Chronic illnesses are long lasting conditions with persistent effects. It is estimated that one in two Australians have or will have one or more of these chronic conditions which can have a significant impact on their working lives.
Often organisations and leaders find they are not equipped with the skills or understanding to support chronically ill employees, and this is largely due to a lack of awareness, understanding, and effective tools.
At this event, DCA CEO Lisa Annese was joined by the Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr Ben Gauntlett and a guest panel to discuss the impact of living and working with a chronic illness and disability and what an accessible and inclusive workplace looks like for these employees.
We heard from experts and people with lived experience who discussed how organisations can:
- Improve understanding of chronic illness
- Address negative attitudes
- Make workplace adjustments, including flexible working
- Upskill managers
- Make it safe for people to disclose, should they wish to.
Our panel included:
- Dr Ben Gauntlett, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission,
- Emma Henningsen, Relationship Manager at Australian Network on Disability,
- Daniel Valiente-Riedl, General Manager at JobAccess, and
- Paul Cassar, Psychologist, Strategic Manager Mental Health at Gallagher Bassett.
- “The selection of panelists were incredible and it was very validating as an employee with chronic illness” – Anon, event participant
- “The health journey that Paul Cassar shared with us was particularly moving, just goes to show that even the ones helping us need help at times as well.” – Kathy, event participant
- “Thank you for organising and hosting this event. The speakers were all wonderful, each one different but each with something important to contribute. Every DCA webinar I have listened to I have learnt something from, including this one” Anon, event participant
- “Excellent panel selection and highly relevant to the topic discussed. Chair also did an excellent job, with on point questions to explore additionally on topics raised in panel responses ” Anon, event participant