Compass Group Named National Disability Employer of the Year
8 December 2017 at 6:15 pm
A leading Australian food services company has won the Employer of the Year Award at the 2017 National Disability Awards.
Held at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on 3 December – to mark International Day of People with Disability – the awards recognised the outstanding achievements of individuals, teams and organisations that work to improve the lives of people with disability.
Compass Group Australia were announced as the employer of the year by the Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Jane Prentice.
The company employs more than 10,000 people at more than 480 locations across Australia and developed a program to facilitate the successful transition of people with disability into employment, with the help of disability support agencies.
In 2017 Compass employed an additional 77 people who identified as having a disability.
“We are proud to welcome people with disability to Compass Group, offering a flexible workplace where individual potential can flourish,” Compass Group’s head of diversity projects, Natasha Caflisch said.
“The success of our disability employment program has been a real joint effort. We’d like to thank the families of our employees with disability and our clients for the support they have provided, as well as our existing employees for creating an inclusive workplace.
“We’d also like to thank the Australian Network on Disability (AND). The encouragement and guidance AND has provided to us, including introductions to state based disability support agencies, has been of great assistance.”
Caflisch said diversity employment not only benefited people with disability, but also the Compass team as a whole.
“When time is taken to match the right candidate with the right role, diversity employment is a win-win for all involved and has produced some unexpected business benefits for Compass,” she said.
“Our people derive a lot of satisfaction from being part of a team that supports someone with a disability to gain meaningful employment – which serves to strengthen our company culture of care and respect.”
Meredith Cassidy, the parent and guardian of Compass employee Ella Cassidy, thanked Compass Group for providing people with disability like her daughter a way into the workforce.
“Without this opportunity Ella would be sitting at home watching DVD’s, it’s connected her to community and given her a sense of purpose,” Cassidy said.
Prentice congratulated all the award winners, which included social enterprise AbilityMate, disability advocates Catia Malaquias and Sue Salthouse, as well as the University of Sydney’s Centre of Disability Studies.
“These passionate and hardworking individuals and organisations have been commended for making Australia a more inclusive and accepting place,” Prentice said.
“This year, the awards recognised a range of initiatives and programs, from a social enterprise using the power of 3D printing to creative assistive technology; to individuals fighting for inclusion of people with disability in the media.
“The awards honour and recognise the hard work and achievements of everyday Australians that are making a real difference in their communities.”
The 2017 awards received 140 nominations, from which an independent judging panel selected 12 finalists and five winners.
The list of 2017 award winners can be viewed here.