Mambourin Enterprises award

I rise this morning to congratulate Mambourin Enterprises. Mambourin Enterprises was awarded the Australian Disability Enterprises Excellence Award last week by the Department of Social Services. It is one of Australia's highest awards for workplace excellence. This award recognises Mambourin's significant contribution to improving the lives of people living with a disability and also provides the opportunity to build awareness of ADEs being financially viable businesses with high-quality employment options. Mambourin stood out to the excellence award judges due to its strong business partnerships, its Leadership Program for supported employees and its innovative Enterprise Resource Planning system which enables it to manage costs and enhance client outcomes in readiness for the NDIS.

Mambourin Enterprises was born in 1972, from a public meeting held in Werribee. The meeting was called by concerned community members who were expressing their concern at the lack of facilities to assist people with intellectual disability within the area. From these humble beginnings, Mambourin has expanded and has sites at Allara, Altona, Braybrook, Geelong, Melton, Sunshine, Werribee and Werribee South. Its honour roll demonstrates how embedded the organisation is in the local and broader community of the Western suburbs.

The award is recognition that Mambourin lives its values—values of dignity, empowerment, diversity and partnerships. They run a suite of programs. The first, for which the award was won, around supported employment, with types of work including packaging and assembly, light manufacturing and commercial garden maintenance. Locals can see the work of the gardening crews in the streets of Sanctuary Lakes. Mr Brady celebrated the award by saying, 'Our supported employees are paid at award wages,' meaning they take home fair pay for a fair day's work. They also run a day service program for over 350 people over 18 years of age, with individualised programs that focus on physical, emotional and cognitive needs. Clients can learn life skills, gain vocational experience or simply have fun.

They have post-school transition programs of which I can speak firsthand. These are for young people with intellectual disabilities transitioning from school. They run a STEP program, the Supported Transition to Employment Program, and a Get Ready program—get respect, empowerment, achievement and development for youth. I have known students who have undergone these programs and can speak firsthand to the way the staff work with families and clients to make them feel safe, welcome and challenged.

I congratulate all involved, CEO Rohan Brady, Board President Cathy Jeffkins, all past and current board members who give their time and expertise, the committed staff and most importantly the clients of Mambourin, who prove every day just how able they are.

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