Purro Birik - (Healthy Spirit)
Appendix G: Best Practice Project
Program - Workforce Placement Service and the City of Darebin Koori
Employment Assistance for
People with Disabilities from Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander
Communities...A work in progress.
Prepared for the
Association of Competitive Employment (ACE) National Conference, Perth 1999,
by Lucy Macali, Executive Officer, Work Force Placement Service, Melbourne.
Work Force has spent much
time over the last few years building links with local Aboriginal services
in order to provide employment opportunities to members of the local
Aboriginal community who have disabilities. We believe in the work that has
been done so far and also believe that it may be of value to others to hear
about what is being done at a local level, in the hope that they may be
encouraged to make partnerships in their own areas.
OVERVIEW - Work Force
Work Force is a specialist
provider of employment assistance to jobseekers with disabilities in the
northern metropolitan region of Melbourne, with most jobseekers living
within the City of
The key target group is people with psychiatric disability (75% of service
Employment assistance at
Work Force is based on a 1:1 model of service delivery, that is, the
jobseeker is allocated a single employment consultant who is responsible for
developing and coordinating the implementation of the individual employment
plan. A coordinated approach to employment assistance may involve dealing
with a range of mental health professionals, caregivers and service
providers to address key issues relating to the employment goals of the
Work Force has a commitment
to providing employment assistance to minority groups; primarily people from
non-English speaking backgrounds (45% of service users), women (44%) and
young people (24% between 18-25 years).
Work Force also works in
close collaboration with members of the local Aboriginal communit~ with
strong ties developed with key Aboriginal organisations. As a result, at a
statewide level, Work Force currently has the highest rate of Aboriginal
clients with psychiatric disabilities registered with its employment program
(National Information Management System, May 1999).