By MERRIN JAGTMAN
WACOL will be home to the state’s largest workplace for people with a disability come May this year.
When construction is complete, more than 200 supported employees from Yeerongpilly and Wacol will be brought together in the $3 million Endeavour complex, creating Queensland’s largest Australian disability enterprise.
The facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to be operated by employees with a disability all in keeping with the strict regulations governing a commercial food packaging facility.
Inala resident and supported employee Daniel Rivers, who has worked at Yeerongpilly for 10 years, said he was looking forward to the move.
“The Wacol site is closer to home for me and I will have a nice place to work,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to making new friends.”
Mr Rivers is a line assistant in the licensed food packing room at Yeerongpilly, working to strict guidelines around hygiene and food packaging.
“I have learned lots of skills along the way about how to communicate with people and work safely, which has made me more confident at work,” he said.
Commercial operations general manager Andrew Donne said each day he saw the confidence, self-esteem and sense of purpose that employment brought to a person with a disability.
“More than 45% of Australians with a disability live below the poverty line, with few employment opportunities available compared with other developed nations,” he said.
“Endeavour Foundation is the largest employer of people with a disability in Australia and is committed to genuine employment opportunities for people with a disability in this region.
“Local Rotary Club members have seen first-hand the impact of employment opportunities for people with a disability and have already raised $80,000 towards this $3 million project.”
CEO David Barbagallo said possible road and tunnel developments had also cast uncertainty over the Yeerongpilly service, and the time was right to build a roomier, modern site.
UNDER WAY: Endeavour employee Daniel Rivers and Yeerongpilly customer service manager Carol Dickfos mark the start of construction on their new site. Photo: Inga Williams