2013 Annual Report

Page 1

Annual Report 2013

Represent, Support, Resource

Table of Contents

Chairperson’s Report


Chief Executive Officer’s Report


2012-13 in Review


Major Headlines Over the Past Year


Promoting and Strengthening Supported Open Employment


Policy 10 Operations 13 Capability Development


Membership 16 Events 19 Hall of Fame


The Year Ahead 2013-14


Disability Employment Australia Staff


About Disability Employment Australia


Board of Directors


Cover image: Muhammad, or ‘Mo’, works as a car detailer with Dunrite Detailing in Pakenham, Victoria. Outlook Employment supported Mo with additional training and built on his previous work experience to assist him back into employment.

2 Disability Employment Australia

Donna Faulkner Chairperson

Chairperson’s Report Looking back on the last twelve months, I can say with conviction how proud I am of the sector’s journey through the ups and downs of the competitive procurement process. I believe we are ready to face the changes and challenges that lie ahead as the program repositions itself under the new government. At a governance level, 2012-13 has been a time for reflection, maturation, and forward planning. As Chairperson, I have seen Disability Employment Australia achieve the objectives enclosed within the 2011-14 Strategic Plan ahead of time. Disability Employment Australia is already a very different organisation to the Association of Competitive Employment, ACE National Inc, in 2011. That, coupled with the changing landscape, makes it clear a new direction is required to guide not only Disability Employment Australia, but also Australia’s supported open employment sector, forward into the future. The Board is due to release a new Strategic Plan in the 2013-14 financial year. Let me now reflect on the achievements of the last few years, in the context of the outgoing Strategic Plan. Disability Employment Australia has consistently demonstrated strong leadership to, and on behalf of, the sector. This was evidenced by the ‘No to 80 Campaign’ in 2011-12, and more recently through the provision of tender and transition support, including influencing a DESspecific Request for Tender and transition process. A capability development program tailored to the unique requirements of DES is crucial

to the continued growth of the sector. Disability Employment Australia is now delivering professional products, including the comprehensive and fully-revised DES Essentials Induction package, employer liaison training and bite-sized responsive webinars. As the past year has illustrated, sector leaders need to continuously develop leadership and management capabilities, leading to a maturing sector better able to respond to the changing environment. As an organisation, Disability Employment Australia has made significant headway in terms of sustainability. The purchase of a new building suite has provided both a long-term investment, as well as more professional surrounds for the growing Disability Employment Australia team to operate from. The investment in a property sends a clear message: Disability Employment Australia is here to stay. The organisation has established itself as the ‘go to’ peak for disability employment in the eyes of both government and the broader community. Disability Employment Australia has worked hard on behalf of the sector to strengthen fundamental relationships with employer and consumer peaks. The Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the Australia Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) and People with Disability Australia (PWDA), along with other representative peaks, now hold Disability Employment Australia front of mind in regard to supported open employment.

Our Board governance continues to mature. At the Special General Meeting in April 2013, members elected to cease regional directorships in favour of national appointments, taking the first steps towards the formation of a skills-based board. Services to members have increased, with partnerships providing an essential injection of skills-based resources and products at crucial times, such as pre-tender. Operations support has been enhanced, and members are well-represented through the consultation processes that form Disability Employment Australia’s policy positions to government and other key stakeholders. Looking to the future, Disability Employment Australia is poised to utilise the strong foundations developed over 20 years of representing open employment in Australia. We can expect strong guidance through the transition to the Department of Social Services and wellconsidered influential policy positioning. Thank you to the Disability Employment Australia team for your ongoing commitment to the ethos of inclusion. Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank you – our members – who have played a significant role in realising the successes of Disability Employment Australia. We will continue to work together towards a supported open employment program that puts quality employment alongside participant choice and control.

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Bethany works with fencing contractor A.S. Ford Rural Fencing in NSW. OCTEC Employment Service West Wyalong supported Bethany into an employment situation that minimised her anxiety triggers, built her confidence, and matched her desire to work outdoors.

The employment of people with disability and their carers is a central tenet of the NDIS, and is critical for its financial viability. Disability Employment Services will play a crucial role in realising this. Lynette May, CEO.

4 Disability Employment Australia

Lynette May CEO

Chief Executive Officer’s Report The past year has been characterised by the DES-ESS tender and resulting transition, catalysing a period of significant change for everyone involved in the DES sector. Despite the upheaval, it is important to note that a number of positives resulted, with impacts felt across the entire program; for example, we now have the precedent of five-year contracts. Eighty per cent of ESS contracts went to tender, in what was the greatest and most complex change the program has ever experienced. As a result, 69 providers left the market and while there were 13 new entrants, these were existing DES-DMS or JSA providers. Disability Employment Australia demonstrated strong leadership, and successfully influenced the Request for Tender (RFT), ensuring that it was specific to the DES program. This included the requirement to actively demonstrate relevant experience. We also played a significant role in influencing the transition process. While not perfect in all the complexities, we worked to secure choice for the 21,597 participants who transitioned. A review of the performance framework was undertaken at the commencement of the new contract period. Following significant consultation with the sector, we secured an undertaking from The Hon Kate Ellis, the then Minister, that the drivers were not motivating the desired behaviours to achieve sustainable employment. Disability Employment Australia was successful in achieving a 52 week sustainability indicator.

We also removed some of the efficiency measures impacting job matching, and exposed the perverse and negative measure of ongoing support. While this measure of ongoing support remains in the performance framework, it is proposed that the impact will be mitigated due to the 52 week indicator. However, it remains a negative, flawed measure that will be monitored closely through the Operations Working Group. Capability Development has been a key focus for us this year. We proudly released our flagship Capability Development program, DES Essentials, in April of 2013. Our aim is that all DES providers will invest in this product and incorporate its content into their orientation programs. We committed significant resources to its development because we believe it speaks to the integrity of the program and will lead to better practice and performance. We have also strengthened our operations support, and are now providing affordable and timely webinars to support providers in meeting increased program assurance demands. We launched the Employer Liaison Capability Framework and delivered the Speaking to Business training course in partnership with Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), through DEEWR’s Innovation Fund. This is an excellent product that speaks to the essential work we do with employers, and the importance of improving our engagement with them on business terms.

in September 2013. Disability Employment Australia welcomes working with the Coalition and the new Assistant Minister for Social Services – responsible for both the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and DES. The continued implementation of the NDIS has the potential to fundamentally improve the lives of people with disability. The employment of people with disability and their carers is a central tenet of the scheme, and critical for its financial viability. This places supported open employment as an essential program in terms of facilitating and supporting people with disability to achieve their employment aspirations. It is up to us to be ready for this challenge, to work with employers, to help them raise their disability confidence and preparedness to welcome a diversified and inclusive workforce. Disability Employment Australia will be representing, resourcing and supporting DES providers in this exciting and changing environment. As always, I would like to thank the Disability Employment Australia Board for their direction and support; the small, hardworking and effective Disability Employment Australia team; and, of course, our members for their support and patronage. Together we have witnessed a prosperous year and can look forward to achieving much in 2013-2014.

Looking to the future, Australia elected a new Government

Annual Report 2013 5

2012-13 in Review July 2012

DES-ESS tender closed Disability Employment Australia influenced the strong emphasis on supported open employment in the revised Request for Tender. International Down Syndrome Congress CEO Lynette May attended the international congress in South Africa.

August 2012

Australia’s Disability Employment Conference 2012 We held our largest-ever conference in Melbourne with over 550 delegates. Hall of Fame inductees Phil Tuckerman and Brian Howe were inducted into the Disability Employment Australia Hall of Fame, recognising their outstanding commitment to disability employment.

September 2012

Speaking to Business: An HR Perspective for DES A series of workshops provided crucial employer liaison information and skills to the DES sector, developed in partnership with employer representatives, the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI). British Association of Supported Employment (BASE) Conference and UK Study Tour CEO Lynette May co-presented with Chairperson Donna Faulkner.

October 2012

November 2012

Virtual DisabiliTea We hosted the first ever virtual DisabiliTea in support of a National Disability Insurance Scheme on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, gaining recognition from consumers and other stakeholders. National Leaders’ Forum The November Leaders’ Forum took place in Sydney, and was followed by the AGM. There was a focus on transition and the performance framework. Connections for Quality Digital Marketing Guide We launched a free electronic guide and website to prepare the sector for consumer choice during transition and beyond. This was funded by DEEWR. Transition advice We provided transition advice to members to support the expected transition of approximately 33,000 clients.

»» The Request for Tender (RFT) for the DES-ESS closed in July 2012 »» The Government commenced the implementation of the $3 billion Building Australia’s Future Workforce skills and workforce participation package in July 2012

Major headlines over the past year

6 Disability Employment Australia

»» The Government announced the DES Employer Liaison Capability Framework and Training Program, developed and delivered by Disability Employment Australia in partnership with the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), in August 2012 »» The final report of the Advisory Panel on Employment Services Administration and Accountability was released in September 2012 »» The Eligible School Leaver Guidelines trial was incorporated into the DES program as a permanent feature in in October 2012, with eligibility criteria and evidence requirements updated in July 2013

January 2013

New office suite settlement Disability Employment Australia invested in the purchase of a new office suite in Melbourne’s CBD. First Capability Development webinar We launched our new webinar series with the DES Performance Framework 2013-18.

March 2013

Supported ESS transition We provided members with support as 21,597 people with disability transitioned to new providers as a result of new contracts commencing in DES-ESS.

April 2013

National Leaders’ Forum The April Leaders’ Forum took place in Brisbane, and was followed by an SGM. There was a focus on program assurance and the new DES-ESS contract. Launched flagship Capability Development product A fully revised DES Essentials Induction Package was released for the sector. Capability Development branding We launched a new brand identity for our Capability Development products.

May 2013

European Union Supported Employment (EUSE) conference CEO Lynette May presented at the 11th EUSE conference to 520 delegates representing 22 countries.

June 2013

Relocation to new office suite The Disability Employment Australia team moved offices to more professional, larger and brighter surrounds. DES Essentials Train the Trainer workshops Train the Trainer workshops were held in five states.

»» Results of the first competitive tender for DES-ESS were announced in October 2012 »» Legislation was passed to create the legal framework necessary to realise a National Disability Insurance Scheme in November 2012 »» The Hon Kate Ellis MP launched the Employment Services – Building on Success issues paper to inform the 2015 review of DES-DMS and JSA in December 2012 »» Australia’s first charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), was opened in December 2012 »» The Complaints Resolution and Referral Service (CRRS) transferred to a new provider, WorkFocus, in February 2013 »» The Australian Government released its response to the 2011 Inquiry into Mental Health and Workforce Participation in February 2013

»» The National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC) Service was reviewed and extended in February 2013 »» New contracts for DES-ESS saw 21,597 people with disability transition to different providers. 69 providers exited and 13 new providers entered the market in March 2013 »» The 2013-14 Federal budget allocated an additional $5.5 million loading for people with intellectual disability under DES in May 2013 »» The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Minister for Workplace Relations, championed disability employment awareness: --

Minister Shorten launched public consultation on proposals to boost employment participation for people with disability in December 2012


Minister Shorten held a roundtable discussion on disability employment with major stakeholders, including Disability Annual Report 2013 7 Employment Australia in February 2013.

Promoting and Strengthening Supported Open Employment

Over the past year, Disability Employment Australia has invested significant time and resources creating and strengthening networks, both nationally and internationally. The impacts of stronger connections are numerous, and include a heightened profile for Disability Employment Services and Disability Employment Australia; the exposure of the sector to new ideas; strategic policy influence; and the formation of natural alliances between stakeholders.

International Engagement Our international engagement has taken place on a number of levels, including visits to counterparts in the UK and Europe. Relationships forged with similar organisations, researchers and providers contribute to Disability Employment Australia’s policy positions and expertise. They stimulate higher aspirations for – and expose potential challenges facing – Australia’s supported open employment program going forward. In September 2012, Disability Employment Australia’s CEO Lynette May and Chairperson Donna Faulkner presented at the British Association of Supported Employment (BASE) conference, relating the Australian model of supported open employment – DES. A study tour of a number of UK providers and key stakeholders followed, which led to a keener understanding of the UK experience and the collation of ideas relevant to Australia’s supported open employment program. The impact of the prime provider model on the UK WorkChoice program was obvious: the model has decimated local community providers, with many struggling to remain viable. In June 2013, Lynette May presented on the Employer Liaison Capability Framework at the European Union of Supported Employment (EUSE) conference in Dublin. With 22 countries represented, this provided another opportunity to promote the work that the sector is doing here in Australia and engage in discussions on the common issues that are prevalent internationally. The clear message was the need for providers to remain true to Supported Employment practice and raise expectations of what people with disability can achieve.

8 Disability Employment Australia

Linkages formed internationally continue to translate into high-profile keynote addresses at Australia’s Disability Employment Conferences. Lynette May also attended the International Down Syndrome Congress held in South Africa in a personal capacity, as a companion to her son. She informally represented Disability Employment Australia, engaging with some amazing young people with Down syndrome who advocate on the international platform. These individuals were educated, articulate and passionate about their rights to be seen, heard and included. The Congress enabled Disability Employment Australia to link with researchers, leaders and other associations from 47 countries, promoting the inclusion of people with disability.

Political Environment During the past year, Disability Employment Australia has met with and worked to influence the positions of key politicians. We enjoy a number of high quality relationships with key politicians, which result in greater political insight into the intricacies of the Disability Employment Services program. These have included meetings with: »» The Hon Kate Ellis, Minister for Employment Participation »» The Hon Bill Shorten, Minister for Workforce Relations »» The Hon Sussan Ley, Shadow Minister for Employment Participation »» Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

»» Senator Mitch Fifield, Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector »» Senator Eric Abetz, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations »» Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Party Portfolio for Family, Community and Disability Services.

Government Departments Disability Employment Australia has continued to work actively with a number of relevant government departments, including: »» Department of Early Education and Workforce Relations (DEEWR) »» Department of Human Services (DHS) »» Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) »» Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) »» The independent statutory agency DisabilityCare Australia (DCA).

Key Stakeholders Disability Employment Australia has forged stronger connections with consumer representative groups over the last year, as well as maintaining a diversified portfolio of stakeholder networks across areas relevant to supported open employment. These have included: »» Consumer groups, including Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), People with Disability Australia (PWDA), First Peoples Network for Disability (Australia) and Blind Citizens Australia

»» Fellow employment peaks, such as National Disability Service (NDS) and Jobs Australia (JA), and employer disability organisation like the Australian Network on Disability (AND).

National Presentations In addition to international speaking engagements, Disability Employment Australia works hard to maintain a high profile, both for the organisation and for the Disability Employment Services program on a national level though various presentations. Over the past year, these have included: »» Workforce Participation Group – Australian Public Service Commission »» Paralympic Table Tennis Team »» Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) National Youth Disability Conference »» Small Business Development Conference »» Jobs Australia Conference »» Australian Public Service Views Series, a diversity panel for senior executives »» Disability Employment South Australia Symposium.

Research Linkages Disability Employment Australia is increasingly looking to connect with researchers and research institutes to further the body of academic work supporting disability employment in Australia. In the past year we have liaised or worked with: »» The Centre for Disability Studies, Sydney University

»» Employers, such as PriceWaterhouse Cooper, and employer representative bodies, including Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) and Careers Australia

»» Australia National University

»» Other stakeholders, such as SANE Australia, Social Firms Australia (SOFA), National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC), Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS), Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CSHISC), Workforce Blueprint and Disability Employment South Australia (DESA)

»» La Trobe University

»» University of Melbourne »» Griffith University »» Monash University »» Deakin University

»» University of South Australia.

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Disability Employment Australia contributed significantly to post-2015 and tender reviews, as well as changes to the DES program. Consultations with members centred on key operational issues like the DES-ESS transition, specialist contracts and program assurance.

Consultations and Submissions

DES Performance Framework

Disability Employment Australia consulted widely with members and other stakeholders to inform our submission to the Employment Services – Building on Success issues paper. The 2015 Review encompasses both JSA and DMS and is likely to influence thinking in the post-2018 DES-ESS environment. Our response outlined aspirational goals for employment services, allowing for deeper technical and design consultation over the next 12 months.

Disability Employment Australia consulted extensively with members when the DES performance framework was reviewed in late 2012. A discussion paper was issued, followed by face-to-face consultations in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. We advocated for changes to the framework that resulted in a 52 week sustainability indicator, inclusion of Job in Jeopardy outcomes, permissible breaks introduced for the Ongoing Support phase, altered calculation of bonus outcomes and the removal of ‘speed to outcome’ measures for the most vulnerable.

‘Improving Employment Participation of People with Disability’

Reference Groups and Taskforces

Review of Employment Services 2015

In our response to Minister Shorten’s discussion paper, Improving Employment Participation of People with Disability, Disability Employment Australia supported mandatory reporting. We also recommended it was time for Australia to challenge the negative perceptions and stereotyping of people with disability by employers by setting a national target of 200,000 more people with disability in employment by 2020.

Select Council definitions of ‘reasonable and necessary support’ for the NDIS This submission outlined some of the operational challenges in the definition of ‘reasonable and necessary’ in the context of addressing the employment aspirations of Tier 3 NDIS clients. Rather than proposing a revised definition, we suggested that a more substantial consideration of the best means of providing whole of life employment support was required.

10 Disability Employment Australia

In order to respond to key issues, Disability Employment Australia formed a number of internal reference groups, underpinned by the expertise of members and other key stakeholders and consultants.

Disability Employment Australia NDIS Taskforce Disability Employment Australia established a taskforce that includes member organisations, consumer and independent representation. The taskforce advocates for effective, inclusive employment assistance in the context of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

2015 Review Taskforce Disability Employment Australia consulted widely with DMS contract holders and provided a submission to the Australian Government’s 2015 Review of Employment Services. The taskforce recommended high-level principles for the review and emphasised the importance of the Disability Service Standards.

Specialist Reference Group The Specialist Reference Group was convened to provide Disability Employment Australia members with expert advice and strategy concerning the operation of specialist DES contracts. The group has influenced policy in the areas of Direct Registration and Job in Jeopardy.

Program Assurance Reference Group The Program Assurance Reference Group was convened to provide Disability Employment Australia with anecdotal feedback from the industry regarding systemic issues relating to program assurance strategies that DEEWR has recently introduced.

Performance Framework Expert Group This group provided expert advice to the Performance Framework Reference Group in the areas of mathematics, economics and social policy.

Performance Framework Reference Group The Performance Framework Reference Group provided Disability Employment Australia with high-level advice and recommendations regarding the review of the performance framework. The group provided a variety of views, case studies and evidence to support the development of our position and representations.

Working Groups Disability Employment Australia works with DEEWR and other bodies to inform industry views and influence policy and procedure-making processes. We have an ongoing, critical role to play in monitoring how the DES program is implemented, and to ensure the program achieves outcomes consistent with the objectives of the Disability Services Act 1986 and the Disability Service Standards.

RJCP Transition and Implementation Reference Group This is a DEEWR and FaHCSIA joint implementation reference group for the new Remote Jobs and Community Program (RJCP) program. We advocated strongly to ensure that people with disability continue to get highquality service from RJCP. Disability Employment Australia influenced the performance framework to ensure it applied weighting to both the experience and satisfaction of individuals and communities.

DES Reference Group The DES Reference Group is convened by the Minister for Employment Participation and operates through DEEWR. Members of this group consider environmental changes impacting the program at the policy and strategic level.

DES Operational Working Group The Operational Working Group addresses the dual service priorities of meeting operational requirements and client needs while balancing these with meeting contractual obligations. The group is convened by DEEWR. Disability Employment Australia represents members by collating their feedback and submitting it to be addressed by the working group.

Information Technology Advisory Group DEEWR established this group in the transition phase of the new DES program. It now continues with revised Terms of Reference as a platform to advise providers of changes and to invite feedback from the sector regarding the ESS IT system.

Contract Management and Performance Framework Working Group The Contract Management and Performance Framework Working Group largely focusses on Job Services Australia (JSA) and Quality Measures in JSA KPI3.

Transition Reference Group DEEWR convened this group to support the DESESS transition. Disability Employment Australia influenced transition policy in terms of promoting choice and control for participants and ensuring that disruption caused by the DES-ESS transition was minimised as much as possible.

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Policy continued ... Australian Public Services Disability Employment Reference Group The Australian Public Service (APS) Disability Employment Reference Group is a joint initiative between Disability Employment Australia and the Australian Public Service Commission. The group represents human resources managers at government agencies and aims to enhance the APS’s employer relationship with DES providers. It also acts as a think tank for starting, piloting, and progressing disability employment initiatives in the APS.

Disability Support Pension Advisory Group The Disability Support Pension (DSP) Advisory Group is run by FaHCSIA. It was formed to oversee the development of the impairment tables. It is now focussed on monitoring the impact of changes to the DSP.

Shiralee works as an aged care worker at the Camden District Activity Centre in Camden, NSW and is supported in her role by Nova Employment.

12 Disability Employment Australia

Employment Partnership Committee (EPC) The EPC considers strategic employment participation policy issues and explores opportunities for improved approaches to programs and initiatives.

Disability Employment Services Performance Framework Review Working Group (DESPFRWG) In August 2012, DEEWR commenced the formal review of the DES Performance Framework. Disability Employment Australia sits on the DESPFRWG and has played an active role in both calling for, and leading, the review.


With a new position dedicated to operations support, Disability Employment Australia has been able to significantly increase the level of service provision to members.

Fortnightly bulletins Our Operations Bulletins are distributed fortnightly, and are aimed at front-line practitioners and team leaders. They include the latest practical operations and contractual support alongside tools and resources that ensure efficiency and effective contractual compliance within a high-quality outcome agenda.

Queries received from the sector came from staff of all levels, with the main topic areas requiring assistance and advice including: »» Eligible School Leavers »» Employment Pathway Plans »» Non-Payable Outcomes »» Outcome queries »» Documentary Evidence

DES Help Desk Our DES Help Desk provides members with operational support and compliance advice, and is accessible via email, telephone or live video support via GoToMeeting. Members have access to operations assistance via the Help Desk function to enable them to better understand the DES contract and to troubleshoot issues. Feedback has been extremely positive, in particular screen sharing via GoToMeeting.

»» Wage Connect »» New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) »» Permissible Breaks »» Transition. Topical questions that come through the Help Desk are distributed through the Operations Bulletin with the aim of increasing and sharing valuable information and knowledge with the sector.

Due to an increase in program assurance activity in recent months, Help Desk support has increased significantly with members requiring assistance in understanding the contract compliance requirements and assistance with improving their internal compliance strategies.

Annual Report 2013 13

Capability Development

Disability Employment Australia presented a new Capability Development brand, and has established itself firmly within the Disability Employment Services capability development space.


Speaking to Business: An HR perspective for DES

DES Essentials Induction package

In partnership with the Australia Human Resources Institute (AHRI), Disability Employment Australia ran three employer liaison workshops: two in Melbourne and one in Brisbane. An extra workshop was also held as part of the Australia’s Disability Employment Conference 2012 in Melbourne. In total, 65 people attended these four employer liaison workshops.

Disability Employment Australia launched the fully revised DES Essentials package in April of 2013. This provides the sector with a comprehensive induction package covering all the fundamentals necessary for complete DES staff induction. A total of 42 providers have invested in the DES Essentials Induction Package. To complement the DES Essentials Induction Package, we ran Train the Trainer workshops in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. Fifty delegates attended these one-day workshops, and left with a sound understanding of the product and how to best utilise it to induct new staff or as a refresher for existing staff. Workshops allow trainers to better adapt content to their unique service delivery models. Tailored Train the Trainer workshops were run inhouse for two providers in June and July 2013.

In addition, two tailored in-house employer liaison workshops were run for different providers in May and June 2013.

Webinars DES Performance Framework 2013-2018 Webinar In the 2012-13 financial year, we ran eight webinars on the DES Performance Framework with 91 individuals attending. A further 37 individuals participated in four separate private webinars commissioned by three DES providers. In total, staff from 69 DES providers attended one of the webinars, equating to approximately 45% of the DES sector. Staff from three non-providers also attended.

14 Disability Employment Australia

Hairdressing was no longer practical for Kathleen due to childhood poliomyelitis combined with a more recent spinal disorder. With the support of OCTEC’s Parkes Employment Services, she now works for Miller Investigations in Orange, NSW, undertaking a mix of investigatory and administrative work.

Bespoke Training Disability Employment Australia now offers tailored in-house training solutions. Bespoke workshops delivered in the 2012-13 financial year included: »» The Employer Liaison training was delivered in-house in May and June 2013 to two providers »» A DES Induction workshop for staff was delivered to one provider in-house, utilising the DES Essentials Induction Package, in June 2013 »» The Performance Framework webinar was customised and delivered as a face-to-face workshop for one provider in March 2013.

Upcoming Initiatives Work is underway to revise and update the DES Employer Liaison training program, run previously as Speaking to Business: An HR Perspective for DES. The re-release will be accompanied by public workshops and in-house delivery options. In the next financial year Disability Employment Australia will continue to run a range of responsive webinars that address topical issues as they arise. Already in the 2013-14 year, we have continued to run the DES Performance Framework 2013-18 Webinar, and have also introduced the following webinar topics: »» Wage Connect Subsidy »» Employment Pathway Plans »» Eligible School Leavers. Future webinars will include responsive topics, such as: »» Job Seeker Classification Instrument (JSCI) »» Non-Payable Outcomes.

Annual Report 2013 15

Membership Ability Options Limited

Disability Employment Australia is first and foremost a membership organisation. We exist to represent, support and resource our members to deliver high-quality Disability Employment Services.

Ability Tasmania Group Inc Achieve Australia Limited Advance Personnel (Canberra) Inc Advanced Personnel Management Anglicare Tasmania Inc Annecto Artius The Ascent Group Australia ASTERIA Services Inc Auswide Projects Autism Association of Western Australia Inc Barkuma Inc

Members of Disability Employment Australia On 30 June 2013, we had 141 members.

Bendigo Access Employment Inc Bizlink Inc BlueLine Employment Break Thru People Solutions Campbell Page Career Contact Cassowary Coast Employment Group Inc CatholicCare Direct Employment Choice Solutions CIM Employment Coffs Harbour Employment Support Service Inc Communicare Inc Community Axis Community Bridging Services Inc Community First International CVGT Australia Darwin Skills Development Scheme Inc Deaf Services Queensland The Deaf Society of NSW The Disability Trust Distinctive Options Direct Recruitment E-Focus EACH Employment Services Echo Australia EDGE Employment Services Enterprise and Training Company Limited EPIC Employment Services Inc Eworks Employment Solutions Finding Workable Solutions Forrest Personnel Inc Gateway Employment Geraldton Personnel Gipps TAFE Employment and Transitional Training Centre Gold Coast Employment Support Service Inc

16 Disability Employment Australia

Great Southern Personnel Inc

Open Minds

Greenacres Disability Services

Options Victoria Inc

Headway Support Service

The ORS Group

Hedland Personnel Inc

Ostara Australia

Heta Incorporated

Outlook Employment

Highlands Support Services

Peel Valley Training Enterprise Inc

Hinchinbrook Employment Services Association Inc

The Personnel Group

Hotham Personnel

Personnel West

House With No Steps

PVS Workfind

Illawarra Disability Trust

Red Cross Employment Services

Hume Employment Service Limited

ReSolution Employment

Ideal Placements

Royal Society for the Blind

Interwork Limited

The Salvation Army Employment Plus

Job Centre Australia Limited

SCI Workforce

Job Solve ACT Inc

SkillsPlus Inc

Jobmatch Employment Agency

South Burnett Jobmatch Association Inc


The Spastic Centre of NSW

Key Employment Association

Spinal Injuries Association

Kimberley Personnel Inc

St. Laurence Community Services Inc

Kurri Kurri Community Centre Incorporated

Stanthorpe Training Centre Inc

LEAD Employment

STEPS Disability Qld

Leading Directions


Leap Training

Sydney Counselling Centre

Limestone Coast Work Options

Tableland Employment Agency

Link Personnel

Uniting Care Wesley - Port Adelaide

Macarthur Disability Services

Uniting Care Wesley Country SA Inc

Mach1 Australia

UnitingCare Community Employment Service



Mai-Wel Limited

Victorian Deaf Society

Maranoa Regional Council

Vision Australia


Waminda Services Limited

MAX Employment

Wesley Uniting Employment

MAX Software Solutions Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria

Western District Supported Employment Service Inc

Minda Inc

Westerport Employment Support Service

Mission Australia

Western Vocational Association Inc

The MS Society of SA and NT Inc

Westside Community Services Limited

Mylestones Employment

WISE Employment Ltd

Nexus Human Services

Work Solutions Gippsland

Nortec Employment and Training

WorkFocus Group

North Queensland Employment

Worklink Employment Support Group

North Star Specialist Employment Services


North West Employment Group

Workskil Inc

Northcott Disability Services

Worktrainers Limited

Nova Employment

Your Employment Success

Personnel Placement Consultancies

OCTEC Inc ON-Q Human Resources On Track Employment Annual Report 2013 17

Jesse has a passion for cars and is working as a panel beater in Melbourne, Victoria. Outlook Employment has worked with Jesse and his employer on acceptable workplace behaviour, on-the-job training and disability awareness training for staff.

Disability Employment Australia prides itself in delivering relevant, high-quality events that motivate and inspire delegates in their roles as Disability Employment Service providers.

18 Disability Employment Australia


National Leaders’ Forums

Zealand and the United Kingdom including both England and Wales.

National Leaders’ Forum - 15 November 2012

Dr Richard Luecking discussed disability employment policies and services that are essential for facilitating integrated employment outcomes in the context of the United States.

The November National Leaders’ Forum in Sydney was attended by 112 delegates. Sessions on change management complemented discussion around the DES-ESS tender results. Sharon Stuart, Branch Manager, Disability Employment Services Policy, and Matt Gardiner, Director of Program Management – Participants, from DEEWR, presented on operational policies for DES. The Annual General Meeting was held after the Leaders’ Forum. Member representatives elected new board Directors – Cherie Jolly (SA) and Garry Davison (Qld). Three previous Directors stood down: Kerry Jones (SA), Garry Hooper (Qld) and John Lysaught (WA).

National Leaders’ Forum - 18 April 2013 The April National Leaders’ Forum in Brisbane was attended by 123 delegates. The forum had a strong focus on the new DES-ESS contract. DEEWR representatives Stephen Moore, Group Manager, Lis Kelly, Branch Manager – DES, and Jennifer Taylor, Deputy Secretary, reflected on the DES-ESS transition, looked to the future for DES, and discussed the Remote Jobs and Communities Program. The new Disability Service Standards were reviewed by FaHCSIA, and the new-look NDRC was introduced to delegates. A Special General Meeting was held after the Leaders’ Forum. Member representatives voted to amend a number of constitutional processes, including amendments to the use of alternative Directors and the appointment of Directors, along with the role of the Secretary and changes to the way by-laws are formed.

Susan Lloyd-Selby talked about the Wales experience of social commissioning and procurement, as informed by an emerging preference for collaboration and cooperation. Minnie Baragwanath spoke about the collective power of people with disability to challenge the low expectations they sometimes encounter, and to achieve broad goals such as social inclusion and full employment. Dr Mark Baghaw and Craig Harrison spoke to delegates about the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the context of disability employment and the need to raise aspirations to close the participation gap for people with disability. The Hon Kate Ellis MP and Senator Rachel Siewert spoke on a panel: ‘The Future of Employment Services for People with Disability’ facilitated by ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie. Journalist George Negus facilitated a panel session on the Hard End of Employment, featuring renowned economist Professor Phil Lewis. Two pre-conference master classes complemented the conference themes, and provided 34 delegates concentrated time with international keynote speakers. The annual Gala Dinner was held at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide, and was enjoyed by 227 guests. The fourth annual Hall of Fame awards were presented during the course of the evening.

Australia’s Disability Employment Conference 2013 Our annual Australia’s Disability Employment Conference was held in August 2013, however most of the preparatory work occurred in the 2012-13 financial year. The 2013 conference attracted 438 attendees from 168 organisations to Adelaide. Delegate feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and indicated high overall satisfaction, including the program and networking opportunities. From the more than 50 speakers who presented, there was international representation from the United States, New Annual Report 2013 19

Hall of Fame

The Disability Employment Australia Hall of Fame recognises excellence and life-long commitment to the evolution of disability employment in Australia at a multi-state, national or international level.

This is the fourth year that individuals have been recognised for their contribution to a key legacy in the disability employment or broader disability sector. Three inductees joined the Hall of Fame in 2013. Suzanne Colbert AM was acknowledged for her contribution to disability employment. She has undertaken extensive work with hundreds of organisations, helping them to implement systems and knowledge to build disability confidence. Dr Mark Bagshaw was acknowledged for his contribution to the wider disability employment sector. He is an effective advocate of change for people with disability, especially in the areas of employment and accessibility. Dr Vivienne Riches was acknowledged for her contribution to the wider disability employment sector. Through her academic career she has made an outstanding impact to the betterment of the lives of people with disability, including in the area of employment for people with intellectual disability.

The new inductees join previous recipients, bringing the total acknowledged by the Hall of Fame to 11. Inducted in 2012: »» Phil Tuckerman AM »» Professor Brian Howe AO. Inducted in 2011: »» Michael Goldsworthy »» Sue Robertson »» Peter Tanner. Inducted in 2010: »» Professor Trevor Parmenter AM »» Craig Harrison »» Associate Professor Greg Lewis.

Edward works as a marketing assistant with Ricoh in Sydney, NSW. The position was customised for Edward after an internship through Sydney Development Employment Service’s (SEDS) Transition to Work program.

20 Disability Employment Australia

The Year Ahead 2013-14

2013-14 promises to be a year that redefines disability employment in Australia. The new government has brought the open employment program back into the social services frame. This has been done to ensure better alignment of the program with disability policy.

Disability Employment Australia is the only peak with the level of experience and expertise of supported open employment to ensure integrity and sustainability for the DES program. Over the next year we will work to: »» Take a leadership role through the transition to the new Department of Social Services »» Educate the new Government’s ministers and advisors on the intricacies of the DES-ESS and DMS programs »» Future-proof DES with regard to the value proposition of the program to government and the financial viability of the DES business for providers »» Advocate for program administration changes that will return flexibility and program logic to DES, without regressing the employment and employer focus »» Bring a balanced approach to the program assurance requirements and KPIs that drive high performance for participants with complex service requirements

»» Support specialist contracts, including access to specialists, direct registrations and outreach »» Support and influence the business reallocation process for the DES-DMS program »» Inform the Remote Jobs and Communities Program, including roll out and applicability to employment services in the future »» Consult and influence the 2015 Review of Employment Services, with particular regard to the impact on DES-DMS »» Future-proof DES in the National Disability Insurance Scheme environment »» Position supported open employment on the broader agenda of Government »» Identify and promote alternatives to procurement that offer greater alignment with the objectives of the program and the communities that the DES program serves.

»» Reduce the administration burden of the program and return the focus to individualised servicing »» Ensure the alignment of supported open employment (DES) in Australia with the five stages of international evidence-based supported employment practice: --



Job matching




Post-placement support


Ongoing support

Annual Report 2013 21

Disability Employment Australia Staff

Lynette May Chief Executive Officer

Bevan Burkin Policy and Capability Manager

Heather Wilson Communications Manager

Maja Vranjkovic Operations Specialist

Helen Roland Membership Services and Executive Assistant

Rachel Whinam Events Coordinator

Matthew Harnett Communications Assistant

Vicki Brennan Accounts Manager

About Disability Employment Australia Disability Employment Australia is the peak industry body for Australia’s Disability Employment Services (DES). We are recognised internationally as the preeminent organisation representing, supporting and resourcing the disability employment sector throughout Australia. As a membership organisation, we exist to represent the interests of Disability Employment Services at a national level to government and a range of other stakeholders, such as consumer and employer groups. Disability Employment Australia supports the Australian Government to deliver high-quality employment support to people with disability in Australia. We have a unique responsibility to foster innovation and flexibility of service within the Disability Employment Services program.

Board of Directors

Donna Faulkner Chairperson Executive Director, Work Solutions Gippsland, Victoria

Rick Kane Vice Chairperson Policy Advisor, WISE Employment, Victoria

Chris Connor Treasurer CEO, Job Centre Australia Limited, New South Wales

Keryl Neville Board Member CEO, LEAD Employment, Australian Capital Territory

Garry Davison Board Member General Manager, Jobmatch Employment Agency, Queensland

Cherie Jolly Board Member Employment Services Manager, Uniting Care Wesley – Port Adelaide, South Australia

Ross Lewis Board Member CEO, Break Thru People Solutions, New South Wales

We support our members to achieve best practice service provision in their role to find employment outcomes for people with disability. We advise, advocate, train, inform as well as undertake events to strengthen and promote the sector. We believe in the right of every member of society to be included fully in the community, and to have control over their own life choices. Participation in the open labour market is a crucial factor in recognising this goal. We strive to inspire, challenge and celebrate the Disability Employment Services sector.

Represent | Support | Resource

Level 4, 140 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000.


Phone: +61 3 9012 6000 Email: info@disabilityemployment.org.au Web: disabilityemployment.org.au