Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

PM’s Employer of the Year Awards – Tasmania

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 Tasmania, the winner is Masonic Homes of Northern Tasmania.

Masonic Homes, which includes Masonic Peace Memorial Haven and Fred French Masonic Homes, employs approximately 250 people.

The organisation employs ten staff whom have disabilities. They undertake duties associated with the role of an Extended Care Assistant including hygiene, grooming and dressing support, food preparation and feeding, and working with residents’ families.

Masonic Homes offers staff an orientation course, on the job support scheme, a peer support network and regular staff meetings. A range of in-house training courses, workload restructuring, work training placements, return to work plans, one-on-one supervision are all part of the support network available to these employees.

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.