On Wednesday 19 April, 2017 OC Connections was visited by the Hon Wade Noonan, Minister for Industry and Employment and Minister for Resources and Steve Dimopoulos MP for Oakleigh. We were thrilled to host the visit and for the opportunity this has created to enhance social enterprises and to ensure that people living with a disability have sustainable and meaningful employment.
The Minister enjoyed a morning tour of our organisation and met with staff and participants to discuss the great work OC Connections is doing in the social enterprise space. Participants were able to explain to the dignitaries how successful the OC Connections car wash and administrative support programs are and just how important work was to them. This visit was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the work that OC Connections does. We were able to demonstrate what we are doing to support people to enable them to work, feel confident and succeed. This includes the work to build their independence and employment opportunities leading through to supported and open employment.
The Minister mentioned the Government’s commitment to breaking through the procurement barriers that are currently in place for smaller operations. He also talked about the Government’s new Social Enterprise Strategy released in February this year designed to set community expectations about employment opportunities for people living with a disability and assisting employers to see just how great and valuable these employees are.
We talked about the NDIS and the opportunity that it will provide for people to have social and economic participation – (and of course as a result people will not need to rely on a disability pension).
Overall it was an enjoyable and productive visit and we look forward to the ongoing support from the Hon Minister Noonan and Steve Dimopoulos MP.
OC Connections wishes to thank the Minister and his entourage and Steve Dimopoulos MP for organising this event.
Attendees: Hon Minister Wade Noonan, Steve Dimopoulos MP, Maurice Pitard (Chairman), Therese Desmond (CEO), Vicki Hayes, Catriona Starr, Justin Bruce, Tony Hogg, Athena Kontonis, Deb Groves, Geoff (DAAP), Jessica (DAAP & Car Wash), Rishi (Car Wash & Factory Team leader), Tracey (Factory employee and Brand Champion).