Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Acknowledging Australia’s most innovative employers

The Prime Minister’s Employer of the Year Awards recognise the many innovative employers who provide job opportunities for people living with disabilities in Australia.

The national awards are open to all businesses employing people with disabilities and advertisements for nominations for the 2001 Employer of the Year will appear in the media tomorrow.

Australian businesses have increasingly reaped the rewards of employing people with disabilities, and we now have award categories to recognise small business, large business and Higher Education organisations.

People with disabilities want the same opportunities as anybody else – the chance to have a job, participate in the community and be independent.

The Employer of the Year Awards, which are now in their 11th year, are always a great showcase of the many forward thinking employers who are utilising the skills of a very productive part of the Australian community.

The Employer of the Year Awards are a part of the Howard Government’s efforts to give people living with a disability a better deal in every part of their lives.

Through the $1.7 billion Australians Working Together package, announced in the 2001 Budget, we’re delivering more choices and support for people with disabilities, particularly through an expanded range of measures focusing on delivering more training and employment opportunities.

However, making Australia an inclusive, clever society which celebrates ability and participation is a task which the Government can’t do alone – we need all Australian employers and businesses to think about what they can do to utilise the potential of people with disabilities.

EYA nomination forms will be available by calling 1800 888 037 (free call), or from the FaCS Internet site

Nominations for the Awards close at 5pm Friday, 1 March 2002.