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Hall of Fame Honours for Disability Employment Leaders

7 August 2014 at 10:23 am
Staff Reporter
Two leaders in disability employment from Victoria and Queensland have been inducted into Disability Employment Australia’s Hall of Fame.

Staff Reporter | 7 August 2014 at 10:23 am


Hall of Fame Honours for Disability Employment Leaders
7 August 2014 at 10:23 am

Two leaders in disability employment from Victoria and Queensland have been inducted into Disability Employment Australia’s Hall of Fame.

Disability Employment Australia Chair Rick Kane with Hall of Fame inductee Lucy Macali.

Lucy Macali, from Victoria, and Dr Geoffrey Waghorn, from Queensland, were presented the honour last night at the Australia’s Disability Employment Conference Gala Dinner on the Gold Coast for their outstanding contributions to disability employment.

Disability Employment Australia said Macali was recognised for her role in the development of the national peak body for Disability Employment Services and her ongoing work with large employers to increase sustainable outcomes for disability employment.

Macali, who is currently the General Manager of the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator, played a central role in the transition of Disability Employment Australia (then ACE National Network) from a collection of state-based entities to the pre-eminent, professional national peak body it is today.

She has worked in the disability sector for more than 20 years, including as executive officer of WorkForce, where she developed Clean Force, which is still operating today as a social enterprise under the banner of WISE Employment.

After her win, Macali said it meant a lot to be recognised by her peers.

“I am where I am largely as a result of their support and guidance over many years and I feel very humbled by their acknowledgment,” she said.

She said among the highlights of her career was establishing the social enterprise for people with mental illness – CleanForce Property Services – which pays award wages and employs a mix of people with and without disability across a range of roles.

“I loved representing Disability Employment Services nationally during my time at what is now Disability Employment Australia,” she said.

“I'm also very proud of the work that I am involved in now with WorkFocus Australia, which sees me focussed on changing employer attitudes on disability through the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator service I manage.

“We have just sent to print a new resource for employers that we hope will help reframe their thinking on disability – a highlight there is that it is full of advice from people with disability on what would make a difference from their perspective.”

Disability Employment Australia said Dr Waghorn was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his undeniable commitment and impact to the broader disability sector in the area of mental health and vocational rehabilitation.

Dr Waghorn is a well-respected academic who has proven through his work a longstanding commitment to promoting the value of people with disability, and their inclusion in the life of their community.

He is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research (QCHMR), in the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland.

“Geoff is most well-known and widely regarded, nationally and internationally, for his ongoing role researching the efficacy of and promoting the Individual Placement and Support (or IPS) as the core employment assistance model for people with mental illness,” Disability Employment Australia said.

“His work on Managing Personal Information (MPI) is of great relevance to the DES sector.

“The MPI plan was developed to minimise the risk of stigma and unfair discrimination in the workplace by focussing on an individual's strengths.

“Geoff’s work has resulted in significant changes in the way employment providers assist clients who experience poor mental health.”

To find out past inductees of the Hall of Fame, click here.

To find out more about the Disability Employment Conference, click here.

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