Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

PM’s Employer of the Year Awards – New South Wales

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 New South Wales, the winner of the small business category is Grifco.

This is the third year in a row that Grifco has won the NSW Small Business category. A family owned and operated business, Grifco Precision Products began operations in Sydney in 1914. Grifco was initially an electrical and mechanical engineering firm.

Today they are based in Gosford on the NSW Central Coast where they specialise in the manufacture of automation equipment for commercial doors, car park systems and poultry sheds. Grifco has also recently diversified, and now offer laser cutting services using state of the art machinery. The company employs 38 people, including six people with disabilities

The state winner of the large business category is Westpac.

Westpac is one of Australia’s largest companies, with global assets of $186 billion and
over 8 million customers. It has branches and affiliates throughout the Pacific region and maintains offices in key financial centres around the world.

As a major Australian employer, it is estimated more than two percent of Westpac’s 28,000 strong workforce are people with some form of disability. Employees with disabilities work across a broad range of areas in the company in permanent, full time and part time positions earning award and market based salary packages.

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.