My husband has been employed at Phoenix Society in Adelaide for over 20 years. Prior to Phoenix he was in and out of work due to his disability. Phoenix has given him a purpose in life, friends and an opportunity to contribute to society. He is proud of the work he does and given his current health, he is at work inconsitently but that is not an issue, Phoenix are happy for him to get to work when he can.
In the open work force this would not be tolerated. He would constantly be in and out of work.

Cheryl Hoeper

Viv has worked at House with No Steps (HWNS) Summerland House Farm in Alstonville as a supported employee for 26 years. Vivienne has an intellectual disability and has worked in many different areas of Summerland House Farm, with her most recent role being in the canteen. She recently made the transition from supported employment to open or mainstream employment and is now following her dream of working as a support worker for HWNS Community Services. While Vivienne loved her job on the farm she has always dreamed of being a support worker and assisting other people with disabilities. Supported employment with an ADE such as House with No Steps was a critical stepping stone for Vivienne in achieving her dream job. Through supported employment she was able to develop important personal development and employment skills for the workplace.

Viv McDermott

Hi my name is Anita Donald and I have been working at Self Help Workplace in Tasmania for around 7 months now. Since starting work I have learnt a lot and participate in a range of different jobs such as putting stickers on key rings, folding letters and helping in the kitchen. I really enjoy working at Self Help Workplace because I am appreciated and I have never felt that before. I am a lot less nervous now as the people I work with are all similar to me and it has given me more confidence. I wouldn’t know what to do if I wasn’t able to come to Self Help Workplace. I would be really disappointed because it has really changed my life

Anita Donald

Patrick has lived with a mild intellectual disability all of his life. He also struggled with severe depression after the loss of three close family members. The loss of loved ones is something we all face. But when you add depression and mental illness on top of grief it can be a very desperate struggle. Patrick had to work through anger and behavioural issues. He found it hard to hold down a job or fit in, in social situations. He was depressed and needed support to help him overcome the challenges in his life. Patrick soon found that the support he received at Orana was far more than just simply an employment opportunity. In partnership with the Orana staff he began to work out strategies to control his anger. He became more positive. He showed improvement within himself and his work. He went from being disruptive to helpful. The staff at Orana were impressed by the changes in Patrick and he soon became ‘Leading Hand’ on his packing crew – a sure sign of the respect he had earnt. ‘With the help of the staff at Orana, I got my life back,’ says Patrick.


Rachael was born with velo cardio facial syndrome. At birth she had a Pulmonary Atresia and required heart surgery to put in a shunt. Rachael’s condition means she doesn’t get the required amount of haemoglobin in her blood. As a consequence she can only walk 312 meters before stopping for a brief rest. Rachael also has Scoliosis and had Isola rods placed in her back. “After I left school I spent most of my time at home. I wanted to work and challenge myself but the idea terrified me,” says Rachael. “Then, my uncle put me on to Orana. Working at Orana has changed my life. I’m more confident, and even my maths and spelling are better. My family has noticed the change in me too, laughs Rachael.” “And, it’s not just my self-esteem that has improved. I used to visit my cardiologist every three months, now I only visit once a year.“ With her new found confidence Rachael is considering taking on new challenges.
I would like to go to TAFE and do a Certificate 4 in Disability,” says Rachael. I’d also like to get my driver’s licence. That would give me some serious independence.”

Nicolle Hancock

Our son Matthew has been employed at Greenacres, North Wollongong (5 years). He is 23. He works in a terrific/caring/protected environment and has been given productive and rewarding work. Working at Greenacres has given him a sense of self-worth and a ood work ethic. He looks forward to going to work each day and has learned travel skills to catch public buses to get there. His independence is developing on a daily basis. In addition to the work, his ADE gives him social skills and helps him understand social boundaries. He would not be employable in any unsupported work environment because of his intellectual disability. There is very little work now available for individuals like our son. Matthew feels like a worthwhile individual in our community, going to work like everyone else with people like himself. He feels valued and has no concept of money so the salary has no affect on him. Greenacres can not afford to pay him anymore and it should be remembered that it is a non for profit organisation.
The worth of Greenacres and ADEs in general cannot be overstated!! They have our total support.

Ian McMaugh

Our son is 40 years old and suffers from Downs Syndrome. He has ben empoloyed atb Pheonix for the past 20 years. He catches 2 buses to and frm work. His skill level is in the middle range and we fear that shoulkd Pheonix in the future be forced to pay higher wages then current emplyees like my son would loose their jobs because Pheonix would be forced to concentrate on employees who are the most competent and most productive. The wellbeing and future life/work choices and opportunities for our son impacts on my wife and myself and on his two brothers and on thgeir families. The oppoortunity for him to be part of the workforce and to deal with the 'routine' requirements that are associated with going to work is the keystone to his well being. The amount of wages he is paid is totally irrelevent to him and to his family - we would gladly PAY for him to attend Pheonix.
Pheonix offers : - employment oppportunity - on-going training -skills/safety - social interaction/learning - survival and social skills to get to and from work - a nurturing and caring environment

Tony Clisby

Jan has recently retired from GSI after working for over 29 years. Jan stated working for GSI has given me friendship, confidence and the ability to communicate with people from all walks of life. I met my wife at GSI. I learnt lots of different skills over my many years at GSI and I have also been able to use these skills in my personal life. I had great supervisors over the years. They had the patience to teach me many things and if I did not understand I knew I could ask for more explanation. GSI allowed me the time off work to better myself. One of the things I completed was a numeracy and literacy course at TAFE. GSI listened when I had problems and helped connect me with outside agencies to assist me with personal issues, one being an advocate to help me understand letters and documents. GSI also helped me with my retirement plans, allowing me to cut back my days of work and arranging an agency to help me plan what I would do with my spare time when I am not at work. I would recommend anybody to go to GSI as a learning place and a place of employment.

Jan Losik

ADE works for my daughter Melissa Harrison because it gives her an opportunity to work. Melissa went to Phoenix from her special school 6 years ago (she is now 25 years old) and from that time she has become confident and happy. At Phoenix she receives a lot of support and training to improve her skills. Her wage goes up every time her skills improve. Melissa will not get this opportunity outside of Phoenix. She comes home everyday talking about her day. Melissa has made many friends which she didn't have growing up. She has only taken 5 days sick leave since she started because she loves it so much. It will make her very sad if she couldn't go to work everyday. Don't take this away from her.

Jeanette Harrison

After making the decision in 2013 to join an ADE with a view to seeking a more fulfilling work experience, I was happy to take on the role of Production Coordinator at Geraldton Business Services. My experience in the 12 months has been positive, challenging and rewarding. At Activ Geraldton Business Services we manufacture and supply a wide range of products including timber pallets, crayfishing pots, various textile products, we have a Property Care division and we also have recently moved into E waste recycling. I particularly enjoy the varied tasks and skills that my position involves. These tasks include interaction with a wide range of people including, people with disabilities, commercial customers, suppliers and other Activ team members. I also enjoy the mixture of administration, workshop and providing training & support. I thoroughly enjoy the daily interaction with the Supported Employee’s. I find my new workplace wholly rewarding.

Wayne Brown