Willing to work report with Susan Ryan AO: Disability and age discrimination in employment

Hosted by Australian Human Rights Commission
25 Jul 2016

The Hon Susan Ryan AO, in her last week as Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner, will discuss the findings of the recent Australian Human Rights Commission Inquiry into employment discrimination against older Australians and Australians with disabilities.

People who are willing to work but are denied the opportunity are also denied the personal and social benefits of dignity, independence, a sense of purpose and the social connectedness that work brings.

The Australian Human Rights Commission Inquiry into employment discrimination against older Australians and Australians with disability found that too many people are shut out of work because of underlying assumptions, stereotypes or myths associated with their age or their disability.

These beliefs lead to discriminatory behaviours during recruitment, in the workplace and in decisions about training, promotion and retirement, voluntary and involuntary. The cost and impact of this is high, for individuals and for our economy.

At this special DCA event, members will hear from the Hon Susan Ryan AO about the Inquiry findings in her last week as Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

We will also hear from a panel of guest speakers from organisations which are leading practice in this area including:

  • Lend Lease talking about meeting the needs of everyone equally and designing workplaces so that each person can work and live with dignity.
  • ANZ sharing its Accessibility and Inclusion Plan and how it is engaging stakeholders and disability community groups to change the wider community's attitudes.
  • SageCo commenting on what employers can do to attract, retain and engage mature-age workers.

Susan Ryan was appointed as Age Discrimination Commissioner in July 2011 for a five year term and was the Disability Discrimination Commissioner from July 2014. She has a distinguished career in business, academia and politics, including as a Senator for the ACT from 1975 to 1988, when she became the first woman to hold a Cabinet post in a federal Labor Government in 1983. She served in the Hawke Government as Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women and Special Minister of State. She also pioneered extensive anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation, including the landmark Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Affirmative Action Act 1986.

The rest of this content is restricted to DCA members.