My name is Andrew Dingemanse and I have been working at Self Help Workplace in Tasmania for the last 33 years. I really enjoy working here in the production workshop doing jobs such as working on pallets and making and painting survey pegs. Everyone that comes here loves being at work and it is a great place to be. I think without Self Help Workplace it would be very hard to find a job so I am very happy to be able to work here.

Andrew Dingemanse

Hi my name is Roger Walker and I have worked at Self Help Workplace for 33 years. My job as a production employee includes cutting sticks with the saw and bundling them, other woodwork tasks and sweeping the workshop. I really enjoy working at Self Help because I love the work I do in the workshop and I feel useful. If I wasn’t able to come to Self Help anymore I would have to try and find another job but it would be hard and I would probably just have to go on the pension. I would be very upset by this and would feel lazy from not being able to work.

Roger Walker

Hi my name is Denise Terry. I have been working at Self Help Workplace in Tasmania for nearly 18 years. I absolutely love working and doing all the jobs. I like to pay extra attention when learning how to do a new job so that I can make sure I do it right. When I first started at Self Help I used to work in the old recycling area. Now I work in the business services area doing a wide range of jobs such as ironing for our second hand clothing store, folding letters and boxes, putting address labels on letters, cleaning and many more. I really enjoy working at Self Help because I just love the work! Also the people are all very good and I have been given a lot of support through my years here. It would be really upsetting if I couldn’t come to Self Help and I think I would be really lucky to get a job anywhere else because of my disability. I want Self Help to stay open forever!

Denise Terry

Hi my name is Dale Kean and I am the longest serving employee at Self Help Workplace, having worked here for 36 years. I am part of the production workforce and my main job is working on the saws cutting wood up to the size we need it for things such as garden stakes and survey pegs. I love working at Self Help because it is such a happy place to be and we are like one big happy family. Everyone is great and I love doing the work. If I didn’t get to work at Self Help I would be very sad because I have learnt so much and made so many great friends over my years here.

Dale Kean

Hi my name is Craig Skinner and I have been working at Self Help Workplace for the past 6 and a half years. I do all kinds of jobs in the production workshop such as lifting pallets, helping other work mates with jobs and painting. It is a great place to work because everyone is always happy and glad to be here. If I wasn’t able to come to Self Help for work I would be really unhappy. I hope to stay working here for the next 20 years!

Craig Skinner

Our son, who has a genetic intellectual disability has been working at Ability Works in Melbourne for over 3 years. He loves going to work . The benefits of him working in a safe and supported environment are : raising his self esteem giving his life purpose interaction with others better for his health than sitting on the sofa all day at home. Working at Ability Works has given him more confidence in all aspects of his life and he has learnt valuable skills.

Jennifer Ellison

My daughter and son-in-law work for an EXCELLENT ADE, which provides them with not only a job, but a worthwhile job that gives them a sense of purpose, self esteem, a structure to their lives, goals to aim for, social interaction, ability to work in a team environment, ability to make decisions by being on committees, and much more. IF ADE'S are forced to close due to inability to pay higher wages, my 2 will be unemployed and unemployable. We cannot let this happen to our families.

Elaine Brennan

My brother has worked at an ADE for over 30 years. It gives him something interesting to do, somewhere to go each day and a social outlet. He and his friends from the ADE socialise often. My brother is lucky in that he has lots of family support but some of his friends don't have family close by. If they had no ADE to go to each day, they would sit at home on their own talking to nobody. My brother has been moved to open employment twice but each time it has failed as "normal" workplaces are not supportive of people who needed constant guidance. He once had no break after standing on an assembly line for 6 hours as he does not have the understanding that he should take a break. He needs to be in a supported workplace.

Anne Yurcina

My son, Mark, is 50 years of age and has suffered from Schizophrenia since 18 years of age. He relies on medication to enable him to have a normal life. He is employed as an ADE Employee on a casual basis 3 or 4 times a week which gives him meaning to his life and ensures he has a responsibility to conduct a daily routine by attending a workplace. The Enterprise workshop can only support ADEs if they can entice suppliers to use their services. The payment of fair and appropriate wages, based on a tool that is capable of rewarding employee attributes and outputs, as well as acknowledging and allowing for areas that are still to be developed, is essential. We ask the Federal Minister to ensure that wage mechanisms that are put into place are appropriate for all stakeholders

Mark Delaney

David is a really positive person. Everyone likes him. He has a great sense of humour and always sees the bright side of life. When he was 22 years old David was working as a mechanic when a terrible accident left him in a coma. After a long journey of recovery, David was eventually able to find new opportunities with House with No Steps. His very little short term memory means he can recall his past up to the age of 22 but can’t remember what happened yesterday. These are challenges that House with No Steps has been able to overcome to provide employment opportunities for David. David works at House with No Step’s business Summerland House Farm, a major tourist attraction in Northern NSW. “David loves his work in the Farm’s nursery and wouldn’t consider taking a day off, even if he had to”, says his boss Robyn. “He only works 2 days per week at the moment though his goal is to work more often.” David would find it extremely difficult to find meaningful employment elsewhere. Because of his poor memory, he needs to be reminded continually throughout the day about what task he needs to complete.
Work gives David much more than a wage. Work gives David dignity, self esteem, a sense of independence and an opportunity to meet friends and have social interaction. He is part of a community where friendship flourishes. David has a solid group of friends who genuinely care for and look out for him. “I enjoy coming to work and seeing my mates. I even don’t mind getting the bus to work in the morning with the ankle biters [school kids]”, says David with a cheeky smile on his face.

David Reidy