Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Employment opportunities for people with disability in Seven Hills

Joint Media Release with:

  • Michelle Rowland MP, Member for Greenway

A new facility in Sydney’s Seven Hills that will provide supported employment for around 65 people with disability was officially opened today by the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas.

Disability Services Australia, an Australian Disability Enterprise and one of the largest providers of employment and community support services in New South Wales, will operate from a new purpose-built site in Seven Hills featuring a new kitchen and outdoor facilities.

“From their humble beginnings in a small workshop in Camperdown in the 1950s, Disability Services Australia has grown to include four factories, three regional community services offices, three regional vocational services offices. It employs over 900 staff, more than 500 of whom have a disability,” Senator McLucas said.

The Seven Hills facility will employ up to 65 people with disability to undertake assembly, sealing, packaging and sorting work for a variety of organisations.

“Australian Disability Enterprises like Disability Services Australia give people with disability who without specialised support might not be able to find and keep a job,” she said.

“We know the benefits of having a job go well beyond a weekly pay packet; there are social benefits, like the boost to one’s confidence and the opportunity to make new friends.

“Congratulations to Disability Services Australia on their new facility in Seven Hills and I know the team will continue to make a real difference to lives of people with disability.

Member for Greenway, Michelle Rowland welcomed Disability Services Australia to Seven Hills.

“Disability Services Australia is providing employment and training opportunities to local people with disability who otherwise may not have had that opportunity, Ms Rowland said.

“Disability Services Australia is a great example of an inclusive supported employer and I look forward to working with them, particularly as we lay the foundations of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Disability Services Australia was one of 64 organisations to receive a grant under the Gillard Government’s $3.1 million NDIS Readiness Fund to help them get ready for a National Disability Insurance Scheme which will reform the way we deliver disability care and support across Australia.

“The $30,000 grant will help with the costs of new upgrades to computer software and information technology, training and information services, and new equipment,” Senator McLucas said.

The NDIS Readiness Fund followed theannouncement of a $59.6 million injection over four years into Australian Disability Enterprises in the recent budget, bringing total investment to more than $210 million each year.

“The Gillard Government values the role of Australian Disability Enterprises in employing more than 20,000 Australians with disability and helping them take part in economic life,” Senator McLucas said.

“We released a 10 year vision for the future of supported employment, which will be a framework to help Australian Disability Enterprises remain strong and sustainable through the transition to a National Disability Insurance Scheme.”