Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

PM’s Employer of the Year Awards – Western Australia

I want to congratulate the state and territory winners of the 2001 Prime Minister’s Employer of the Year Awards. All of the winners have shown tremendous commitment to employing people with disabilities and are reaping the rewards.

In Western Australia, the winner of the small business category is the Health Consumers’ Council.

The Council has a fantastic record in employing five people with disabilities out of a total staff of twelve.

Council employees with disabilities undertake varied duties including newsletter production, database maintenance and training facilitation. Employment is offered on permanent and part time bases, with award wages. The longest serving employee has been with the company for six years.

The state winner of the large business category is Eurest.

Eurest first entered the Australian market in 1997 with parent company Compass Group, the world’s largest foodservice organisation. Since then Eurest has become a clear leader in the foodservice industry not just in Australia but throughout New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Asia.

Eurest provides services to more than 600 sites throughout the region and employs more than 9,000 people with an annual regional turnover exceeding $500 million. The organisation provides services on offshore oil rigs, city street cafes, hospitals, aged care facilities, mining towns, universities, army barracks, and football stadiums.

Eurest currently employs five people with disabilities in its Perth based operations, with the longest serving employee having been with the company for five years. Tasks undertaken by employees with disabilities include kitchen hand duties, dish washing and cleaning, cooking and serving food, stores and maintenance duties.

The Prime Minister’s Employer of the Year Awards, which recognise small and large businesses in each state and territory that employ people with disabilities, have been running for 11 years. The number and quality of nominations has been increasing each year.

The Prime Minister’s Employer of the Year Awards is a great opportunity to showcase Australian businesses that are leading the way, and to encourage others to follow suit in creating a fair and just work environment for everyone.

The Prime Minister, Mr John Howard will announce the National Winners of the Employer of the Year Awards at Parliament House on Monday, 26 August.