STRI Group has partnered with Job Centre Australia to include a Disability Action Plan into the company’s core operating principles.
As many as one in five Australians live with a disability, so building and developing a diverse workforce is important to STRI’s Brisbane headquarters.
Job Centre Australia (JCA) helped part-time university student, Jess Jennings, land a job as a personal assistant at STRI. Jess was struggling with anxiety as the result of a severe car accident in 2011. JCA was the only employment agency who offered Jess the support and understanding she required to recover and prepare to re-enter the workforce after being absent for almost four years.
STRI Australia, director of operations, Dr Marke Jennings-Temple; has been very impressed with the support of JCA throughout the recruitment process. STRI plans on partnering with JCA to start an Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to acknowledge and support the cultural custodians of Australia.
Job Centre Australia runs the successful Aboriginal Employment Pathways Program and has a RAP, ratified by the regulatory body Reconciliation Australia. JCA will provide ongoing support to STRI as they reach out to local indigenous families and develop important relationships with their cultural elders.
Jennings-Temple, spoke passionately on the subject of both disability and indigenous employment support: “Personally, I have always believed that there are talented and capable people who have been discriminated against because of a label. I am now in a position where I have the ability to make a difference, so the decision was made to look past that label and see people for their strengths and the broad range of skills that they could bring to our organisation.”
The hard work has paid off. STRI recently received an Outstanding Employer Partner Award from JCA, in recognition of its commitment to an inclusive and diverse workplace. JCA Pathway Coach Daniel Valkenburg commented: “The partnership has proven to be a harmonious relationship and one we are excited to develop further. We are proud supporters of STRI staff and clients.”
STRI hopes to be seen as a role model to other employers in the turf industry by demonstrating the value in workplace diversity.