It was a genuine pleasure to meet with Mr Mark Arbib the new Minister for Workplace participation and his adviser Ms Julie Sibraa.
It's not possible to please everyone (so I reckon they should concentrate on me!) and in the process of improvement of employment services for people who have a disability the Minister treads a bumpy road.
So, what's he like?
He has some big shoes to fill - I was impressed by Brendan O'Connor, Mr Arbib's predecessor and the best Minister for a while, but this bloke might be alright.
I was accompanied by 2 colleagues from Disability Services Australia and Macarthur Disability Services (Tony Lund and Ann Thorn) and our Minister listened carefully while we outlined our concerns for the future of what is now the DEN. Ann pointed out strongly that MDS, like NOVA has spent many, many years developing not just employment opportunities but the community in which they and we operate. Tony reminded the Minister of the many other intangible outcomes achieved through not-for-profit involvement in employment programs and we collectively argued for a better method for assessing what constitutes a good outcome.
Despite DEEWR's encouragement to split jobs so that the number of placements can rise many traditional services like DSA, MDS and NOVA remain committed to ensuring each person that comes to us is empowered to achieve the maximum possible participation - more hours, more pay.
You can see that we have succeeded in this by a comparison of wages paid and hours earned. However, we don't have the same number of jobs found.
Easy - you can either get a job seeker a single job for 40 hours a week or you can take the same job, split it into 5 and get 5 outcomes (you also potentially get 5 times the funding from government).
Services with strong moral commitments seek the best outcome for the individual not an arbitrary Star Rating - I hope the Minister was genuinely listening (he seemed to be)
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Benchmarks To access NOVA Employment or any Disability Employment Service (DES), almost everyone is required to be assessed by the Services Australia Services (Centrelink) to determine their "Benchmark" hours: Benchmark hours are the pay point for service providers; being the minimum working hours required for the DES provider to bill the Government and the assessed maximum hours a person is deemed capable of working with DES support....
International Day of People with a Disability
International Day of People with a Disability
It's IDPwD and we have a 1 hour 'special' screening on SBS from 4.30 this afternoon.
Our Ryan Goodwin has done a great job of selecting some of the great entries from NOVA's 'Focusonability' short film festival - we love the Festival and hope that you'll love these films, gathered from around the world....
2020 - the first half When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Good! - Now they've left us, let's look at reality - when the going gets tough, many people suffer and dis-proportionally, people with disability suffer more....
Countdown Clock II
What's the countdown clock all about?
It's our closing time and a countdown to the end of a truly remarkable month of extraordinary effort by my staff....
Countdown Clock Regular viewers will have noticed a countdown clock ticking away (above)
What's that all about?
Can't say - you have to wait till 4.30pm (a little earlier for staff)
Just the best 3 One thing we all love is a winner which is why there's a smile on my face it will be pretty hard to shift.
There's a nightmare pandemic sweeping the world (carried off my mum), the economy has tanked in a never before seen disaster that's left more than a million Aussies unemployed and the only news seems to be bad news....
More than Money!
If asked, most of us would say we went to work for the money, to pay our bills or support our family.
All true, and yet work means so much more:
Prior to finding a job with NOVA employment Glenn* struggled to keep jobs for more than a few months and was generally working as a dishwasher in restaurants which he found to be quite unsatisfying work....
Life Changers II
How are you in the mornings (or evenings, or nights)? NOVA is an 'old school' Disability Employment Service - we find work in the general community with identical pay and conditions as those enjoyed by people who dont have a disability....
Life Changers Required! Received yesterday:
I was unemployed for 24 years because of my disability. I was looking for a job for the last 2 and half years. With the help of (NOVA Staff) I found suitable job and working in the law company for last one year....
Don't know about you but I have felt pretty bruised from all the horrible stuff brought upon us by this damn virus - seeing so many folk losing their jobs is particularly awful and the uncertainty generated for everyone, particularly for workers who have a disability is dreadful to see....
Best Ever II
Following from last post:
NOVA Employment has operated for 30 years. Comparing all results from previous years, February 2020 has been our most successful to date - Following on from January that's 2 in a row and every indication March will also be a record breaker....
NOVA Employment posted another 'best ever' result for the first month of 2020.
Despite the most dreadful natural disasters and with many businesses closed for the holidays, the NOVA team delivered more new workers than in any previous January results, beating past 5 years average by 25% and previous (2017) 'best ever' numbers by 5%....
Depressing cracked record!
A good friend will occasionally pull me up with the reminder that I have a tendency to rant, 'rave on slop jaw' if I remember correctly....
Big Win! Saturday night saw a big win for the NOVA team and for people with disability when our Podcast partners NOVA Entertainment- no relationship other than mates - received the following:
BEST ORIGINAL PODCAST - BRANDED
Focus On Ability; Nova Employment & the Nova Entertainment Podcast Team , NOVA Entertainment
BEST ORIGINAL PODCAST - UNBRANDED
Hamish & Andy; Hamish Blake & Andy Lee, PodcastOne Australi
Taken from the web: https://www....
Received the following yesterday morning:
Hi Nova, just wanted to give my feedback in regards to my mother getting a job through you guys and the amazing impact it has had!! The job that mum has received has changed her outlook on everything! She is now much more confident in her self and her abilities....
Welfare Benefits and Health
It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's truer that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power: David Brin
DES providers don't need nor should they have been given the authority to suspend welfare benefits (see above)....
I have spoken previously on, to quote former President Bush, 'the soft bigotry of low expectations' - if you are a member of a marginalised group the public don't expect much and are surprised when anything much is achieved!
I've been in this game for more than 30 years and have been privileged to see literally thousands of terrific men and women leave NOVA To gain (and retain) great jobs....
Read this article: https://www.smh.com.au/national/no-lights-no-linen-how-alex-survived-for-six-years-on-newstart-20190717-p5284q....
One of the hardest things to do is change a person's attitude - if they are favourably disposed to you, all's well and good - if someone holds a contrary view it's an uphill battle to change a mindset....
Retention Retention, Retention!
Just when you thought things couldn't get any better, something comes along that causes you to stop and to reconsider the way your business is conducted....