Media Release by The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

Australian Disability Enterprise opens new factory in Holden Hill

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Amanda Rishworth today officially opened the Australian Disability Enterprise Barkuma Incorporated‘s new factory in Holden Hill, South Australia.

Ms Rishworth said the Australian Government had provided $700,000 towards the cost of Barkuma’s Holden Hill site which had undergone an impressive renovation.

Ms Rishworth said “It is an absolute pleasure to officially open this wonderful new factory at Barkuma’s new Holden Hill premises.

“From a small school that was initially set up by foundation members set to ensure the education of their children in 1967, Barkuma has now grown to become one of the largest disability organisations here in South Australia.

“Barkuma is a fabulous example of the ways that people with disability can be truly involved in the workforce. At the Holden Hill site, 60 people with disability are employed in jobs as diverse as shredding and document destruction, packing fruit and cosmetics, as well as guest packs for new immigrants, and manufacturing cleaning cloths called ‘Adelaide Rags’, which supports the work of St Vincent de Paul.”

Ms Rishworth said “The Gillard Government strongly believes that disability should not be a barrier to a successful, fulfilling and reasonably paid career. We are committed to helping people with disability find work.

“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 ADE outlets across Australia, providing supported employment assistance to approximately 20,000 people who may not otherwise be able to work.

“I know that this new factory will be a great asset to the Barkuma community, and I am thrilled that it will support the growth and extend the reach of the organization while also providing friendly and modern facilities for employees.”

Ms Rishworth said the Federal Government is also providing around $5.5 million to Barkuma over three years, until 2015, to support the great work they do assisting people with disability at work.

Barkuma is one of the largest disability providers in South Australia, employing 150 supported employees and providing other services such as open employment, community living support, counselling, advocacy, and assisting high school students with disability transition to the workforce.