Thanks to you, our members, we are now a 400 strong network all working together to build a disability confident Australia. This significant milestone was achieved with Australian Red Cross becoming our 400th member.
Australian Network on Disability Chief Executive Officer Corene Strauss said the organisation’s membership has experienced significant growth, increasing by more than 18% in the past 12 months, illustrating businesses’ growing commitment to removing barriers that prevent employment and career advancement for people with disability.
“I’m ecstatic that we’ve reached this milestone, particularly at this time of economic uncertainty and we’re enormously thankful to our member organisations who are so committed to improving workplace inclusion and accessibility for people with disability.”
“This growth is a sign that employers are taking disability employment seriously, which will bring us closer to reducing the employment gap between people with disability and people without disability which currently sits at 30%,” Corene said.
“To celebrate this incredible milestone, we’ve increased our staff numbers by 30% in recent months to service our rapidly expanding network.”
The 400 members collectively employ over 2.2 million people, representing 18% of the workforce. Corene states;
“It’s also very pleasing to see that our members represent all sectors and industries including all levels of government, private entities, ASX-listed companies and not-for-profits, and organisations of varying sizes from small and medium enterprises to many of Australia’s largest corporations.”
Fiona Davies, Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Australian Red Cross said the organisation is thrilled to become the Australian Network on Disability’s 400th member and “gain access to great tools, resources and other network members.”
“This will really support our journey to become a more inclusive, accessible, and welcoming organisation for all, especially for people with disabilities.”
“Australian Red Cross is part of the largest global humanitarian network, helping people prepare for, deal with and recover from crisis. With around 25,000 employees, members and volunteers, we have enormous potential to take on more people with disability, as employees and volunteers, to help us do the important work that we do.” Fiona said.
“To remain relevant, we must broaden the diversity of our people to reflect all people in Australia, ensure our systems and procedures are barrier-free and all people can enjoy an inclusive culture where everyone has a strong sense of belonging. Australian Network on Disability can help us achieve these goals.”
The Australian Network on Disability was founded in 2000 by five individuals determined to create opportunities for people with disability in the workplace.
The founding five included Suzanne Colbert and Susan Hughes who both worked at Shore Personnel, brothers John and Steven Bennett who ran Benbro Electronics and entrepreneur John Little.
Westpac was one of the first members, joining in 2001.
“As one of Australia’s largest employers, with ten million customers, Westpac’s focus on access and inclusion has been a 20-year journey,” said Majella Knobel, Director of Access & Inclusion at Westpac.
“Access and inclusion to us means creating an environment of empowerment – empowering our customers to bank with us independently, and empowering our people to do the work they are here to do.”
“We are incredibly proud to have been awarded first place on the Access & Inclusion Top Performers 2021-2022 list, recognising this important work. As a platinum member of Australian Network on Disability since 2001, we’ve used insights, tools and knowledge of the broader disability landscape to help inform our access and inclusion strategy, policies and learning modules. We continue to drive cultural change to challenge the status quo on disability and embed accessibility in all aspects of how we do business.”
“Improving accessibility through innovation, whether in our systems, apps, services, products, places or communication, ultimately benefits everyone. Access and Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do at Westpac.”