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An open invitation to visit our disability enterprise

In light of comments made on a recent episode of Q&A regarding disability enterprises we would like to say a few words in order to give a voice to those we feel have not been heard.

We are extremely proud of our disability enterprise and all the people who have made it what it is today. This part of our organisation responds to the needs of those within the community who choose to build skills in a real-work environment. If a person’s goal is to work in an enterprise such as ours we would never deny them the opportunity to achieve this. It’s their life and their choice.

Every effort is made to establish pathways and connections to open employment for our supported employees. We provide extensive opportunities for both informal and formal on-the-job training (which leads to real qualifications), and further skill development across all areas of life including leadership and self-advocacy, so that our supported employees are empowered to make decisions for themselves.

Furthermore, our disability enterprise provides an integrated approach to service choices, offering social connections and a community that people feel supported in. Our teams are connected to a range of choices and supports, including vocational training opportunities, so that they can achieve meaningful experiences across all aspects of their lives.

To be clear: no-one is forced to work in our (or any) disability enterprise. Most or even all who already have choice and control with an NDIS package are still choosing to work in disability enterprises even when presented with a range of other options. Our disability enterprises are not segregated workplaces. We have people without disabilities working alongside people with disabilities the same as every other workplace.

All of our supported employees are paid wages based on awards and in accordance with rules set by Fair Work Australia, the same as every other worker in the country. This includes full entitlements to sick leave, annual leave, long service leave, superannuation, and training the same as all other Australian workers. However, we openly encourage discussions around wages in the sector and we agree that more discussion needs to be had. We also throw our full support behind efforts that improve incentives for businesses to employ people with an intellectual disability. We know that engagement and awareness-raising within the wider business community is key to progress and, with our many partners, continue to work towards educating those beyond our sector on the importance of inclusion and accessibility in the workforce and beyond.

We openly invite anyone who wishes to visit our disability enterprises. We would love to show you the community we have fostered and to let you see the work people do to achieve their goals each and every day.

If you would like to visit us, please contact us on (03) 9731 9200 or via hello@mambourin.org

Other areas of interest

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