Call for inclusive hiring

HARD AT WORK: Joanna Rigby, of Launceston, works at BlueLine Laundry at Kings Meadows. Picture: Emily Baker.JOANNA Rigby can answer quickly when asked what she likes best about her job.
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“Working on the machine and stirring the staff too,” she said.”I like everything, really.”

The Launceston woman works three days a week at BlueLine Laundry. Her favourite place to be stationed is on level two, where she clips clean sheets from hotels and hospitals into a huge industrial iron.

BlueLine, a not-for-profit run by the Archdiocese of Hobart, employs 10 people with disability at its Kings Meadows premises and hopes to soon double that.

“It’s low-skill sort of work so it’s a good entry point for people,” operations manager Darrin Geard said.”It’s about the opportunities we can provide them with transitioning into employment.”

Not all businesses are so open to employing people with disability.

Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks said half of all complaints to Equal Opportunity Tasmaniacame from people with disability and almost a third of those related to discrimination in the workplace.

She described the problem as “dire”.

“There’s not as many (complaints)as I would expect from the people who face significant disadvantage – I suspect they don’t even get through the first part of the process, and they get so used to being excluded they don’t see that they have those rights,” she said.

“Most of us don’t have to think very often just how important work is to us but to most people work is an integral part of their identity.”

Self Help Workplace general manager Donna Bain knows well the benefits of employing people with disability.

In February, the not-for-profit added a cafe at Riverside’s Windsor Park to its list of social enterprises.

“It creates another opportunity for our supported employees to gain hospitality experience in a community setting,” chief executive Donna Bain said.”They’re loving it – they’ve just had a ball off-site so it’s something new.”

Ms Bain said her experiences bucked the belief that people with disability could not or did not want to work.

“People assume people with disability can’t do the job,” she said.”It means there’s a whole group of people who don’t get to work. Potentially, one in four Tasmanians don’t get a chance to work and can’t get their economic independence.”

People with disability looking for employment can contact Bluegum’sMike McOwan on 0417 039 313 ormmcowan.bluegum@nossinc.org419论坛,BlueLine Laundry’sDarrin Geard on6344 5822 ord.geard@blueline-laundry苏州美甲美睫培训学校 or Self Help Workplace’sTracey Bagger on 6344 7133 ortracey@selfhelp苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛.

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