Round Up of September Virtual Roundtables

In September, Microsoft, Deakin University, Neami National, DFP Recruitment, Austrade and Services Australia talked about their focus over the past few months.



“If you don’t design for accessibility, it’s like saying to every fifth person who walks in the door… ‘I don’t want your business'” – David Masters, Corporate Affairs Director, Microsoft

David Masters from Microsoft talked about how they are embedding accessibility into everything they do. Microsoft have been increasing the representation of people with disability through their inclusive hiring recruitment team (e.g. Microsoft’s Autism Hiring Program), facilitating disability confidence training, and developing accessible technologyfrom the outset..

“There are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of those who use it. It helps us to empower people of all abilities…We have a great responsibility and opportunity to create inclusive technology and we see it as an important part of who we are as a company.” – David Masters, Corporate Affairs Director, Microsoft


Deakin University

Peter Osborne and Yasmin Mobayad from Deakin University spoke about their next steps to advance their Workplace Adjustments efforts. Deakin University are:

  • Improving their policies and offerings after consultations with staff and students.
  • Encouraging students to openly request adjustments by handing out Workplace Adjustment Passports to students.
  • Inviting people with disability and others to be part of a Strategy Group to contribute to the Disability, Access and Inclusion Plan.

AND will facilitate disability confidence workplace adjustment sessions to contribute to the development of a culture where adjustments are an ‘everyday part’ of Deakin’s practices.

“The work we have mentioned such as the diversity and inclusion strategic plan, underpins the values that we have across the organisation. I think it’s why we have had such success in the uptake in the alterations to the way we work, especially around workplace adjustments.” – Yasmin Mobayad, Equity Project Officer, Deakin University

“I think it is really just a testament to the growth that our organisation has had, we have moved from policies and procedures that had that return to work insurance focus, to now having this inclusion focus and actually looking at the structures and the University are providing a more inclusive environment.” – Peter Osborne, Senior Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, Deakin University

Neami National

Neami National spoke about their Diversity and Inclusion training packages and Disability Confidence eLearning modules that they’ve developed in collaboration with the Australian Network on Disability and other external partners and peak bodies. The training packages and eLearning modules have become part of the core training for all staff.

“We have an ongoing commitment to improving and providing the best possible services to the people that we work with. We follow a process of reviewing and reflecting on our learnings to refine the work we are developing and delivering. We create and change based on consultation and feedback and do what we can to ensure we take a collaborative approach to everything that we do.” – Sanne Rasmussen, L&D Manager – Strategy and design, Neami National

DFP Recruitment

DFP Recruitment were AND’s first organisation to achieve Disability Confident Recruiter (DCR) and this year they are celebrating their 5-year anniversary as a DCR. Athena Iliades and Angela Sergi from DFP Recruitment talked about the huge impact that DCR has had on their operations, processes, employees and clients. Athena explained how they have applied their knowledge to very large-scale volume recruitment projects right through to short term contracts. Furthermore, she highlighted how DCR’s framework provided clarity and confidence to manage over 8,000 applications, over 3,000 interviews and place over 700 candidates with disability into purposeful and fulfilling roles.

“DCR has delivered change, learning, and importantly, a better candidate experience.” – Athena Iliades, People and Performance Manager, DFP Recruitment

DFP Recruitment spoke about how the DCR program provides their hiring consultants with confidence, facilitates effective recruitment adjustments and workplace adjustments, and leads to diversity and inclusion objectives being enmeshed into standard business objectives.

“I just want to extend my congratulations to the organisations that have completed the DCR program and extend my good luck if you are on the journey. It is something that at the end of the implementation you can look back on and understand the immense implications.” – Athena Iliades, People and Performance Manager, DFP Recruitment



Ken Wedgwood from Austrade shared why he is so driven and passionate about the inclusion of people with disability and spoke about Austrade’s journey to date. Ken discussed Austrade’s employment goals and their aim for the Stepping Into internship program. Ken also talked about Austrade’s plans for creating an inclusive employment experience for individuals with autism and the steps they are taking to ensure their recruitment and onboarding processes are positive and inclusive experiences.

“Most important thing for Austrade – encourage staff to consciously challenge their perceptions on disability – ask, not assume” – Ken Wedgwood, Disability Champion and Chief Financial Officer, at Austrade

Services Australia

Lyndall Wilkie from Services Australia talked about gave their partnership with Specialisterne as one of their most successful steps. Specialisterne reviewed Services Australia’s processes, provided autism awareness training and manager support. Services Australia have employed 11 people with Autism and managers cannot speak highly enough of their talent and engagement!

If you missed out on our September Roundtables, access the transcripts, slides and resources on the members area of our website. If your organisation would like to host a roundtable in 2021, please contact your Relationship Manager or email us to express your interest.

/Public Release. View in full here.