Opportunities for Victorians with disability in 2022-23

Creating jobs for people with disability through purchasing from Australian Disability Enterprises and relevant social enterprises.

The Opportunities for Victorians with disability objective aims to help ensure all Victorians can participate fully in dignified work. This objective aims to create jobs for those with disability through purchasing from Australian Disability Enterprises and social enterprises with a mission to support people with disability, as well as purchasing from Victorian Government suppliers directly employing people with disability.

Direct spend with Australian Disability Enterprises and certified social enterprises led by a mission for people with disability, remained fairly stable until 2022–23. The reduction in expenditure in 2022-23 is primarily attributed to the refinement in reporting criteria between 2021–22 and 2022–23.


Direct spend with Australian Disability Enterprises and certified social enterprises led by a mission for people with disability between 2018–19 and 2022–23

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Graph 3: Direct spend with Australian Disability Enterprises and certified social enterprises led by a mission for people with disability between 2018–19 and 2022–2313

Case Study: Long-term partnership delivering opportunities for Victorians with disability

Country Fire Authority (CFA) has a long-standing partnership with Waverley Social Enterprises (Waverley Industries Ltd), that has delivered employment opportunities for Victorians with disability for over a decade.

Waverley Social Enterprises provides meaningful employment opportunities in a supported work environment. Consequently, Victorians with disability receive the support they need to participate and make worthwhile contributions to the workplace. They have been doing this across many industries for almost 40 years, including catering, packaging, assembly, grounds maintenance and onsite labour. Currently, Waverley Social Enterprises has 323 supported employees.

Their relationship with CFA began in 2012 when they won an open tender to provide catering services to the Bangholme training campus.

The campus is one of eight across the state which provides vital training and skills development for thousands of CFA volunteers to ensure they can continue to keep their communities safe.

CFA have been incredibly impressed with the quality of Waverley’s work, and the social enterprise has won subsequent tenders when CFA went out to market again in 2017 and 2021.

This support has been valuable for the social enterprise. “Waverley Social Enterprises love our partnership with the CFA,” reports Scott Haines, the Chief Commercial Officer for Waverley Social Enterprises. “The work provides our catering team with opportunity and meaning in their day as well as real social impact.” In the 2022–23 financial year, CFA spent $87,000 with Waverley Social Enterprises. This helped provide employment for 10 supported employees in their catering arm.

Caroline is one of those employees and has been working at the Bangholme site since the partnership commenced. Caroline lives with Advanced Impaired Learning and Cognitive capabilities. She not only prepares and serves food but conducts cleaning and recordkeeping. She also supervises a second team member on busy days.

Caroline is supported by Waverley Social Enterprises’ team HR Support Officer who assists with learning new tasks and upskilling. She completed a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery to become a qualified chef for this role. She works directly under Waverley Social Enterprises’ Head Chef who oversees her daily tasks, including all work delivered for CFA. Outside of this, Caroline, and all employees, have access to an Employee Assistance Program, mental health monitoring and appointment breaks, and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support.

Caroline lives independently with her partner Matt, who also works at Waverley Social Enterprises. She reports that she likes working with CFA because it gives her independence and allows her to interact with the public.

Caroline is not the only one who feels they have developed. The Waverley Social Enterprises catering team is currently recruiting 2 to 3 more employees through organic growth of the business and are potentially looking to take on an apprentice with disability if the right candidate can be found.

CFA’s Business Coordinator for the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centres, Juanita Clifford, has praised the service provided by Waverley Social Enterprises to the Bangholme campus for the past 11 years.

“The food served by their happy staff is delicious, nutritious and of exceptional quality,” Juanita says.

“Enjoying delicious and nutritious food is an important part of our students’ campus experience as they are undertaking physically demanding training and we are pleased to be also providing employment for people in our community with disability.”

Juanita CliffordCountry Fire Authority, Business Coordinator

The partnership between CFA and Waverley Social Enterprises highlights what can be achieved through ongoing relationships built through social procurement. By providing stable sources of income, social enterprises are able to grow and develop, delivering improved social outcomes for Victoria.

Case Study: Delivering accessible communications and creating employment for Victorians with disability

Melbourne Polytechnic is committed to creating a learning space and workplace that is accessible to people of all abilities – a place where all people are valued and respected, have equal access to opportunities and are encouraged to fulfil their talents and potential.

The institute identified a gap in its employee communications for over 30 staff for whom Auslan is their first language. To address this, Melbourne Polytechnic engaged Auslan Consultancy to provide translations for its regular employee communications. In doing so, Melbourne Polytechnic were able to create employment for Victorians with disability.

By utilising their team of Deaf professionals who specialise in video production, Auslan Consultancy were able to translate content offsite and deliver translated videos to Melbourne Polytechnic through post-production. Because sign language does not have the same grammar as English, and Deaf communities often have their own cultural norms, this process ensured accurate translation and the cultural appropriateness of the final videos.

The engagement with Auslan Consultancy began in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued to the present. During the 2022–23 financial year, the procurement generated approximately 600 hours of work for 6 Victorians with disability working with Auslan Consultancy. The consultancy reports that while the initial engagement provided important financial support to help them navigate a difficult period, the ongoing work has played a vital role in boosting their reputation both during and after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are honoured to have collaborated with Melbourne Polytechnic on providing translation services for their employee communications. Working with Melbourne Polytechnic has been a truly rewarding experience, and [they] are proud to have played a crucial role in making their communications accessible to staff for whom Auslan is their first language.”

SpokespersonAuslan Consultancy

Melbourne Polytechnic’s emphasis on inclusivity both in communications and in their procurement demonstrates how government spending can generate multiple levels of value for the Victorian community. Not only did procuring translation services promote better inclusion of people with diverse needs at the institute, but the money spent also worked to help build careers and livelihoods for the Victorian Deaf community.

Case Study: Hospital construction provides work for Victorians with disability

The new Footscray Hospital is the largest health infrastructure project under construction in the state to date. Over its lifecycle, more than $48 million is expected to be invested in social procurement initiatives, with a focus on purchasing from Aboriginal businesses, social enterprises and Australian Disability Enterprises – collectively referred to as ‘Social Benefit Suppliers’ under the Framework.

More than $7.2 million has already been spent with social benefit suppliers since construction started in March 2021, with $3.7 million spent in the 2022–23 financial year. The project also has a particular focus on creating employment for Victorians most in need, with more than 18,000 hours being worked by Victorians with disability in the 2022–23 financial year. This is out of a total of 65,377 hours being delivered by people most in need including Aboriginal Victorians, Victorians with disability and Victorians experiencing disadvantage.

Hours worked by Victorians with disability and Victorians experiencing disadvantage in 2022-23

An example of how the project has engaged social enterprises and supported people with disability is through the collaboration between Lingyun Australia and Mambourin Enterprises. Lingyun Australia is one of the subcontractors building the façade for the new Footscray Hospital.

Mambourin Enterprises is a social enterprise with a mission to provide training and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, enhancing their quality of life and promoting social inclusion. They provide third party logistics, warehousing, packaging and assembly amongst other offerings. Lingyun Australia requires secure and reliable storage and timely delivery of construction materials to the site, which is provided by Mambourin Enterprises.

The collaboration between Lingyun Australia and Mambourin Enterprises is an example of social procurement delivering mutually beneficial results on a major infrastructure project. This partnership ensures the efficient supply of construction material to the New Footscray Hospital Project, which contributes to improved project timelines and quality. In addition, it has benefitted the 69 supported employees at Mambourin Enterprises. The contract has benefitted the organisation beyond the direct work being undertaken by the employees, by allowing Mambourin Enterprise to reinvest in their business, offering opportunities such as training.

This partnership demonstrates the benefits of social procurement to suppliers, the social enterprises and their beneficiaries, and also demonstrates the capability and commercial offering that is available in the social benefit supplier sector.

13: In 2018-19, data for this cohort was collected between January and June 2019 only.