ImpactInstitute’s Breakthrough Grant for Disability Employment Expos 

We’re dedicated to embracing true inclusion at ImpactInstitute, where diversity isn’t just tolerated but celebrated. It’s at the core of our mission, driving everything we do.

That’s why we’re thrilled to share some exciting news:

ImpactInstitute has received a $1.4 million grant funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services to provide more work opportunities to people with disabilities.

This grant marks the beginning of an initiative to host a series of disability employment expos across Australia. It expands our current lineup of expos and opens doors for people with disabilities in the workforce.

For four years, Mel Harrison has been a disability advocate and MC at the My Future, My Choice Disability Expos. And now we’re thrilled to continue working alongside her to create more opportunities for people with disability to contribute to the workforce.

“As a person with a disability, I understand how crucial it is for workplaces to be genuinely inclusive, going beyond mere accessibility to foster a sense of belonging,” says Mel Harrison, Disability Advocate.

“While accessibility is essential, true inclusion ensures that people with disabilities feel valued and accepted in the workplace.”

This grant represents a significant step in creating a more inclusive society, empowering disabled people to be more independent and share their unique talents and skills in the workforce.

With a commitment to empowering people with disabilities, including those with high support needs, these expos aim to create life-altering opportunities by facilitating connections between prospective employees and employers.

“Our extensive experience and dedication to supporting people with disabilities uniquely position us to host these expos,” stated Kathryn Carey, Director of the Disability Expos at ImpactInstitute.

Having successfully organised 37 in-person events across metropolitan and regional locations, alongside a national virtual expo since 2014, we are excited to continue to use our expertise to make these expos even bigger and better.

Our My Future, My Choice Disability Expo series has directly aided over 150,000 people with disabilities, their families, carers, and industry professionals, making it Australia’s largest disability expo program that just got bigger.

This grant also comes at an important time, as alarming statistics highlight the pressing need to boost workforce engagement among people with disabilities.

In 2018 alone, nearly 2.1 million Australians of working age were living with disabilities. Among them, approximately 1.1 million encountered substantial obstacles due to their disabilities, hindering their access to employment opportunities.

“We acknowledge the unique challenges faced by people with disabilities and are deeply committed to empowering this community to access employment opportunities,” says Carey.

Karen Rainbow, CEO of APM Employment Services, a strategic partner of the Disability Expo Program, echoed similar sentiments: “For far too long, too many people with disabilities have been excluded from the job market through no fault of their own. People with disabilities bring a wealth of talent, skills, and motivation to our workplaces, and they play a pivotal role in building a truly inclusive Australia.”

Mel Harrison, also shared the life-changing impact of employment on her. “Employment has been transformative for me. It has bolstered my well-being, provided financial security, and nurtured a sense of identity.”

“It’s important for people with disabilities to feel valued and included in the workforce, especially when societal barriers often create feelings of exclusion.”

Through these expos, we aim to bridge the gap between people including those with high support needs and the workforce to ensure workplaces are diverse and inclusive in every way.

We are excited to have this opportunity to transform the landscape of disability employment and will collaborate with our partners to ensure people with disabilities feel valued and included.