BUSY Ability’s Employ-Ability 100 campaign culminated on 3rd December, on International Day of People with Disability, celebrating the success of the campaign at a gala lunch event to thank participating employers. Along with sharing a lunch and networking with like-minded businesses in the region, the local business audience were honoured to have Lady Mayoress Nina Schrinner present and were also captivated by the story of guest speaker and former World Record holder Paralympian swimmer, Karni Liddell.

The inaugural Employ-Ability 100 Campaign sought to encourage local employers in South East Queensland and Northern NSW to pledge to be an inclusive employer and consider hiring a person with disability.  The goal of the campaign was to have 100 employers pledging to be an inclusive employer by hiring a person with disability or spreading the word in regards to inclusiveness and diversity in the workplace. The campaign target was exceeded in the region, with over 110 employers in Northern NSW and South East Queensland pledging their support, many of those hiring a person with disability.

Jason Shield, CEO of BUSY Ability stated, “International Day of People with Disability highlights the importance of inclusiveness, including the opportunity to provide meaningful contribution through work. It is heartening to see many of our regional businesses are on board with this, not only to fulfil a social contribution but because it also benefits their bottom line by translating a message to their customers and opening up a potential candidate pool that is dedicated, talented and loyal.”

One employer who understands this all too well is Accor Hotels who hired Arne Holst, a 52-year-old indigenous man living with disability. Arne’s lifelong dream was to become a chef and he is now achieving this, undertaking an apprenticeship in Commercial Cookery with the Pullman Hotel in Brisbane.

“Diversity is the corner-stone of our business. We noticed straight away when Arne started, his personality, his passion, his drive! He really hit the ground running. He very quickly and very definitely became a key part of our business”.  Michael Daviss, General Manager, Pullman Hotel Brisbane.

Bronwyn Corrigan, owner of Chameleon New Age Salon in Surfers Paradise is another inclusive employer and hired Shania, a young female living with disability who was looking for a career pathway in hairdressing. “Shania is the newest addition to our team and she is completing a full-time hairdressing apprenticeship. She has picked it up so well!

“Here at Chameleon we are a very inclusive space so if someone has a health condition or a disability we are not going to hold that against them and we’re going to give everyone a go. To be able to give someone an opportunity, nurturing someone, is the most beautiful thing you can do.”  Bronwyn Corrigan, Owner Chameleon New Age Salon.

Geoff Smith, General Manager at Australian Spatial Analytics, a company that specialise in geo-spatial data analysis, specifically seeks out people with autism for their unique ability to focus on large amounts of data. He stated, “The people we’ve hired are faster and more precise analysts, a lot more diligent than the average ‘Joe’, and they really enjoy the job.”

Every year, International Day of People with Disability prompts us all to ask ourselves – what can we do personally and in our business to be more inclusive?

Over 100 guests attended the Employ-Ability 100 Gala lunch event. Karni Liddell, world record holder Paralympian swimmer captivated the audience with her life story.


Watch the video to hear what some of our Employ-Ability 100 pledging employers have to say:

For more information regarding Employ-Ability 100 visit https://busyability.org.au/employ-ability-100/

Media contact:

Michelle Ryan
Phone: 0407 169 029
Email: michelle.ryan@thebusygroup.com.au

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