In July 2022, Kay Gerard, CEO of the Food Fibre & Timber Industries Training Council (WA) Inc. attended DAWA’s Summit on Employment. This motivated her to do something to assist disabled people to find employment utilising her networks.

She reached out to DAWA for some assistance, which culminated in Council Members Erin Marshall and Susan Male attending the FFTI Training Council’s AGM at the Aloft Hotel on Tuesday 11 October, along with Gaelen Williams and Will Scott-Jeffs from Advanced Personnel Management (APM).

Susan explained what DAWA was and its mission, she also relayed some disabled employment statistics and spoke about the benefits of employing disabled people.

Erin told her story of lived experience with disability and how it has impacted every aspect of her life.

Gaelen spoke in relation to his role, as a Project Manager in the Employment area of APM and detailed what kind of support is available to employers who employ disabled staff.

Lastly, Gaelen’s colleague Will Scott-Jeffs who is an autistic person, spoke about how APM’s Specialised Job Customisation Program had helped him to gain employment, with one of those places being at APM itself.

This was followed by a short question and answer panel comprising of the four of us, which then led to drinks and networking.

We all received positive feedback from the event, with one gentleman stating that he had never considered employing a person with a disability.

We are looking at running more events with Kay and the FFTI Training Council (WA) Inc. in the future. It was a worthwhile event.

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