A re-elected Morrison Government will provide $750,000 to Wallara Australia to build an Inclusive Jobs Hub at Sages Cottage Farm in Baxter, Victoria.
Wallara Australia has been a leading not-for-profit provider of support services to people with disabilities in Victoria since 1959.
Liberal Candidate for Flinders, Zoe McKenzie said she was delighted to support Wallara Australia and the Inclusive Jobs Hub.
“This hub is an important initiative to enhance the quality of life for people living with a disability and support them to participate fully and equally in the community through employment,” Ms McKenzie said.
Participants in the Inclusive Jobs Hub begin at the farm purchasing support services from Wallara to build their skills using their NDIS funds, and those that are ready are then offered paid supported work at the farm.
From there, participants receive shifts in open employment off the farm from corporate friends of the farm such as the Frankston RSL, St Kilda Football Club and Ventura Buslines.
The funding will also enable the construction of a new building for which the Inclusive Jobs Hub would be located in.
“The lack of all-weather facilities means that the training programs at Sages Cottage Farm are full, which limits how often community organisations can use the site,” Ms McKenzie said.
“The upgrade will double the farm’s training capacity meaning at least 50 new clients with disability can participate in ongoing inclusive employment training and education.
“Providers such as Monash University’s Peninsula Campus will expand their links with Wallara Australia and train the allied health professionals of tomorrow at Sages Cottage.
“The funding will also provide support for meeting rooms, activity rooms and administration space that will allow staff to vacate the small, 150-year-old heritage-listed cottage they currently work from.
“With the move, it will allow the heritage-listed cottage to be used to house a gift shop, staffed by clients with disabilities, which will diversify the skills taught at the farm as well as bringing in extra revenue for the farm.”
Chief Executive Officer of Wallara Australia, Phil Hayes Brown, said he was excited to receive this commitment from the Coalition Government for their Inclusive Jobs Hub.
“Wallara purchased Sages in 2015 with a vision to be Australia’s most inclusive farm which normalises disability. Today its run by 60 young people with disabilities and some wonderful Support Coaches,” Mr Hayes-Brown said.
“The growing public support is enabling us to provide paid roles both on the farm and through our friends in the community.”
The Inclusive Jobs Hub is backed by a wide variety of respected community groups including the Auslan Company, St Kilda Football Club, Rotary and Probus clubs, Aged Care providers, and the Frankston RSL.
Only the Morrison Government has a real local plan to deliver for the people Flinders and to build a strong economy and a stronger future.