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issue sixteen November 2009

turns 25

In its 25 years of operation EDGE has secured 5000 jobs across the Perth metropolitan area for 2000 people with intellectual, learning, physical, sensory, psychiatric and neurological disabilities. Three out of every four workers with disabilities supported by EDGE are employed in large corporations or public sector agencies.

EDGE invited its top 50 employers to a celebratory function at its Subiaco headquarters. EDGE Chairman, Mark Barnaba welcomed the assembled employers and introduced Richard Goyder CEO of Wesfarmers, which has employed 367 people with disability through EDGE since 1984.

Speaking on behalf of the employers, Mr Goyder said, "The partnership between Wesfarmers and EDGE has been mutually beneficial to both organisations and Wesfarmers is committed to extending the partnership across the group. I encourage other employers to follow suit".

EDGE Managing Director, Sue Robertson, thanked Mr Goyder and acknowledged the many hundreds of employers who had employed people with disabilities through EDGE over the past 25 years.

"Employment has a huge impact on the meaning and quality of life of everybody, including people with disability. EDGE is proud to have profoundly influenced the lives of so many people with disability who now proudly and productively take their place in the Western Australian workforce," Ms Robertson said.

Among those in attendance were:
Keith Gordon (Director, Industrial Divisions, Wesfarmers);
Jon Sutton (Managing Director, Bankwest);
Brad Bolin (State Manager, Woolworths);
Mal Wauchope (Public Sector Commissioner);
Terry Agnew (Group Chief Executive Officer, RAC);
Shane Kelley (Chief Executive Officer, St John of God Hospital);
Ron Chalmers (Director General , Disability Services Commission);
Russel Gibbs (Chief Executive Officer, Hawaiian Group);
Shelly Begley (State Operations Manager, Bunnings);
Dale Wells (State Operations Manager, Kmart);
Peter Ryall (Regional Manager WA and SA, Target);
Kylie Johnson (Zone HR Manager, Coles);
Tess Brackenridge (HR Manager, Western Australia, Woolworths);
Paul Farmer (Area Manager, Bunnings);
Diane Priest (Diversity Manager, Woolworths);
Laurie Burns (General Manager, People Services, Brightwater Care Group);
Jacob Rechner (Manager, William Buck);
Ron Gibson (Managing Director, GO Networking);
Jan Lipiec (State Manager , Centrelink);
Mark Yeak (Senior Financial Analyst, BHP Billiton);
Jo Clarke (Executive Director, Ernst & Young);
Karly George (Senior Recruitment Consultant, Ernst & Young); and
Ellie McBride (HR Manager, Hawaiian Group).
Employers Jobs
Wesfarmers Group 367
Disability Services Commission 116
Department of Health 85
Woolworths 79
Department of Education and Training 61
University of Western Australia 47
IGA 45
Department of Housing and Works 39
Curtin University 31
Police WA 30
St John of God Healthcare 28
Burswood Entertainment Complex 28
Sizzler 27
Spotless Group 25
Hospitality Group Training 25
McDonald's 23
Department of Commerce 23
Parins 22
KFC 21
Hungry Jacks 20
Chicken Treat 19
Landgate 17
Chamber of Commerce and Industry 17
Australia Post 17
Darowa Corp / CTI Logistics 15
Bankwest 14
WA Football League 14
Lincraft 14
Pinetec 13
Danish Patisserie 13
Miss Maud 13
Croissant Gourmet 12
Crazy Clarkes 12
Kaefer Integrated Services 11
Association for the Blind WA 11
Delaware North 11
Formstone Australia 11
Waldecks 10
ISS Facility Services 10
Department of Culture and Arts 10
Inglewood Products Group 10
Department of Corrective Services 10
Phoenix Metalform 9
City of Wanneroo 9
Jet Jol Trampolines 9
Brightwater Care Group 9
City of Bayswater 9
Anodisers W.A. 9
Bakers Delight 8
Government Employees Superannuation Board 8
Mark Barnaba (EDGE Chairman), Richard Goyder (Wesfarmers Group CEO), Susan Robertson (EDGE Managing Director).
Jacob Rechner (William Buck), Li Lian Kim (EDGE), Mark Yeak (BHP Billiton).
Mike Bradford (Landgate) and Mal Wauchope (Public Sector Commissioner).
Rick Cullen (C.B.H Legal), Susan Robertson (EDGE), Laurie Burns (Brightwater Care Group).

EDGE Award

James Pearson receives CCIWA's Leading EDGE Award from Sue Robertson.
A Leading EDGE Award was presented to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) earlier this year for their commitment to helping people with disabilities enter the workforce.

CCI Chief Executive James Pearson said he was delighted to accept the award, which recognised their contribution as an employer of people with disabilities.

"We see the Leading EDGE award as an acknowledgement of what we are doing, on behalf of our members, to help Western Australian employers recognise that people with disabilities can bring valuable skills, commitment and diversity to the workplace," said Mr Pearson.

"We are pleased to work with EDGE to help CCI and our employees with a disability, meet our goals."

CCI also released a major research paper in 2008 which aimed to expose some of the myths surrounding the recruitment of people with a disability.

CCI Human Resources Manager, Keeley Hayward, said there were many unfounded ideas surrounding the employment of people with disabilities.

"We continue to work with our members and key stakeholders to remove barriers to employment," she said.

Leading EDGE awards are presented to companies leading the way in the corporate sector and community in their employment of people with disabilities.


Sue Robertson (l) and Mark Barnaba (r) present Ron Gibson and Jacob Rechner with their awards.

Leading EDGE Advocate awards are presented to people in the business community who have promoted EDGE and people with disability with tenacity and success. This year, two Leading EDGE Advocate awards have been presented: to Jacob Rechner of William Buck Chartered Accountants and to Ron Gibson of GO Networking.

As an Assurance Manager at William Buck Chartered Accountants, much of Jacob Rechner's role involves meeting with clients, one of which is the Disability Services Commission (DSC). Through his networks he has introduced new opportunities for EDGE to place job seekers.

"It was through DSC that I met Nathan and Sue from EDGE and developed a passionate interest in helping people within the disability sector," said Mr Rechner, who added that winning the award was totally unexpected.

Ron Gibson, who is widely regarded as one of Australia's foremost authorities in the field of business networking and relationship-building, is a long time advocate for people with disability.

"Receiving the award was a wonderful surprise which made me feel rather special, in that few companies these days make the effort to recognise their advocates, which makes this award very gratifying," Mr Gibson said.

EDGE Chairman, Mark Barnaba, presented Mr Rechner and Mr Gibson with their awards at a ceremony in May 2009.

"These individuals have set a great example to other businesses of the two-way benefits that can be gained by giving people with disability the opportunity to be part of the workforce," said Mr Barnaba.

Copyright © 2009 EDGE Employment Solutions Inc. - All Rights Reserved. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission. All guest articles are copyright to their respective owners and are reproduced with permission.

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