Walking the talk on inclusion and diversity

For more than two decades the Department of Human Services has ensured employment opportunities for Canberrans with disability, through its partnership with Koomarri.

Koomarri JobMatch is a Canberra-based service provider supporting people with disability to get and keep a job, and actively participate in their community.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said International Day of People with a Disability on 3 December was the perfect time to recognise the valuable contribution people with disability are making.

‘Our working relationship with Koomarri has brought about a greater appreciation for the talent and experience that people with disability bring to the workplace,’ Mr Jongen said.

‘We are committed to workforce inclusion and diversity and have recently recognised the important work Koomarri do for us by signing a contract to extend our partnership.’

The new three year contract will see the department and Koomarri’s relationship reach a milestone of 25 years working together by 2022.

‘The Koomarri team provides important administrative support to business areas across our Department,’ Mr Jongen said.

‘Diversity brings new ideas, new perspectives and new approaches, making us stronger and ensuring we continue to be adaptable and responsive to the needs of the community,’

Koomarri CEO Nadine Stephen said the partnership highlighted the value that people with a disability are delivering.

‘Everyone in our community has skills, talents, strengths and absolutely has the ability to contribute productively,’ Nadine said.

‘Our employees regularly tell me how much they enjoy working at the department and the benefits it gives them so this really is a win-win relationship.’

Koomarri employees work alongside department staff, with some employees being involved in the program for more than 20 years.

‘This contract recognises the contribution that people with a disability make and the meaningful relationships that are created,’ Nadine said

‘I thank the department for its leadership and commitment to developing a diverse workforce and we’re really looking forward to the next three years.’

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen and Koomarri Chief Executive Officer Nadine Stephen with Koomarri employees.