Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser

Businesses back inclusionAdvertising Feature

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Michelle Burns and Rebecca Dean, of Macarthur Square Lend Lease, with NOVA ambassador and seven-time Logie Award winner Paula Duncan AM.

After we sat down and learned more about how it works we decided to give them a go

- John Payne

Business owners from Campbelltown, Ingleburn and surrounds recently attended NOVA Employment's launch of their seventh annual 100 jobs in 100 days campaign in support of building a more inclusive workforce.

Guests were welcomed by NOVA Employment ambassador and seven-time Logie award-winning actor, Paula Duncan AM, as they arrived for the lunch held at the Harrington Grove Country Club.

Guest speakers were Gregory Hills Hotel licensee John Payne and WOTSO Workspace's Clare Simmons, who together employ more than a dozen staff in various cleaning and hospitality roles.

The pair said their experience of hiring workers with a disability was a smart business decision.

"I had seen the ads on television for years and always had that slight hesitancy," said Mr Payne, who has worked in hospitality for 17 years and runs Macarthur's Favourite Local.

"After we sat down and learned more about how it works we decided to give them a go and it's been absolutely one of the best business decisions I ever made," he said.

For 33 years NOVA Employment has offered competitive integrated employment services, finding and supporting people with both intellectual and physical disabilities, in work within the general community at award wage.

WOTSO Workspace, a flexible workspace provider with 19 locations across Australia, employs staff through NOVA to maintain and clean their office spaces and meeting rooms.

Clare Simmons, who flew in from the Gold Coast for the launch, said NOVA "has changed her life".

After a management meeting where one of her colleagues spoke about the difficulties and the challenges faced by a family member with a disability, Ms Simmons was determined to make a change.

"'I found NOVA on Google," she said. "And once we met and figured out how we could make this happen, everything just fell into place.

"Our NOVA team members are no different from any of our other team members - we've all got our weaknesses and we've all got our strengths - it just comes down to matching those with the role."

For more information about NOVA Employment's free recruitment service phone Chris on 0458 770 125 or Barry on 0427 799 594.