2015 Employment Awards

The Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association and the 2015 Employment Awards committee was impressed by the quality of the submissions received for the 2015 Employment Awards and thanks everyone who submitted a nomination.

The 2015 Employment Awards recognise those individuals, organisations and projects that significantly improve the employment outcomes for the long-term unemployed.

The Awards committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 awards as follows:

Youth Employment Award
The Northern Futures Team

Established in 2007, Northern Futures operates under the auspices of the Norlane Community Centre and is guided by a steering committee representing Geelong’s government, industry, education and community sectors.

The Northern Futures mission is to create employment and training opportunities for the 60% of people in the 3214 community most at risk of becoming or remaining jobless.

By linking the needs of people and employers in a truly collaborative way, it aims to strengthen the local economy and build a sustainable community.

Employment Officer of the Year
Ms Gina Chinnery, Orygen The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health

Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health is the world’s leading research and knowledge translation organisation focusing on mental ill-health in young people.

At Orygen, our leadership and staff work to deliver cutting-edge research, policy development, innovative clinical services, and evidence-based training and education to ensure that there is continuous improvement in the treatments and care provided to young people experiencing mental ill-health.

Indigenous Employment Award
WA VTEC Goldfields & Wheatbelt

MAX Employment has been successful with securing a VTEC contract until September 2016 for the Wheatbelt and Goldfield Region of Western Australia. The objective of a VTEC provider is to provide a comprehensive pre-employment training programme that empowers Indigenous job seekers (including disability services and early school leavers) to address their barriers to employment, build on their strengths, and provide employer directed training that leads to a guaranteed job.

Regional Employment Program

CoAct is a national network of locally-embedded community service providers working together to create social and economic opportunities for Australia’s disadvantaged. The CoAct network comprises organisations who work at the coalface with over 68,000 individuals, including some of the most disadvantaged in our community.

The Seasonal Workers Program is a partnership between CoAct (and member Workways) and Wilmar Sugar in Ingham, Queensland, town facing employment challenges such as an unemployment rate 19 per cent more than the state average and high levels of Indigenous disadvantage.

Disability Employment Organisation
Liza Scrivens, STEPS Employment Solutions

STEPS Group Australia are a national not for profit organisation passionate about making a difference in the world by providing individuals and communities with the opportunity to do great things.Through core services of employment and training they enable individuals and communities to take confident steps forward and create opportunities to help people towards independence.

STEPS do this by providing training, employment, and community services that teach people real skills that can help them achieve their goals and aspirations in the real world.

The Judges for 2015 awards

Mr Damian Oliver, Senior Researcher, University of Sydney
Damian is a senior researcher at the University of Sydney Business School. In 2014, he was Acting Director of the Workplace Research Centre prior to its closure. His particular areas of expertise are the apprenticeship and traineeship models of skills development (in Australia and overseas), the intersection of workforce development strategies and industrial relations issues, the youth labour market and the transition from education to employment.

His research career includes time spent at Griffith University, the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany), and three years at the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Adelaide.

Ms Katrina Currie, GM, Brotherhood of St Laurence
Katrina is the General Manager of Work and Learning at the Brotherhood of St Laurence. She has extensive experience in the design and delivery of programs that support the labour market participation for vulnerable groups both here in Victoria and the United Kingdom.

Ms Kate Higgins, Mental Illness Fellowship
Kate Higgins is a consultant within the Quality & Service Development team at Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria.

She has worked within mental health and employment services for over 10 years. This experience has included working within the social firm sector in the UK, research on pathways to employment for people who experience mental health issues, managing Disability Employment Service programs under the Individual Placement and Support model and implementing peer based employment programs. Her qualifications include Bachelors of Law, Social Work (Hons) and Arts.