Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Nominations wanted for Australian Disability Enterprises Excellence Awards

Australians are urged to nominate Australian Disability Enterprises who are making extraordinary efforts to provide work and support for people with disability for this year’s ADE Excellence awards.

Bill Shorten, , said that ADEs deserved to be recognised for their achievements and called on Australians to nominate outstanding ADEs before July 20.

“Australia’s 209 ADEs provide supported employment to over 22,000 people with disabilities. As well as running competitive businesses, they fill a social need by providing meaningful work to people who would otherwise be unemployed,” Mr Shorten said.

“These Awards recognise and encourage the extraordinary efforts of people with disability and their employers, in making their Australian Disability Enterprise one of the best in the country.”

“Australians with disability are contributing to economic growth and their engagement in the workforce is benefiting the individuals concerned, their families and carers and the broader community,” Mr Shorten said.

“The inaugural Awards were held in Brisbane last year and were a great success and very well received by the sector.”

Through the Disability Employment Assistance program, Australian Disability Enterprises provide supported employment to people with significant disability who need substantial ongoing on-the-job assistance.

Services provided to businesses by Australian Disability Enterprises include catering, gardening, building furniture, metal fabrication, servicing the mining industry, printing and packaging.

There are five Award categories, with two sub-categories – small and large Australian Disability Enterprises:

Australian Disability Enterprise Innovation Award: Disability Enterprises demonstrating new and innovative business practices supportive of the development of high quality and sustainable employment for people with disability.

Australian Disability Enterprise Partnership Award: Disability Enterprises working in partnerships with other businesses and their communities to ensure their employees with disability have sustainable, high quality employment.

Australian Disability Enterprise Achievement Award: Disability Enterprises that encourage the full participation of people with disability in employment through high quality employment conditions.

Supported Employees Team Award: A team of supported employees at a Disability Enterprise that has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to its organisation’s success.

Support Workers Team Award: Support Workers Team Award: A team of support workers at a Disability Enterprise that has demonstrated a sustained commitment to supporting, developing and encouraging employees with disability in the workplace.

“I encourage Australians to nominate any deserving Australian Disability Enterprise they know of, to show the rest of the country their contributions across many sectors.”

Nominations close on Monday 20 July 2009 and presentations will take place at the National Disability Services Employment Conference on 7 September 2009 at the Hilton Hotel, Sydney.

To nominate an Australian Disability Enterprise for an Award, or to make an enquiry about the Awards:

Email: Excellence Awards (
Visit: Australian Disability Enterprises Excellence Awards
Phone: 1800 108 196