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What does true inclusion look like? Just ask NF McDonnell & Sons

Oct 11, 2022

NESA awards

Champion Employer of the Year NF McDonnell & Sons with NESA CEO Sally Sinclair and Jobsbank Director Strategy, Business & Governance Edel Conroy

Nearly 30 percent of NF McDonnell & Sons Mount Gambier timber mills’ 123 staff have offending history, live with a disability, suffer from mental health, homelessness or transport issues, have severe long term unemployment or are refugees.

Clearly last week’s National Employment Services Associations’ Employer of the Year award, sponsored by Jobsbank, was well deserved.

From individuals that have overcome adversity to thrive in employment, employers that have put inclusion at the forefront of their business models and employment services consultants going above and beyond, the NESA awards aim to highlight the commitment the employment services sector has made to improve individuals’, families’ and communities’ economic and social wellbeing through employment inclusion.

Jobsbank is proud to have sponsored the accolade, presented in Sydney at NESA’s Awards for Excellence; the business’s commitment to developing pathways for vulnerable Australians and to help them settle into employment at their organisation is an example of how thoughtful design can lead to life-changing benefits for jobseekers.

Efforts to make the Mount Gambier mill an inclusive place to work have included job tours and trials, working closely with job coaches, immense upskilling opportunities, breaking down language barriers and monthly meetings to address any arising barriers to employment for those involved.

From supporting complex mental health needs through flexible working hours to arranging transportation for their workers, NF McDonnel & Sons has created an environment in which jobseekers of any background can thrive.

“These awards are an enormous step to changing the narrative for people with disabilities,” said Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth. “They prove that putting inclusion first and hiring someone with a disability is not a charitable act, but makes good business sense.” Jobsbank is committed to celebrating employers who go the extra mile for people who need a little more help to reach their potential. To read more about Jobsbank’s award sponsorships, see the winners of the Globe Award and last year’s NESA Award winners.


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Jobsbank acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to their culture, their connections to Country and community, and to Elders past, present and emerging.