AND Members recognise International Day of People with Disability

Mon 18 December 2017

International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD), held on 3 December each year, aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. Dedicated to breaking down barriers and celebrating abilities, it’s always great to see how our members recognise this important day.

This year, Australian Network on Disability (AND) participated in events hosted by EY, Crown Resorts, Department of Human Services, Westpac, NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI), Rabobank and  Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet. An opportunity for Members to share their progress and reinforce their commitment to disability inclusion, we were very proud to be involved.


Groups of people in corporate attire chat, eat and drink

AND Silver Member, EY generously hosted AND’s IDPWD annual cocktail party on 30 November. Taking the opportunity to announce the launch of their first Accessibility and Inclusion Plan (AIP), David Hewish, Chair of EY’s Disability Working Group, was optimistic:

“We hold ourselves accountable for what we do in disability and look forward to sharing our successes with all of you over the next few years.”

Crown Resorts

AND Gold Member, Crown Resorts held a morning tea on 1 December to celebrate IDPWD and the exciting launch of their CROWNability Action Plan 2018-2021. Built on the success of their CROWNability employment program, the Action Plan is an extension of Crown’s commitment to disability access and inclusion beyond employment.

“Our CROWNability Action Plan shares the current achievements and future initiatives to be undertaken at Crown. Our goal is to create an accessible and inclusive environment for people with disability and for their colleagues in the workplace by building meaningful careers for one and all, as a disability confident organisation.” (excerpt)

Department of Human Services

AND Gold Member, Department of Human Services recognised the day with a barbeque breakfast, expo and interactive showcase in Canberra on 1 December.

AND founding Chief Executive Suzanne Colbert AM was delighted to deliver the keynote address to help DHS reinforce the important role public sector employers play in supporting people with disability. Having recently returned from Geneva, where she attended the fourth annual meeting of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Global Business and Disability Network, Suzanne shared insights from some of the world’s leading minds in access and inclusion.


Blue and orange cupcakes, decorated with the IDPWD hashtag and logo

AND Platinum Member, Westpac marked the day with a morning tea on 4 December, complete with blue and orange cupcakes decorated with the IDPWD logo. One year into the launch of their 2017-2020 Accessibility Action Plan, it was an opportunity to reflect on their recent achievements and revisit their goals for the future.

Speaker at podium with microphone in front of an audience, next to a projection screen showing an image of the IDPWD logo

Above: Image of Les Vance presenting at Westpac's IDPWD event. 

Commenting on the journey so far, Chief Operating Officer Consumer Bank and Accessibility Action Plan Co-Chair, Les Vance said:

“It’s about awareness and respect. Helping people to be and feel empowered. We want to take the Accessibility Action Plan agenda and build it into the fabric of what we do. There have been some unanticipated disruptions, but the course has been maintained.”

A group discussion about the future of disability inclusion at Westpac revealed the staff’s enthusiasm, with many commenting on the value of storytelling to engage all areas of business in the journey.

NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation

AND Silver Member, NSW DFSI recognised the importance of the day with a live-streamed panel discussion on 4 December. Panel contributors included Dr Graeme Innes AM, AND Senior Relationship Manager, Ms Samantha Dancey, and DFSI Billing Services Manager and Member of Ability Employee Reference Group, Ms Eva Guo.

Focused on the sentiments behind this year’s IDPWD theme: to ‘leave no one behind’ and empower people with disability to be active contributors to society, panelists addressed both the barriers to and enablers of inclusion. All agreed on the tremendous importance of inclusive recruitment practices to drive change.


Man in business suit facing an audience in front of a large digital screen that says,

Above: Image of Edwin van Raalte, executive sponsor of access and inclusion for people with disability at Rabobank, opening their IDPWD event.

New AND Silver Member, Rabobank held its first ever IDPWD event on 7 December, which attracted over 60 attendees. Having recently completed AND’s Access and Inclusion Index to support their journey towards disability confidence, staff seemed invigorated by the strength of the company’s commitment and future direction.

Highlighted as a special achievement, guest presenter Myreen Aronowitz, Project Officer for 360HR’s Paralympic Workplace Diversity Program, spoke about Rabobank’s recent recruitment of a Paralympian.

Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet

AND Silver Member, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) marked the occasion with an internal event on 19 December to launch their new Disability Action Plan 2017-2020. With the aim to provide exemplary working experiences for people with disability, and create a culture of safety, voice, visibility and inclusion for people with disability across all levels of the organisation, we look forward to supporting DPC on the next few years of their journey.

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