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Statement by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Call for nominations to the 2010 ADE Excellence Awards

Joint Statement with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

The Minister for Community Services, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, Bill Shorten, have called for nominations for this year’s Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) Excellence Awards.

The awards aim to recognise outstanding disability enterprises for the work they do in providing meaningful work for people with disability who are unable to work in open employment.

ADEs are competitive businesses which are funded by the Australian Government to provide supported employment to people with significant disability who need substantial and ongoing on-the-job assistance.

Ms Macklin said the ADE Excellence awards, now in their third year, were an important recognition of the outstanding contribution of ADEs.

‘There are more than 200 disability enterprises across Australia, which employ about 19,000 people with disability,’ Ms Macklin said.

‘These enterprises give people with disability the opportunity to have jobs in a range of areas including catering, gardening, building furniture and printing and packaging.’

‘I encourage people to nominate successful disability enterprises for the awards, so that their good work can be shared with the rest of the sector and Australia.’

Mr Shorten said this year’s awards would consist of three award categories – the Training Innovation Award, Business Innovation Award and Achievement Award and the winners will share in $10,000 prize money, donated by Rio Tinto.

He said ADEs played a crucial role in providing the chance of a job to a group of vulnerable Australians who would otherwise miss out.

‘A job is the key to social inclusion and acceptance for people with disability,’ Mr Shorten said.

‘As well as financial independence it gives a sense of participation in the community, a chance to learn new skills, and to enjoy the camaraderie of the workplace.

‘All ADEs deliver a valuable social benefit but the ADE Excellence awards recognise those ADEs who go above and beyond their day-to-day contributions.’

Last year’s Achievement Award winner for a large ADE, Good Samaritan Industries, was recognised for providing its employees with disability with the same conditions as it does for its award wage employees, such as superannuation, leave loading, and long service leave.

This year’s Training Innovation Award will acknowledge organisations that are providing best practice training methods or have researched and developed new training products to enhance the skills and knowledge of their workers.

The Business Innovation Award will recognise ADEs that are focused on building career paths for their supported employees and providing sustainable work through new and profitable business opportunities, as well as developing strong relationships with government and corporate purchasers, and providing good customer service.

The Achievement Award will acknowledge organisations providing, for example, good wage outcomes, safe working conditions, and training opportunities for their employees.

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

The winners will be announced on September 6.

For more information, visit FaHCSIA website, or phone 1800 108 196.