), and he developed a business plan for the BtB (Becoming the Boss disability empowerment training program) at Action for Community Living. Another achievement is the establishment of a small business by Peter and his partner.

Despite loosing his vision at a young age while living in Africa, Peter has been keenly involved in many sports and recreational activities himself, the highlights of which have been to represent Australia internationally in three different sports.

In 1980 Peter competed in the second winter Paraolympics In Norway in the 10 and 20 kilometer cross country skiing events coming within the top 10 in the world. In 1982 he won a gold medal in the 5 kilometer walk in Hong Kong at the Asian disability games. And In 1990 his sailing team won bronze at the first world blind sailing championships in Auckland New Zealand.

Other highlights have included entering teams in three five day 400 km canoe Murray Marathons, and the annual international Dragon boat festival, and leading a trip of vision impaired people who paddled the circumference of Port Philip Bay over eight days in sea kayaks.

In addition to being father to three almost grown up children, Peter still finds time to play golf, go bush walking, cross country skiing, ball room dancing, canoeing, organize fund raising events for charity, and play chess. He also has been a leader of a Cub Scout pack for nine years. Recently Peter was President of Rostrum public speaking club, and represented his club at the Victorian public speaking finals in August 2005. He also was part of the inaugural Leadershipplus program in Australia.

Peter was born in New Zealand and also lived in South Africa for five years before his family came to Melbourne in 1970.
Click to listen highlighted text! Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment Inc. © 2014 GSpeech