Push to have more Abo­rig­i­nals work­ing in dis­abil­ity sec­tor

DIS­ABIL­ITY DIS­CUS­SIONS

Kalgoorlie Miner - - OPINION - Robert Hicks John Bowler is the Mayor of the City of Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der. Robert Hicks is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Gold­fields In­di­vid­ual and Fam­ily Sup­port As­so­ci­a­tion

Na­tional Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices WA is WA’s peak body for non-gov­ern­ment dis­abil­ity ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tions.

NDS WA has cre­ated an Abo­rig­i­nal em­ploy­ment guide to help sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tions like GIFSA to re­cruit and re­tain an Abo­rig­i­nal work­force.

The guide is be­ing re­vised and GIFSA is pro­vid­ing feed­back and in­put. At GIFSA, our Abo­rig­i­nal work­force has peaked at 16 per cent of to­tal em­ploy­ees and av­er­ages 10-15 per cent of to­tal head­count. By any mea­sure, this is an out­stand­ing re­sult when other or­gan­i­sa­tions strug­gle to reach dou­ble fig­ures, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment agen­cies. Why is this guide im­por­tant? Be­cause the Na­tional Dis­abil­ity In­sur­ance Scheme is ex­pected to cre­ate 10,000 new jobs across WA and there­fore there is an op­por­tu­nity for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple to con­sider a ca­reer in dis­abil­ity ser­vices. The Abo­rig­i­nal Re­sources and Path­ways Project is an ini­tia­tive to im­prove com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween dis­abil­ity ser­vice providers and Abo­rig­i­nal Com­mu­ni­ties in or­der to en­hance the rates of ac­cess and out­comes for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

The project was de­vel­oped in re­sponse to con­cerns and re­quests from dis­abil­ity ser­vice providers for ca­pac­ity build­ing as­sis­tance in net­work­ing with Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties.

The ob­jec­tives of the project are first, the devel­op­ment of an in­ter­ac­tive on­line re­source to as­sist dis­abil­ity ser­vices to im­ple­ment ev­i­dence-based prac­ti­cal ways to im­prove ser­vice ac­cess and qual­ity for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, and sec­ond, to de­velop lo­cal net­works of Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties and dis­abil­ity ser­vices to foster in­for­ma­tion shar­ing, ser­vice plan­ning and iden­tify emerg­ing un­met need at a lo­cal level.

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