Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Catering service recognised for supporting employees with disability

A gourmet café and catering service has taken out top honours in the 2011 Australian Disability Enterprises Excellence Award.

Three Australian Disability Enterprises were honoured for their commitment to employees with disability at the Australian Disability Enterprises Excellence Award ceremony in Sydney during the National Disability Services Employment Forum today.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, congratulated Geelong’s dal ‘Gourmet Café and Catering.

“The Excellence Award is given in recognition of the role of Australian Disability Enterprises in providing high quality and sustainable work to people with disability,” Senator McLucas said.

“The Award acknowledges organisations that provide best practice and innovative training opportunities, achieve strong wage outcomes, provide safe working conditions, social inclusion and participation for its employees.”

“Congratulations to dal ‘Gourmet Café and Catering for their ongoing effort to provide meaningful, supported work and training opportunities to people with disability in their local community.”

dal Gourmet Café and Catering is a supported employment and training organisation, operating a gourmet catering service and two retail cafes in Geelong.

Participants receive individual advice and support on options within and outside the service, including further education, open employment opportunities, independent travel, budgeting, accommodation and leisure options. They are also actively involved in the planning, management and operations of the business.

Endeavour Foundation Industries in Queensland and Acacia Park Enterprises in New South Wales were named runners-up.

Senator McLucas thanked Qantas for their support to the 2011 awards.

“Qantas has generously donated $10,000 worth of prizes for this year’s Australian Disability Enterprises Excellence Award. This is a great contribution to this important annual event.”

Australian Disability Enterprises are businesses, partly funded by the Australian Government, that employ around 20,000 people with moderate to severe disability across Australia.

They provide products and services across a wide range of industries, including design, printing and packaging, manufacturing, laundry and landscaping.

The Australian Government is working with an Advisory Group of disability sector representatives and employers to develop a ten year vision for supported employment in Australia, which will be released later this year.

2011 Australian Disability Enterprise Excellence Award