Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Awards showcase employers who give people with disabilities a go

Today I am announcing the winners of the Prime Minister’s Employer of the Year Awards for Queensland.

The Calvary Hospital here in Cairns has won the Queensland large business category.

The hospital has over 300 employees in total and employs people with disabilities across administrative, kitchen and patient service areas of the organisation.

The Cape York Land Council is the state winner of the small business category.

The Council employs a number people with disabilities, including the Executive Director, accounts clerks, library attendants and storemen.

Both of these businesses should be recognised for their excellent business decision to recruit staff by focusing on their ability rather than their disability. The Calvary Hospital and the Cape York Land Council have been successful in creating workplaces where people with disabilities can fully participate.

These 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 have been increasing each year.

One in five Australians has a disability. Many are able to work, want to work and simply need to be given the chance to show what they can do. The Calvary Hospital and Cape York Land Council are two employers who have given people with disabilities that chance and are reaping the rewards.

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.