The Australian Foundation for Disability (Afford) is committed to taking progressive steps to creating inclusive, non-segregated workplaces that provide career opportunities for people living with disability.

For the more than 30 years we have been a proud employer of people with disability at our Australian Disability Enterprise operations, located in New South Wales and Victoria. We will continue to be a proud employer of people with disability. We want to expand the employment opportunities we are providing. We want to create better, future-focused and market-ready opportunities for meaningful employment at Afford across all areas of our organisation and pathways for open employment.

We will be investing financially to make our sites commercially sustainable, technologically fit-for-purpose and contemporary in terms of our employee experience. We will also be developing integrated learning and development, and vocational training programs. These changes will take place over the course of the next 12 months at Afford.

To achieve these positive changes, Afford has reviewed its existing operations. Currently, Afford delivers services including product assembly, packaging and distribution from sites at Marrickville, Prestons, Minchinbury and Ingleburn in Sydney, New South Wales. To make the transformation outlined above economically viable, we will be consolidating our sites in New South Wales from four to two locations.

Afford will be closing its operations at Marrickville and Prestons and, when a new location in western Sydney has been procured, will be closing our current site at Minchinbury. Employees working at these sites at Afford will be provided with options to transition their place of work to Ingleburn if they are located at Marrickville and Prestons. Significant notice has been provided to our employees and Afford will be undertaking a consultation process with our employees through this transition.

Afford has made these changes because we believe this is the right thing to do. We want to be a part of the solution when it comes to inclusive, non-segregated work opportunities in Australia.

We note that this has been one of the key recommendations from The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability: to end segregation so that people with disability live, learn, work, play, create alongside people without disability. Afford is taking steps to transform how it provides pathways to work for its for people living with disability in light of this recommendation and other recent changes to the social policy landscape, including:

Afford first announced this change to employees, families and support people today. Every consideration and support will be given to our supported employee teams as we make this change with a view to providing better, future-focused and market-ready opportunities for meaningful employment and opportunities for open employment for people with disability. Accessible information packs, AccessEAP support and the option of individual meetings have been provided to support people through this transition.

Relevant Ministers, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and the National Disability Insurance Agency have been notified of this change at Afford.

Afford leaders are aware of the impact this will have on our supported employees in the short-term, however, we are making these changes with a long-term view to expanding the inclusive employment and commercial opportunities for people working at Afford.

Media contact:

Lyndal Stuart
Head of Engagement and Public Affairs

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