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VALID Employment Forum

The Living Productive Lives – Employment, Disability and other Dangerous Deeds forum was held in June at the High Street Community Hub in Moe.
This was the first event conducted by the Moe Peer Action Group (PAG) who have been meeting now for about 12 months and have identified getting access to paid work as one of their key issues.
It was great to see the community of Moe support the event with over 30 people attending the forum from a range of local organisations.  The forum included presentations from Moe PAG members, Georgia Green, Rachael Walters and Andrew Prior who spoke about their work experiences and the challenges associated with getting a job.
This was followed by another panel presentation comprising Neil Pawson from Moe Life Skills, Claudia from Claudia’s Cafe in Morwell and Yvonne Fawcett from Work Solutions.  The panel was able to draw on the insights provided by Georgia, Rachel and Andrew to identify strategies for improving employment outcomes for people with disability as well as sharing some of their own challenges and achievements in   inclusive employment.  Claudia’s story of her work at her cafe in Morwell was a highlight.  Claudia is a powerful advocate for inclusive employment, and she spoke passionately about the benefits to her business of including people with disabilities.
We concluded the day with a presentation from Paul Cain from Inclusion Australia.  Paul hails from Western Australia and  is a great friend of VALID.  He has over 20 years research experience in employment and disability, which he shared with us in a terrific summary presentation which brought together the 2 panel presentations.  We were very lucky to be able to fly Paul over for the day.  We look forward to working with him as we plan and develop more initiatives in Moe through the work of the PAG in response to this important issue.
A big thank you to Karleen Plunkett, the Moe PAG Facilitator for her work in helping to set up the forum and to Lynn Lancaster, the Moe PAG Co Facilitator, for her support on the day to make the forum a success.  And finally, thank you to Moe Life Skills for letting us use the High Street Community Hub to host the event.