Business Inclusion & Diversity Services (BIDS)
Hunter Region

With funding from the Australian Government Department of Social Services, the Business Inclusion and Diversity Service (BIDS) is now available to support businesses in four Local Government Areas (LGA’s) in the Hunter.

These LGA’s are:

  • Newcastle
  • Maitland
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Port Stephens

With support from Regional Development Australia (Hunter)  and the Hunter Diversity and Inclusion Collective, the BIDS team works with businesses across a range of industries.

To get in touch with the BIDS Hunter team, please email us at:

Meet the BIDS – Hunter Team

Nicci Richman – Project Coordinator

Nicci Richman Nicci joined the Business Inclusion and Diversity Service (BIDS) Hunter team in February 2023.  She’s proud to be supporting local Hunter businesses to build their disability confidence, which is an extension of her advocacy work in Neurodiversity.

Nicci brings extensive experience as a neurodivergent Organisational Development professional. She has a demonstrated history of working in a range of sectors, including Professional Services, Education, Tech, Allied Health, Manufacturing, and Community Services.

Nicci brings strengths in supporting businesses to embrace inclusive design; training and development; and streamlining processes to optimise performance, productivity and belonging.

She holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Sociology and Political Science), and accredited certificates in Mindfulness, Human Resources, Training and Education, and Business. She is an accredited REACH Facilitator and a member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI).

To get in touch with Nicci, email: or phone: 0417 373 351

Melissa Morgan – Project Coordinator

Melissa MorganMelissa lives in fabulous Newcastle after relocating from the Upper Hunter Valley in the idyllic township of Denman.

Joining AFDO in February 2023 as Project Coordinator – Business Inclusion & Diversity (BIDS) Hunter, Melissa has a passion for “being the change in the world that you want to see”.

With a background in Disability Employment Services and Recruitment, Melissa sees the need for Businesses to gain the confidence to employ from the disability sector. Creating opportunities though conversations and connections is how Melissa sees the world. Holding a diploma in Community Services and with a depth of experience in the tourism and hospitality sector, Melissa’s varied background is perfectly matched to the BIDS Project. A passionate member of the Hunter Diversity & Inclusion Collective, and a regular volunteer at the Soul Hub, keeps Melissa in touch with the local issues at hand.

To get in touch with Melissa, email: or phone: 0428 658 469

Jo-Ann Mitchell – Project Officer

Jo-Ann MitchellJo is the bundle of energy who was born for this role!  With a varied career starting as a trade apprenticeship, to mining crews, community Service work, retail, administration and management.

Throughout her career, her number one focus has always been ‘people’. Her care for her customers has resulted in service levels where all stakeholders feel seen, understood, and energized.

An experienced multitasker, Jo is a great communicator (you know the ones that always had “talks too much” on their report card? That was Jo!).  She, and we, see this as a wonderful thing!

As Jo says, “Communication and openness is high on my priorities as without communication we cannot begin to understand the tapestry of people around us. Everyone has a story and without asking questions and being open to learning about people, we rob ourselves of learning new things and seeing the world from another’s perspective.”

We couldn’t agree more, Jo.

To get in touch with Jo, email: or phone: 0439 411 910

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