Employment and disability in Australia online report launch

WhereOnline - Microsoft Teams
WhenWednesday 13 March 2024, 11.00am - 12.30pm AWST

Watch the online launch of Employment and disability in Australia here

It is estimated that one in every six Australians, or around 4.4 million people, have a disability of some form, with 1.4 million Australians living with a disability classified as severe or profound.  

Aside from the underutilisation of the talents of people with disability, the opportunity to work is fundamental to living a complete and fulfilling life and to achieving autonomy and independence.  

This new report, Employment and disability in Australia: Improving employment outcomes for people with disability, contains a comprehensive assessment of the trends, drivers and consequences of labour market disadvantage faced by people with disability in Australia, with a view to highlighting the potential for policy and actions to promote inclusiveness. 

The report casts new light on the different labour market journeys and work progressions experienced by people with work-limiting disabilities compared to those with conditions that do not limit their labour market contribution, and to people without disability, as well as for carers of people with disability. 

Headshots of four people, combined into a row of four small photos: a blonde haired person with dark lipstick and necklaces, wearing a light brown top; a person with brown curly hair, wearing a navy blue shirt; a person with long hair, glasses and yellow dangly earrings, in a floral print top; a person with short brown hair and beard, wearing glasses, a dark blue spotted collared shirt and a camel coloured jacket
(L-R) Anneka Bodt, Michelle Silver, Siobhan Tierney, Geoff Trappett

Hosted by Samantha Jenkinson, Strategic Advisor, we are holding a special online report launch on Wednesday 13 March, with expert panel: Anneka Bodt, Communications Coordinator, Youth Disability Advocacy Network; Michelle Silver, Advisory Council Chairperson, Developmental Disability WA; Siobhan Tierney, Director, IncludeAbility, Australian Human Rights Commission; and Geoff Trappett OAM, Disability Lead; Woolworths Australia.

Headshots of four people, combined into a row of four small photos: a man in a black blazer, sky blue collared shirt and white tie; a man with brown hair and glasses, wearing a black cblazer and blue collared shirt; a person with short red hair and glasses, with a nose ring and wearing an orange and white patterned shirt; a man in a sky blue collared work shirt, in front of a green garden
(L-R) Alan Duncan, Mike Dockery, Samantha Jenkinson, Roger Williams

Hear key findings presented by lead authors Professor Mike Dockery, Principal Research Fellow, and Professor Alan Duncan, Director, both of Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, and opening remarks delivered by Roger Williams, Chief Information Officer, Bankwest.

Date: Wednesday 13 March 2024

Time: 11.00am – 12.30pm AWST

Platform: Microsoft Teams Live

Cost: This event is free, but registrations are essential.

Registration for this event has now closed. If you would like to register, please email bcec@curtin.edu.au.


Please note you will receive a separate email from BCEC closer to the event date with the link to access this event.

If you have any special requirements to enable you to participate in this event please email bcec@curtin.edu.au or ring BCEC on +618 9266 1744.


About the speakers

Samantha Jenkinson

Since the early 1990s, Samantha has advocated for the rights of people with disabilities. Her passion for inclusion has driven her work in disability with organisations like Women with Disabilities Australia and the Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability in Western Australia. Samantha’s work has included involvement in implementing self-directed funding policy and the initial design of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

As CEO of People with disabilities WA, she championed co-design of the WA State Disability Strategy, and inclusion of people with disability in employment, housing, and policy development. She established the WA office of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and now provides strategic advice to the NDIS Independent Advisory Council.

She possesses a wealth of knowledge about disability through her work and personal experience.

Anneka Bodt

Anneka is a proud and bold disability and queer advocate. They have been working in the advocacy sector for over two years and worked on a number of projects from local to national. Anneka has the privilege of growing up in the disabled community so has been heavily involved with wheelchair basketball and in later years coaching wheelchair basketball for children. Anneka now works for the Youth Disability Advocacy Network and hosts the “Unapologetically Disabled” Podcast.

Michelle Silver

Michelle Silver is the current Advisory Council Chairperson at Developmental Disability WA (DDWA).

DDWA’s Advisory Council meet around 8 times a year and have been actively involved in various activities including meeting with the Minister For Disability Services and developing a register of important issues for people with intellectual disability. The Advisory Council provides valuable insights and guides the work carried out at DDWA to help better serve the community.

Michelle also works part time at Containers for Change and in her free time is a keen 10 pin bowler, previously representing WA at the Special Olympics in this event. Michelle lives in her own home with her very cute dachshund.

Siobhan Tierney

Siobhan Tierney is the Director of IncludeAbility, an initiative led by the Australian Human Rights Commission that aims to increase meaningful employment opportunities for people with disability. IncludeAbility collaborates with an Ambassador Advisory Group of people with disability and an Employer Network to promote best practice in recruitment and employment and creating accessible and inclusive workplaces.

Prior to this, Siobhan directed a policy team at the Disability Royal Commission that developed the inquiry’s findings and recommendations on addressing the barriers to employment faced by people with disability.

Geoff Trappett OAM

Geoff Trappett OAM is a former Paralympic Athlete. Competing in 2 world championships, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Paralympics. Winning Gold in Sydney, being the first person to dip under the 14 second mark for the 100m wheelchair sprint, holding this world record through his retirement in 2005. Accolades include receiving an Order of Australia medal and named Queensland Paralympian of the Year during a 10 year professional athletics career.

Following on from sport Geoff has transitioned to working professionally in multiple senior executive roles within the disability sector spanning both human service providers and disabled person run advocacy organisations. After 10 years senior management experience in the human services environment and serving as a board member of Australian Federation of Disability Organisations and Physical Disability Australia Geoff devoted his passion and expertise to his social policy change venture Inclusion Moves, speaking out on human rights and disability inclusion related issues. During this time Geoff was a member of the Federal government taskforce modernising the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and was the inaugural chair of the National Inclusive Transport Advocacy Network.

Geoff is nearly two years into the role of Disability Lead ensuring that the lens of disability inclusion is across all that they do for both team and customer.

Roger Williams

Roger is the Chief Information Officer at Bankwest and has played an important part across many roles within Bankwest for the last 28 years, beginning as a software engineer and holding various leadership roles in software engineering, architecture and infrastructure, working with wide-ranging technologies.