Bunbury Future Possibilities Youth Conference 2009

The Bunbury Future Possibilities Youth Conference 2009 was an exciting event for Year 10, 11 and 12 students with disability and those who are at risk of not making a successful transition from school into further education and/or employment. The conference is aimed to better prepare these students for life after school. The 2009 conference replaced the traditional Bunbury Future Possibilities Forum.

The target audience was students with learning difficulties, physical, sensory, intellectual and/or psychiatric disability, their teachers, families and support networks. In particular the Conference sought to inform students, teachers and families about employment, further education and post school options for people with a disability; promote the use of Vocational Education and Training in high schools; and create partnerships between students, families, schools, and post schools destinations.

The event was student focused with a series of workshops. The format of the Conference also promoted displays and presentations by specialist employment agencies, community organisations, and educational institutions. The feedback on the Conference provided by participants and organisations was extremely positive and has paved the way for the organisation of the 2010 Bunbury Future Possibilities Youth Conference to be held in September.

The Conference was organised by Bunbury Disability Focus Group (DFG). The DFG comprises of local and regional agencies from non-government and government sectors. The DFG would like to thank the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Royalty for Regions and South West VET Link who generously sponsored the event.

WORKING in the WEST Conference 09

Employment for people with disability has evolved over recent years. The names of programs have changed. The people accessing services have changed. There tends to be an increase of people with more complex and diverse needs. The demands on employment staff have increased.

The outcomes we strive for, ‘real work and better lives’, remain the same.

Working in the West 09 brought together key stakeholders to discuss the issues and find solutions to achieve good outcomes for people with a disability transitioning from education into employment.

This year the conference attracted 200 delegates to discuss the issues and find solutions to achieve positive outcomes for people with disability. Stakeholders attending the conference represented a range of industry backgrounds and included metropolitan and regional staff from education, disability employment services, and government and non-government organisations. Working in the West is a workshop based conference aimed at giving participants different information and training to take back to their organisations. The Working in the West conference is a joint initiative between the Association for Competitive Employment (ACE WA) and National Disability Services WA (NDS). The conference also hosts the Disability Employment Services (DES) Awards & Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) Awards celebrating the contributions of DES and ADE staff.

The Disability Employment Services (DES) and Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) Employee of the Year Awards recognise the achievement and value of DES and ADE employees who work with people with disability in Western Australia. In 2009 the awards were sponsored by Swan Alliance.

ACE WA and NDS WA would like to thank Lotterywest for supporting regional delegates to attend the conference.

New NDCO member

The NDCO program was sad to say goodbye to Kylie Rogers who left the program in September to take up new challenges in the Disability Sector. The program welcomes Dan Merrington who replaces Kylie as NDCO for region 26. Dan has a Bachelor of Social Work from Curtin University and a Bachelor of Arts from Murdoch University. Dan previously worked as a clinician in the Alcohol and other Drug Sector and he has worked extensively in Centrelink in the disability area.

Baamba’s Count Us In Award

On December 3rd, to celebrate the International Day of People with Disability, the Disability Services Commission and People with Disabilities WA Inc hosted the annual Count Us In Awards. The NDCO from region 28, Nicole Cox, attended these awards, and represented Stephen ‘Baamba’ Albert, who was a finalist in the Individual Awards for excellence in Access and Inclusion, 2009. Baamba received accolades for his ‘many projects on the go’, including; a Broome based support group for people with disability and their networks (GOOYAL), working with health agencies to encourage Aboriginal people to access medical supports and services, and in collaboration with the NDCO program, providing training across region 28, to increase disability confidence for service providers and industry supporting people with disability to access and maintain education and employment. Throughout this training Baamba provided an insight into supporting aboriginals with disability, based on his extensive experience in the education realm, his practices advocating for Aboriginal rights on various fronts, as well as his first hand knowledge of being an aboriginal with a disability. The nomination was driven by Centrelink, who acknowledged Baamba’s voluntary efforts towards closing the gap for aboriginals with disability.

The NDCOs would like to further recognise Baamba’s contributions, and thank him for his ongoing and altruistic support to the WA NDCO program, particularly the Northern regions. We look forward to continuing our collaborative approach to supporting people with disability into meaningful career pathways.

Educating students at the school of the air - Carnarvon. Developing ‘Health Awareness’ Resources with Shenton Park Staff.

SWAN ALLIANCE Inc

Swan Alliance Local Community Partnership (LCP) WA recently held their 2009 Recognition Awards Ceremony at the Astor Theatre.

The awards evening celebrated the achievements of the students, schools, community organisations and Industry the Swan Alliance has developed and maintained partnerships with throughout 2009.

Nicole Cox and Trevor Paterson accept the Community Partnership Award on behalf of NDCO WA.

The National Disability Coordination Officer Program WA was honoured the Community Partnership Award, and Swan Alliance have contributed the following accolade;

The National Disability Coordinator Officer Program has assisted the SPICE project by providing much needed disability awareness training to employers. The NDCO team have given employers effective strategies to work with people with a disability and have provided industry with an insight into the services that are available should on-the-job support be required. This support has been invaluable to the success of SPICE.

On behalf of the WA NDCO's, Trevor Paterson and Nicole Cox accepted the award. The awards ceremony was a grand affair, and highlighted the impressive contributions and efforts of many teachers, students, industry and community organisations, as well as the imperative role Swan Alliance plays in linking young adults into career paths.

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