Wednesday September 1st 2010 marks 20 years in my present job.
Twenty years now,
Where’d they go?
Twenty years now,
I don’t know,
I sit and I wonder sometimes,
Where they’ve gone
Wow! – Bob was right - where did they go?
There have been so many changes and so much has been achieved it’s difficult to remember how things were in 1990.
Here’s a few:
No Disability Support Pension – the applicable payment back then was referred to as the “Invalid Pension”. Just to help you understand the stigma this cast on recipients try highlighting ‘invalid’ and check the synonyms: worthless, null or void.
The CES (Commonwealth Employment Service) staff was not allowed to assist Invalid Pension recipients to get a job.
The present supported wage system in place today has replaced the 1990’s ‘Slow Workers Permit’ – a system that provided a minimum (I think it was $40) payment to be made instead of the independently monitored and administered system in place today.
No guidebooks, no training, no place to turn accept other equally inexperienced albeit well meaning beginners. We all looked to the United States as the Mecca of supported employment and gobbled up whatever crumbs we could find.
These days Australian programs are as good as or better than those found anywhere in the world.
No internet – thank heavens, no blasted ‘Seek’!
No (or at least very few) mobile phones.
NOVA’s initial inventory:
1 x 3 legged stool
1 x K-Mart typists chair
2 x broken desks (no drawers)
1 x home phone
1 x 3 draw filing cabinet
1 x Yellow Pages
I drove a Toyota Hiace van that regularly suffered from its equivalent of panic attacks (side of the road, trembling).
For myself I had a burning desire to ‘make a difference’ although for the life of me I was uncertain how that might best be accomplished. I read everything I could gather from teachers, libraries and through the embryonic network of other service providers. I was significantly assisted by their generosity and the help of the late Pamela Dennis (METS) was particularly valued.
Our single office has grown to 26 and many thousands of young men and women have subsequently trusted their career goals to me and to my staff (now close to 200 people). Along the way we’ve stuck to the knitting and only get involved in programs and projects that are directly related to the employment of people with a disability.
This has been a great journey and every year has helped me learn and grow.
To the thousands of job seekers and workers that have joined us and to the hundreds of colleagues that have encouraged and inspired me, to those who have helped me stay on the right track and helped me see where I could improve and how NOVA could develop:
Thank you all so very, very much.
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I am delighted to report that our final results for March show a 30% improvement in employment outcomes over the same period for 2015. What is even more remarkable is that those numbers were a 35% improvement over 2014!
This represents an overall improvement of 80%!
These numbers will flow on to the Star Ratings at some point but, as I have repeatedly pointed out, as an indicator of true value the 'Stars' aren't bright lights....
13 Consecutive Quarters NOVA will finish March with a record number of new workers placed into some truly fantastic job opportunities and we will also celebrate our 13th consecutive record breaking quarter!
That's new heights reached for every 3 month period since January 2013!
And we aren't talking small numbers!
The facts are that if you are a person with an intellectual disability in Sydney and you don't come to NOVA or go to our colleagues at JobSupport your chances of successful employment in an award wage position aren't that flash!....
Six Lives Changed!
Short of job seekers, long on jobs, the lives of a further 6 people were changed today as they entered the workforce (2 for the first time). Previous blog posts have spoken to the need for new job seekers and the increased and improving demand for NOVA's assistance in placing people who have a disability into what is referred to in the trade as 'open employment' - that's a job just like everyone else, same pay and conditions, same expectations and responsibilities, same rights....
Just the best!
My apologies for the need for you to cut and paste: https://www.facebook.com/novatransition/videos/213882588962563/?comment_id=213902478960574
The team at NOVA Employment are the finest men and women I have ever known and their achievements in transforming the lives of so many leave me at a loss for words....
Snap your fingers! Snap your fingers.
Can we agree that is 1 second?
Take $539 out of your wallet (I know, you should be so lucky) and dispose of as you see fit. Repeat every second, for every minute of every day, every year....
And I get paid!
I think I may have used the tagline, 'and I get paid' before and the facts are that my job just has to be one of the most rewarding going.
Yesterday at an 'all staff' event I heard tale after tale of people with disability succeeding in their chosen employment, holding down great jobs and, most outstanding of all, taking part in so many further education and training roles - a quick add up gave me the best part of a dozen apprenticeships and traineeships - employment that enables new workers to lay strong foundations for future careers....
Now's The Time!
Now is the time to get great staff, Now is the time to get a great job, Now is the time to focus on ability!
It's also the time for us to launch NOVAs first campaign for 2016....
Art or science? What makes for successful placement for employers, workers and disability employment service providers
Art or Science?
Many, sometimes including program designers think that successfully employing a person with disability is the same as the process for people who dont have a disability plus some incentive(s) and if that doesnt work out then upping the incentives will solve the problem....
Best Christmas Present!
People presently working in a sheltered setting (Australian Disability Enterprise or ADE) cannot be in their work and be registered with a Disability Employment Service (DES)....
With 12 days to go till the end of the year the team at NOVA are 3 placements off achieving a truly remarkable feat, placing more people into work than any previous year....
Doing the sums for the end of the year and note that amongst the mass of media NOVA enjoys, we generated 61 newspaper articles!
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Wanted: Job Seekers!
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I am grateful to my colleague Peter Smith for drawing my attention to this article:
The struggle continues and will not end until this sort of exploitation is over - yes, it still happens that Australians can be used for their labour and earn a few dollars for their efforts and, despite being proven to be exploitative, the Commonwealth aids the perpetrators to continue in business!
All this stuff about the Business Services Wage Assessment tool (BSWAT) uses emotionally charged nonsense to obscure the truth - the BSWAT consistently delivered lower results than other assessment tools, particularly for people with intellectual disability....