MEANINGFUL POWER TO CHANGE PEOPLE’S LIVES
FINDING meaningful employment can be a difficult task for people with a physical or mental disability. Western Australian Disability Enterprises, or WADEs, are a collective of organisations that make it their mission to find employment for people with disabilities. Recently, local governments such as the cities of Stirling and Cockburn, and also WA Police, have partnered with some of the eight WADEs across WA such as Workpower, Paraquad Industries, Activ, Good Samaritan Industries and InteWork. Between them, they provide employment opportunities for more than 2000 West Australians with a disability or mental illness in a supported environment. WADE procurement manager Lil Paskos said they had recently secured $35 million in long-term contracts with state and local government agencies which would give supported employees the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. Good Samaritan Industries chief executive John Knowles said the improvement in the quality and enjoyment of life for people was immeasurable. “The impact of increased state and now local government procurement has been powerful, and can be more so in the lives of our employees,” he said. Meaningful work has the power to change people’s self-esteem and outlook on life, it adds meaning and worth to an individual’s experience, which is why it is so important that those with a disability are not excluded from the world of work.