The annual CoAct Awards for Excellence recipients were announced at the 2015 CoAct national conference gala dinner.
Performance and Quality
In recognition of continued 5 Star performance over a 12 month period:
- Workways Australia (Ingham, Qld)
- Community Solutions Group (Cannonvale, Qld)
Collaboration - Access Community Group
In recognition of their Building Capacity for Employment Program. This program provides practical operational assistance to small businesses to help them grow and employ more people in the Shellharbour LGA. In 2015 the program worked with 30 small businesses to create an additional 38 positions.
Innovation - IntoWork Australia
In recognition of their Young Changemakers Program. The program helps 10 local senior level high school students develop the knowledge and skills to become community leaders by teaching them the importance of the non-profit sector and help them to contribute to their community through the distribution of $15,000 of community grants. It inspires young leaders to use energy and creativity so they have a positive impact on their communities.
This year's honour roll for the Member Network Award includes members from all corners of the country.
Winner - Valley Sweep - Vic (nominated by Workways Australia, Moe Vic)
Thirteen years ago, Valley Sweep owner Tony was a client of Workways. He completed the NEIS program and started Valley Sweep with his wife, Judy. As his business grew, Tony came to Workways to get assistance to find staff as he was willing to give people who had barriers a go. Eighty-six per cent of Valley Sweep's workforce have been employed from Workways, with 15 clients employed over the past eight years, with. Their motto is "if they are prepared to have a crack, we will give them an opportunity."
The annual CoAct Employer of the Year Award recipients were announced at the 2015 CoAct national conference gala dinner.
Winner - Mercy CQ (nominated by Community Solutions Group, Rockhampton Qld)
Mercy CQ has made a concerted effort to create and organisational culture inclusive of people with disability. They have allocated budget, run awareness sessions and worked on providing support places for people with disabilities. Mercy CQ is currently working with Community Solutions in Rockhampton and Mackay to make this vision a reality. This partnership has resulted in 14 placements over the past 12 months and the partnership has extended beyond the boundaries of the Fitzroy region.
Finalist - Bayford Group (nominated by IntoWork Australia)
Bayford is an automotive dealer and service centre in Melbourne with 10 locations across a range of brands. The Apprenticeship Coordinator at Bayford, along with AGA/APlus staff have a strong commitment to active promotion of opportunities in the industry, transitioning school students through work experience opportunities via School-Based Apprenticeships, full-time Apprenticeships and full-time employment as qualified Automotive Technicians. For over 10 years IntoWork member AGA/APlus has worked with Bayford developing a program that offers students and job seekers opportunities that may not have been available if not for this program.
Finalist - Calvary Retirement (nominated by Advance Personnel)
Calvary Retirement is a champion for people with disability. They are proactive in inclusive practices in the workplace to deliver employment opportunities for people with disability.
Winner - ET Australia Secondary College
ET Australia Secondary College (ETASC) is a community based independent special assistance high school located on the NSW Central Coast. It is an innovative school model located in a commercial CBD building, co-located in a multi-service youth facility. It offers Year 9 and 10 students from across the NSW Central Coast an opportunity to make a fresh start in an independent school which is different to traditional schools. ET Australia provides a supportive learning environment that allows students to excel, regardless of the challenges they may face. Based on current success, the goal is to expand to be a Year 7 to Year 10 high school, which will increase enrolments by 30 per cent, with a second campus planned for the northern area of the Central Coast.
Runner-up - Community Solutions Group Eastbank Edible Garden
The Eastbank Edible Garden (EEG) is a unique community facility purpose built for education, skill development, social interaction and building community connections. It provides an opportunity for individuals, groups and families to visit, volunteer and participate in a variety of training initiatives, workshops and activities. Using sustainable organic practices aligned with the principles of permaculture, the garden is a place for learning, growing and meeting. The EEG has provided numerous opportunities for people of all age groups and backgrounds and has hosted a number of successful projects and activities, including employing two school-based trainees, 10 participants completing a Cert II Horticulture and four participants completing the Green Dog Program at the facility.
The annual Steve Lawrence Innovation Award recipients were announced at the 2015 CoAct national conference gala dinner.