The Plan aims to increase the number of people with disability employed across the NSW public sector from an estimated 2.7 per cent to 5.6 per cent by 2027.
The NSW Government is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the community we serve. People with disability are a largely under-engaged workforce and have potential to add skills and perspectives to the NSW public sector.
As the State’s largest employer, with approximately 10.3 per cent of the total NSW workforce, the NSW Government can show leadership in improving employment opportunities for people with disability.
We know that when we get things right for people with disability, we improve the workplace for everybody.
Jobs for people with disability: A plan for the NSW public sector sets out the Government’s vision to increase and retain the number of people with disability in the public sector over the next ten years.
It is a vision that will see positive change to the public sector.
Opportunities for change include:
This is a whole-of-Government plan, supported by Health, Education, Justice, Planning and Environment, Industry, Family and Community Services, and the Public Service Commission.
The Plan is underpinned by four strategic priorities:
The NSW Government will review how we recruit and make changes so we better meet the needs of people with disability.
This may include departments achieving ‘Disability Confident Recruiter’ status from the Australian Network on Disability or having a “Go To” person to support people with disability so reasonable adjustments can be made during the interview process.
The NSW Government is committed to an inclusive culture in the public sector.
This includes making sure managers and leaders have the skills and confidence to support staff with disability, encouraging people with disability to feel confident to ask for any support they need, and making sure workspaces are accessibly designed and fitted out.
"As a proud NSW Government employee with a disability, I have seen the benefits of inclusion in my recruitment role. This ranges from promoting understanding and awareness amongst candidates and colleagues, to delivering a unique perspective in my work due to my disability".
The NSW Government is committed to increasing the representation of people with disability across all levels of Government.
This includes providing training and development for people with disability and identifying ambassadors with disability in all levels of Government.
The NSW Government will continuously review progress of the Plan and adapt it to meet the needs of people with disability in NSW.
This includes consulting people with disability, leading disability employment organisations and staff across departments.
In May 2017, the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) held the NSW State of Inclusion Conference.
The Conference was a unique forum for hundreds of people with disability, Disability Employment Network members, service providers, government representatives across all levels, private sector agencies and content experts from across Australia and internationally, to come together to share experiences on enablers and obstacles to success.
The conference focused on employment for people with disability, liveable communities and accessible and inclusive tourism planning.
It also looked at assistive technology and accessible IT to enhance inclusion for all, particularly people with a disability.
In early 2018, an implementation committee will be set up with members from all NSW public sector departments. The committee will identify areas of improvement, drive change and provide advice to public sector and Government leaders.
Here are some case studies we have collaborated of people with a disability, working in the public sector.
Work location: Port Stephens
Tom is an Administration Assistant and the Chairperson for the Work Health and Safety Committee for the Department of Primary Industries. He is an enthusiastic and committed Disability Employee Network member and is currently Studying Work Health and Safety at Hunter TAFE.
Tom is an avid wheelchair basketball player and plays competitively each Saturday in Newcastle. Tom lives with Spinal Bifida.
Quote: Tom Laing, an employee of the Department of Primary Industries who lives with Spinal Bifida welcomed the new plan.
“Working for the NSW Government has been wonderful. It has given me the opportunity to interact with people in the workplace and the general public, and has given me a purpose,” Mr Laing said.
“The introduction of this new plan will help give people with a disability an opportunity to work and be more inclusive in the community.”
Work location: Sydney CBD
Paul is Sydney 2000 Paralympic silver medallist, flew high as the Other Superman on Australia’s Got Talent and in 2016 was named a finalist for the Human Rights Medal.
Paul has worked across all levels of government providing advice on the National Disability Strategy, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and the Disability Inclusion Act.
Paul currently works for the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet as Director, Ministerial Operations and provides advice on the implementation of accessible and inclusive event planning to major and community government events across NSW.
Quote: Paul Nunnari, a former Paralympic silver medallist and Department of Premier and Cabinet employee welcomed the new plan.
“The NSW public sector employs a significant number of people across NSW. The Jobs for people with disability: A plan for the NSW public sector will provide a greater focus on extending that opportunity to people with disability to engage in the public sector,” Mr Nunnari said.
“I am very proud to work in the NSW public sector with so many other talented individuals and am thrilled that the introduction of this plan will improve the employment opportunities for others.”
Bronwyn has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Public Health. She has worked in disability for more than 30 years as a clinician, policy manager and service manager.
Bronwyn is currently employed by HealthShare NSW and eHealth NSW as their Disability Employment Leader. She is responsible for developing policy, training managers and staff, supporting staff and job applicants with disability, and promoting an inclusive and accessible workplace.
Bronwyn has lived experience of mental illness and was an advocate for her sister who had intellectual disability.”
Work location: Chatswood
Sabrina has extensive experience providing advice around inclusion and access for people with disability within the public sector. Sabrina is a current member on the Australian Museum's Advisory Panel, the state government's Disability Employment Action Centre (DEAC) Advisory Sub-Group and the NSW Department of Industry’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) Steering Committee. Following years of private sector work, Sabrina joined the public sector in January 2017 as a Recruitment Specialist for the NSW Department of Industry.
Sabrina describes herself as a person with disability, a woman, and a non-practicing Muslim of Lebanese and Indian background. Sabrina was selected as a representative for I Work for NSW’s 2017 video stories, sharing her experiences and triumphs as a person working for the NSW Government with a severe hearing impairment.
Sabrina is also a published author, having contributed to the Allen & Unwin anthology, 'Coming of Age: Growing Up Muslim in Australia'.
Sabrina held the title of Miss World Australia in 2006 and placed third at Miss World, and has also placed fifth on the first Australian season of ‘The Apprentice’, using these opportunities to contribute to public discussions around diversity and inclusion in Australia.
Quote: Sabrina Houssami-Richardson, a Recruitment Specialist at the NSW Department of Industry welcomed the new plan.
“Jobs for people with disability: A plan for the NSW public sector is a deeply important, pioneering plan that aims for holistic inclusion across all types of disability and provides practical steps to achieve this,” Ms Houssami-Richardson said.
“As a proud NSW Government employee with a disability, I have seen the benefits of inclusion in my recruitment role. This ranges from promoting understanding and awareness amongst candidates and colleagues, to delivering a unique perspective in my work due to my disability.”
“This plan is an admirable step towards making fairness at work a reality for people like me, who love what they do and are talented, and are as worthy of inclusion as any other.”
QUOTE: Andrew Lapham, an a Administration Support Officer at the Department of Family and Community Services who lives with disability welcomed the new plan.
“The new Jobs for People with a Disability Plan in the NSW Public Sector will increase the employment of people with a disability in any NSW Government organisation. This will help support and develop their skills and abilities,” Andrew said.
“Inclusive hiring practices within the Public Sector will give employees with a disability the opportunity to gain more skills and will help support any needed workplace adjustments.”
- Why do you think it is important that the NSW Government has implemented the new Jobs for people with disability: A plan for the NSW public sector?
The importance of the New Jobs for People with a Disability: A plan for the NSW Public Sector
The New Jobs for People with a Disability Plan in the NSW Public Sector will increase the employment of People with a Disability in any NSW Government organisations e.g. Family & Community Servicesto support and provide their skills and abilities as the missing link in the NSW Government organisation. Also the NSW Government is strongly supportive for People with a Disability to work in a NSW Government organisation especially with the NDIS.
- What benefits do you think will result from more inclusive hiring practices within the Public Sector?
Appointing Employees with a Disability in the NSW Government Workforce will decrease their anxiety and stress when getting interview increase the opportunities for them to gain access into the Workforce without Hiring Managers
The benefits for Employees with a Disability in theNSW Government Workforce from more inclusive hiring practices will give Employees with a Disability the opportunities to gain more skills in the NSW Government organisation and to be supportive by a Supervisor/Manager at all times if they have any issues with their Workplace adjustments etc. Also another great benefit for employing People with a Disability is the chance for them to meet higher Executive Directors and Ministers in the organisation/NSW Parliament and for Executive Directors/Ministers to say Thank you to Employees with a Disability for their outstanding achievement to the NSW Government organisation.
- How has your experience been working for the NSW Government?
My experience with Family and Community Services over the last six years as seen the number of FACS Employees with a Disability being part or affected with the transition of NDIS and non-government organisation providers. Seeing or hearing that other NSW Government organisations have workshops or meetings like Disability Employee Network for Employees with a Disability like myself to attend these meetings to discuss their issues and barriers however one of the downsize for Employees with a Disability in the NSW Workplace is the lack of awareness in the Workplace from other non-Disability Employees. Executives and Managers should encourage Staff to be mindful if they have employee with a Disability, they should be treated equally and fairly especially with International Day for People with a Disability.
The NSW Government has a range of job opportunities available across various departments and agencies.
No matter what your skills or expertise, if you would like to make a difference in shaping our State’s future apply for a role in the NSW Public Sector.
The NSW Government is interested in hearing from you about new ways to achieve a diverse, inclusive workforce and to partner with the not-for-profit and private sectors.
If you have a new idea to increase the number of people with disability in the public sector, email WorkforceAcquisition@facs.nsw.gov.au.