Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Top business services honoured

Ten Australian businesses were honoured for their commitment to employees with disability at the inaugural Business Services Excellence Awards in Brisbane today.

The awards recognise the role of business services in providing real work to people with disability, as well as the achievements of support staff and employees with disability who work in these organisations.

, Bill Shorten, and Her Excellency, Quentin Bryce, Governor of Queensland presented the awards at the National Disability Services’ Employment Conference.

“The awards recognise the dual focus of business services, both being viable businesses and providing high quality service to people with disability,” Mr Shorten said.

“There were around 70 nominations to mark the first year of awards, across five categories, with both small and large businesses recognised.

“Examples of excellence included the Australian Red Cross Society Queensland receiving the large business achievement award for providing its employees with disability the same employment conditions, rights and responsibilities as all Red Cross employees.

“In the small business arena, the Windgap Foundation Limited in Rosebery, New South Wales received the supported employees team award for delivering a huge job in a quick timeframe.

“Ten team members stepped up into new leadership roles as they packed 95,000 show bags in just three-and-half weeks.

“Business services provide real work for people with disability in a diverse range of businesses including packaging, horticulture, animal husbandry, laundry, catering and woodwork.

“There are around 18,000 people with moderate to severe disability working in over 350 business services across Australia.

“I congratulate all the business services that received an award or a nomination,”
Mr Shorten said.

Supported Employers Team Award
Small business: Windgap Foundation Limited
Rosebery New South Wales
Large business: Barkuma Incorporated
Elizabeth and Campbelltown, South Australia
Achievement  Award
Small business: S.A. Group Enterprises (Inprint)
Large business: Australian Red Cross Society Queensland
Brisbane and Gympie
Partnership Award
Small business: Valmar Support Services
(Pinecom Recycling)
Tumut, New South Wales
Large business: Endeavour Foundation
(Bundaberg Business Service)
Bundaberg, Queensland
Support Workers Team Award
Small business: Outlook Victoria
Hampton Park
Large business: Activ Business Services
Geraldton, Western Australia
Innovation Award
Small business: Devonfield Enterprises
Devonport, Tasmania
Large business: Bedford Industries (Abilities for All)
South Australia