We are two months into the new DES and this is a good time for the sector and DSS to take stock of how it is going. We are working with quite significant changes to the program expectations as well as the make-up of the sector itself, and changes in DSS to relationship management with providers. The new DES has more providers, more sites, and more staff assisting more participants to achieve more (sustainable) employment outcomes. Are we getting it right?
Peter Broadhead, DSS DES Branch Manager will provide an overview of where the new DES is at, including what DSS is learning. He will be joined by Rick Kane, DEA CEO who will interview Peter on issues that have arisen, questions the sector have asked its peak body and critical milestones in the program’s future. This discussion will encourage questions from conference delegates.
Branch Manager, Disability Employment Services Branch
Department of Social Services
Peter Broadhead is the manager of the Disability Employment Services (DES) Branch in the Department of Social Services. Since April 2016, the branch also has responsibility for building on the work of the Disability Employment Taskforce, to provide advice to government on options for DES beyond the expiry of the current arrangements in June 2018, and any related initiatives to address increased employment opportunities for people with disability in the open labour market.
Peter first came to DES about two years ago, commencing as the manager of the DES Policy and Performance Branch in late August 2015. His responsibilities for DES were extended in February 2016, with the addition of eligibility and assessment, employer engagement and participant’s services. He has worked in departments of health and social policy in two states and the Commonwealth for about 30 years, at senior executive levels for the last 25.
Chief Executive Officer
Disability Employment Australia
Rick has worked in the disability employment sector since 1996. He became Disability Employment Australia’s CEO at the start of 2015. He began his career at the Salvation Army, first as an Employment Consultant, and later a Manager of the Disability Employment program. He went on to be the Executive Officer at Workforce and then worked at WISE Employment for ten years as the Policy Advisor.
Rick has seen multiple changes to the structure of disability employment, including the introduction of case based funding, the adoption of different assessment models and the program operate to a performance and compliance framework. Through it all, person-centred assistance, ongoing support and the Disability Service Standards have been integral to best practice and outcomes. Rick’s work focus is policy development in relation to disability employment services in the Australian and international environment. He represents the sector’s best practice to government, disability advocates, employers and academics. Rick has a Bachelor of Education.