Media Release by The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

Australian Disability Enterprises Excellence Awards 2013

Australians are being encouraged to nominate outstanding Australian Disability Enterprises for a national award.

The 2013 Australian Disability Enterprise Excellence Awards celebrate and recognise employers who offer meaningful work to people with disability whilst focusing on new and innovative business practices in the sector.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Amanda Rishworth today called for nominations for this year’s awards.

Ms Rishworth said the awards recognise the significant contribution Australian Disability Enterprises make in improving social inclusiveness for people with disability.

“The Australian Government believes it is very important that people with disability who are able to work should have access to work,” Ms Rishworth said.

“We recognise the role Australian Disability Enterprises play in providing work and training for people with disability who may not otherwise be able to work.

“We support 194 Australian Disability Enterprises across Australia, providing supported employment assistance to about 20,000 people with moderate to severe disability.

“Australian Disability Enterprises are commercial businesses delivering services to the community such as catering, gardening, building furniture, metal fabrication, servicing the mining industry, printing and packaging.

“They make a huge difference in the lives of people with disability, who receive substantial ongoing support in their roles, and we remain committed to supporting Australian Disability Enterprises.”

Ms Rishworth encouraged Australians to nominate both small and large Australian Disability Enterprises for these prestigious awards.

“Nominations will be judged on criteria such as delivering best practice and innovative training opportunities, achieving strong wage outcomes, providing safe working conditions, social inclusion and participation for their employees and quality of service to people with disability,” Ms Rishworth said.

“Last year’s winner Back to Back Theatre in Geelong is a hugely successful regional Australian theatre company-and is also an Australian Disability Enterprise.

“Supported employees are employed as the theatre company’s actors who, as well as learning choreography, new languages and acting techniques, explore groundbreaking technologies and methodologies to create new works.

“I look forward to seeing how this year’s winner and two runners up have created unique experiences for their supported employees.”

Nominations for this year’s ADE Excellence Awards close on 30 August.

The winners will be announced on 8 October 2013 at the National Disability Services Employment Forum, held at Jupiters on the Gold Coast. For more information, visit