On 4 December, the VPSC and the Enabler’s Network brought together professionals from across the public sector to discuss their experiences as people with disability in our workplaces. We also discussed how we might use those insights in practice to improve meaningful workforce participation and careers for people with disability.

Our Commissioner, Paul Grimes opened the forum by talking about the VPSC’s work on access and inclusion.

Dr Graeme Innes spoke to a rapt audience on the lived experience of people with disability in the public sector and the guiding principle ‘nothing about us without us’ before the day’s panels and discussions started in earnest. The level of discussion and sharing of ideas that happened during the breaks over the day attested to how much that principle resonated with the audience. Everyone was eager to hear about one another’s experiences and share their own.

The speakers covered a diverse array of topics, including promoting universal design and presentations on how to drive sustainable disability employment in your workplace.

VPSC Deputy Commissioner, Elizabeth Langdon spoke on inclusive leadership and the role of Disability Champions in fostering diversity in the workplace and Kym Peake, president of IPAA Victoria, closed out the day with a talk about IPAA’s role in promoting access and inclusion in Victoria.

Audience participation had the room buzzing during each break as there haven’t been many opportunities for public sector professionals with disability to meet with their peers and swap stories. One of the best things about the event was the interactions it sparked both during panels and in the breaks afterwards.

It was a great event and we look forward to similar future exchanges.

VPSC Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Langdon and Enablers Network member Matthew Parker talking.

VPSC Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Langdon and Enablers Network member Matthew Parker

Dr. Leigh Kibby of the Enablers Network on stage introducing the event to the audience

Dr. Leigh Kibby of the Enablers Network kicking off the event