Inclusion Starts with a Toasted Sandwich

 

January 1999. Five people walk into a bar. Well, actually it wasn’t a bar….

It was a Sydney beach cafe called Stella Blu… but it’s still a great start to this story.

Steven and John Bennett were multi-year winners of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Employer of the Year Awards.

They were determined that their trophies should do more than just collect dust.

They wanted to use them to create new opportunities in the workforce for people with disability.

When they sit down that day for a coffee and open sandwich with Suzanne Colbert AM, GAICDSusan Hughes and John Little, everyone knows, without doubt, that they are on this mission together.

They’ve already started imagining how they can make it happen.

1999 – 5 believers, a money tin in the middle of the table  ($20 each) and a whole lot of scheming.

2000 – 2 member businesses and 40 employees with an objective to create 500 jobs for people with disability.  (This was already considered a bit of a stretch!)

Hahahahaha….

20 years later the dream had grown to look like this.

301 members members and 1.7 million people.

Not bad for a few toasted sandwiches and a couple of latte’s!
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Every time we gather an origin story for a visionary organisation like the Australian Network on Disability, I’m amazed by what belief, passion and persistence can do.

We harvested memories over those first 20 years and always…always… a new believer joins because they have been inspired by a person, a story, a feisty terrier at the helm.

We send our admiration to all the storymakers: the people with disability, the visionary leaders and the champions who keep making the difference. Your numbers would now fill a thousand cafes… and consume too many toasted sandwiches to count.

Change happens.

 

 


Before you go, try one of our favourite team engagement ideas, download The Sweet Spot. It’s free. It’s meaningful and it will bring your people closer.


 

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