Media Release by The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

More Support for Australian Disability Enterprises to move towards social firm business models

The Gillard Government is delivering a further $900 000 to support Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) to move towards a not-for-profit social firm business model.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Amanda Rishworth announced that sixteen ADEs will share in more than $2.2 million under the now increased Social Firm Transition Fund.

“We’re increasing funding available to support Australian Disability Enterprises to move towards a social firm business model as a result of the high level of demand and high calibre of projects being proposed under the Social Firm Transition Fund,” Ms Rishworth said.

“Our ten-year Vision for supported employment sets out a clear path for change in the way the Australian Government assists people with disability in supported employment.

“As part of our Vision, we want to support individuals in their choices about where they want to work, whether it is in the public or private sector, an ADE, their own micro-business – or a social enterprise, such as a social firm.

“Everyone has the right to work. Having a job enhances economic and social participation, and disability or mental illness should be no barrier to a successful and fulfilling career.

“This funding will assist ADEs adapt one of their business lines to a social firm model, and help build new business lines that are commercially viable and reflect what government and businesses want to buy.

“Funded projects include e-waste recycling businesses, therapeutic goods packaging, an upgrade of a caf’e and hospitality training venue, and a graphic design and printing business.

“Social firms have immense benefits for employees. As inclusive and integrated workplaces, where employees with disability work alongside employees without disability, they help break down social barriers.

“People with disability are able to prove that ability is much more important than disability, as well as make connections they otherwise may not have made.

“We believe that ADEs have an important role to play in providing meaningful work and training for people with disability. That is why we are currently supporting around 325 ADEs across Australia, providing supported employment assistance to approximately 20,000 people who may not otherwise be able to work.

“Importantly, the Social Firm Transition Fund will also assist the supported employment sector to prepare for DisabilityCare Australia. As social firms offer strong working conditions, including good wage outcomes and inclusive working environments, they are expected to become employers of choice for people with disability.”

The recipients of the Social Firm Transition Fund are:

ADE Organisation Name

Social Firm Project

Hands on SA

Transition of existing food packing business

OCTEC Limited

Food manufacturing

Noweyung Ltd

Caf’e and hospitality training venue

Challenge Tweed Inc

Transition of existing food packaging activity

Mamre Plains Limited

Food manufacturing


Transition of existing printing business

The Uniting Church In Australia Property Trust (Q)

Establishment of a new e-waste recycling business


Therapeutic products packaging

Katia Project Inc

Green waste recycling business

Barkuma Inc

E-waste recycling business

Disability Services Australia Limited

New maintenance and cleaning business line

Outlook (Vic) Inc

E-waste social firm

House With No Steps NSW

E-waste recovery business

Ningana Enterprises Inc

Food manufacturing business

Workpower Inc

New commercial cleaning business

Vision Australia

Warehousing business