Why are inclusive workplaces so important?

Posted 1 month ago by Georgie Waters
There are now more opportunities in numerous fields where employment is offered for people with disability. [Source: Shuttershock]
There are now more opportunities in numerous fields where employment is offered for people with disability. [Source: Shuttershock]

According to recent statistics, people with disability have a higher unemployment rate than people without disability. However, there are companies and organisations which aim to change this by offering employment with support to people with disability.

Key points:

  • Sustainable weddings are all the rage, but a new venue has arrived on the celebratory scene and employs 100 people with disability, emphasising inclusivity
  • There is currently a higher unemployment rate for people with disability than for people without disability
  • RecruitAbility is also a current scheme by the Australian Public Service Commission to attract potential employees with disability

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2022, people with disability between the ages of 15 – 64 are ‘[…] twice as likely to be unemployed as those without disability.’

However, there is one premier wedding venue, Sages Cottage Farm, which is helping to improve this statistic for people with disability, and is supported by Wallara, an organisation created to assist people with disability. 

Set on the gorgeous Mornington Peninsula, Sages Cottage Farm has merged with Melbourne Event Group to create employment opportunities for 100 people with disability on its 38-acre farm. Featuring a blooming rose garden, vegetable gardens, farm animals and a rustic cafe, Sages Cottage Garden is the perfect place to say, “I do,” all the while supporting inclusivity. 

Heritage-protected buildings from the 1850s are scattered across the property, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history that Sages Cottage Farm has to offer. 

With 127,161 marriages registered in one year alone, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2022, the wedding industry is a great way to create more jobs for people living with disability. 

Phil Hayes-Brown, CEO of Wallara, understands the importance of inclusion in employment as a father of a child with intellectual disability. 

“We know the rustic farm is perfectly suited to weddings and events and so we really wanted a partner who gets our inclusion vision,” says CEO Phil Hayes-Brown of partnership between Wallara and Melbourne Event Group. 

Wallara is an organisation that helps people with disability over the age of 18 to successfully achieve their NDIS goals and become more involved in their communities. 

In addition to this inclusive wedding venue employment, other services by Wallara include:

  • face-to-face support programs;
  • supported employment;
  • accommodation — short-term and supported;
  • employment pathways.

Not only does Sages Cottage Farm, supported by Wallara provide beautiful opportunities for weddings, but it welcomes over 10,000 visitors since opening its doors to the public seven days a week. 

In addition to individual companies and organisations such as Sages Cottage Farms, there is a current scheme, created by the Government, to increase inclusion for people with disability in the workplace. According to the Australian Public Service Commission in 2021, the RecruitAbility scheme ‘aims to attract and develop applicants with disability and also facilitate cultural changes in selection panels and agency recruitment’. 

This is an ‘opt-in’ scheme. Potential applicants with disability don’t need to participate, however, if they do declare that they do have disability and meet the minimum requirements for the job they are applying for, they will progress automatically to the next stage of recruitment. 

According to NSW Health in 2021, there are many benefits to hiring people with disability which can include increased morale in the workplace, different methods of solving problems and greater levels of teamwork and cohesion. 

In January 2023, Dylan Alcott, a disability advocate, highlighted the value of having a workplace including people with disability.

“[…] People with disabilities are also less likely to leave a job once employed and that 90 percent are likely to be equally or more productive than able-bodied colleagues,” Mr Alcott said. 


Are you a person with disability and are working in a job you love? 

Let the team at Talking Disability know on social media.

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