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    Can you assist young people with disability achieve their ambitions?



    An ambitious young woman from Canberra.

    Studying Certificate 2 in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways with Koomarri and Certificate 2 in Companion Animals at the CIT. 

    A huge fan of Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, camping, swimming, her cat Daisy, movies, bowling and eating out with friends. 

    Seeking work experience opportunities.  

    Can you help Emerald and her fellow students achieve their ambitions?

    At Koomarri we support people with disability to achieve their life goals, dreams and aspirations.

    We are proud to be supporting Emerald and 13 other determined young Canberrans to develop their work skills, and help them to find and keep a job that they would love to do.

    They are each studying towards a nationally recognised qualification, gaining competencies that will step them closer to their ambitions.  Part of this study includes 15 hours of work experience.

    We are looking for work experience hosts for Emerald and our other students in hospitality, retail, childcare, animal care, general administration, reception, nursery work/gardening and library assistance.

    Why be a work experience host?

    Many people with intellectual disability want and are able to work with support.  However people with intellectual disability in Australia have poorer employment outcomes compared to both people with other types of disability and people without disability. In 2012, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that:

    • Only 39% of people with intellectual disability were in the workforce, compared to 55% of people with other types of disability and 83% of people without disability.
    • Only 12% of people with intellectual disability were employed full-time, compared to 32% of people with other types of disability and 55% of people without disability.
    • 20% of people with intellectual disability were unemployed, compared to 8% of people with other types of disability and 5% of people without disability.
    • 61% of people with intellectual disability were not in the workforce, compared to 50% of people with other types of disability and 18% of people without disability.

    Research shows that young people with disability are more likely to find and keep a job if they are engaged in successful work experiences and the people around them (family, schools, communities) have positive expectations about what they are capable of.

    By becoming a work experience host you are helping to build the skills and confidence of the young person.  You are also helping to raise expectations about what people with intellectual disability are capable of, and helping to influence community attitudes by demonstrating that successful work experience placements benefit everyone in the workplace. 

    Koomarri covers the insurance for the work experience placement as well as a support worker to support the student on placement.

    Can you assist young people with disability achieve their ambitions?

    Contact Koomarri today on or 6280 6143.





    Koomarri creates life changing opportunities for school leavers with intellectual disability.

    As thousands of teenagers from Canberra region schools graduate for 2016, many are hitting the job market or higher education. But what happens to those with intellectual disability?

    Koomarri, Canberra’s leading service provider for people with disabilities in Canberra and the surrounding regions, has joined forces with a group of Canberra businesses to support  local school leavers in a very simple way. Through Work Skills for Life training courses and work experience placements, people with intellectual disability can gain skills for work and obtain fulfilling employment.

    “With the school year ending, now is the time for parents or guardians of school-leavers and anyone with an intellectual disability, to start thinking seriously about what they’re going to do and how they can move into the workforce smoothly and lead the most independent life that they can,” said Nadine Stephen, Koomarri’s CEO.

    “Our approach is to support people with disability to be active in their local community, be employed and living where they want to live with the people important to them,” continued Nadine.

    Koomarri offers two nationally recognised qualifications and work experience – Work Skills for Life, which covers topics including working independently, protective behaviours, money management, and dress and hygiene.  Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways covers topics including using digital technology, reading and responding to routine workplace information, and writing and numeracy for the workplace.

    “Our courses provide students the opportunity to complete a recognised qualification in preparation for work and further studies,” Nadine said.

    One local man who has completed courses with Koomarri and gained employment is Mitch, a 25-year-old resident from Tuggeranong.  Having been supported by Koomarri for several years, Mitch undertook the Work Skills for Life course in 2015, and then the Information Technology class this year. He is currently works at the Department of Human Services and says he enjoyed learning about getting ready for work in the morning, learning to catch a bus, doing mail outs and helping with printing.

    "I liked the sound of the Koomarri course as it taught Mitch many different skills relevant for the workplace.  The course directly built on his abilities and knowledge,” said Mitch’s mum, Donna.

    “I would recomend this to other parents and guardians of people with disability, as it gave Mitch extra knowledge and skills which boosted his chances of getting a job.  The part time nature also meant that he could combine work and other interests with his studies,” Donna continued.

    Koomarri’s work skill course duration is six hours over two days a week for 40 weeks in line with ACT school terms. Courses are held in both Woden and Belconnen, subject to interest, and work experience placements are found in local businesses for up to 15 hours over five days. This helps individuals find a job that best matches their skills in real workplaces. And there are very real benefits for employers too.

    Harvey Norman Fyshwick has taken on several graduates from Koomarri’s courses, and Bedding Department 2IC Shane Simons says Harvey Norman as a group likes to be involved in community organisations as much as possible.

     “We saw this as an opportunity to support young people wishing to enter or experience the workforce,” Shane said.

     “The majority of students were keen, eager and open to suggestions with some showing a natural flair for merchandising and others were eager to please,” Shane continued.

    Anyone with an intellectual disability from the Canberra region can enrol now. Places are filling fast and there are only a limited number of vacancies left for courses.

    The closure date for enrolment for Koomarri’s work skill courses is Friday 10 February 2017.

    These courses can be accessed by ACT and NSW resident with NDIS funding, people without NDIS funding can access the courses on a fee for service arrangement.

    For more information on Koomarri, and to register your interest for their Work Skills for Life courses, Register your interest online or phone 6280 6143 to make an appointment with the Intake Officer.