SLHD - Sydney Connect
District's new partnership enhances job opportunities for people with a disability

District strives to strengthen diverse workforce

November 2020

District's new partnership enhances job opportunities for people with a disability

District's new partnership enhances job opportunities for people with a disability

Farhad Babul has a new job.

“It’s changed my life. I feel like I’m respected. I would like to stay here as long as I can,” he said.

Farhad has joined the Environmental Services team at Balmain Hospital.

“I want to improve in this life. I want to be independent and be able to provide for myself by working,” he said.

Farhad, who is Deaf and non-verbal, uses AUSLAN to communicate.

He is the first employee recruited under a new Sydney Local Health District partnership with not-for-profit employment service provider, WISE Employment.

The partnership is designed to enhance the creation of job opportunities for people with a disability in the District.

“Our District’s culture is based on ensuring the needs of our patients, their families, carers and the community are at the heart of everything we do,” Dr Teresa Anderson AM, the District’s chief executive, said.

“Given the increasing diversity of our District’s population, valuing, supporting and growing a diverse workforce that is representative of the community our District serves, will optimise and enrich the delivery of equitable health services,” Dr Anderson said.

The District is currently working towards an employment target of 5.6 per cent disability workforce participation by 2025.

“One of the drivers of positive change in our community is inclusive partnerships that recognise disability as part of diversity,” Souzan Asfour, the head of employer engagement at WISE Employment, said.

“Working with Sydney Local Health District will help people who have a disability to improve their personal, social and economic circumstances, which in turn makes our entire society stronger, fairer and more resilient,” Ms Asfour said.

Under the partnership, the District will consider WISE Employment candidates, whose skills and abilities match requirements for roles at the District’s hospitals, services and support teams.

Once placed in a position, employees will be offered job coaching, mentoring and training as needed, while workplace support will also be provided to the employee’s work colleagues and managers.

The District will also work with WISE Employment to build the knowledge and confidence of existing staff in relation to disability and cultural awareness.
Farhad’s co-workers at Balmain Hospital have nothing but praise for him.

“He’s very dedicated. He is a hard worker and has high standards. He’s always positive and has a smile on his face. Since day one, he’s been a great member of our team,” Suman Karki, the Environmental Services Manager at Balmain Hospital, said.

“He’s taught us the sign language for hello, goodbye and thank you. An AUSLAN interpreter has been arranged for him and we’re planning to have a staff training session too,” he said.

Farhad hopes his job is the beginning of a lengthy career at the District.

“I feel like there is absolute opportunity to grow and the training is helping me gain confidence to move into other roles. Let’s see where this job takes me,” he said.
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