Media releases

An innovative new pilot by the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) and Deakin University designed to provide practical assistance to Geelong businesses to build their disability confidence will make its debut at the Geelong Chamber of Commerce Before 9 business breakfast on Wednesday 30 September.

The twelve month pilot, supported by 18 local, state and national organisations including Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Worksafe Victoria and the National Disability Insurance Agency, will see Diversity Field Officers working with up to 50 small to medium sized businesses to provide tailored advice and identify improvements to become more welcoming, confident and accessible.

“Building the confidence of business is critical to improving employment outcomes for people with disability, as businesses are often time and resource poor.  For many of us, just getting an interview can be a major hurdle, let alone a job.” said Mr Matthew Wright, CEO of AFDO.

The Diversity Field Officers will work one-to-one with small businesses to undertake an individual business review, provide the business with accurate information on employing people with disability, and develop a customised plan to improve accessibility and establish the right connections to carry out its plan after the contact with the Diversity Field Officer ends.

“This project is about building the confidence of employers to work with people who have a disability at a whole range of career levels, including very senior levels, across all industries.” said Matthew Wright.

Key principles of the pilot include direct practical support available to business to become disability confident, a move to a market driven approach based on the NDIS, with a funding package allocated to jobseekers with disability to purchase employment related support; development of clear benchmarks, goals and accountabilities to close the employment gap experienced by people with disability and work to systemically address the concerns of business regarding Workplace Health and Safety, industrial relations and disability discrimination.

Hosted by the Geelong Chamber of Commerce, the business breakfast will be held from 7—9am on Wednesday 30 September in the Western Beach Room, Deakin University, Geelong Waterfront Campus. To register visit To learn more about the Diversity Field Officer Service visit, visit our Facebook page or read a feature piece in the September edition of Business News.

Please direct all enquiries to AFDO CEO, Mr Matthew Wright on 0428 608 861

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