Yooralla shortlisted in Victorian Disability Awards

Yooralla has been shortlisted for two 2019 Victorian Disability Awards.

Yooralla’s Equal@Work program partnership team has been shortlisted for the Excellence in Employment Outcomes Award and the Ventilator Accommodation Support Service (VASS) Steering Committee – for the Excellence in Promoting Rights, Fairness and Safety Award.

Yooralla was highly commended in the Excellence in Employment Outcomes Award category last year for its work in Supported Employment in partnership with Schneider Electric in Benalla.

The Victorian Disability Awards recognise the achievements of organisations, individuals and teams that support, lead, educate and advocate for people with disability, increasing their rights and participation.


Equal@Work is a tailored learning and mentoring program that supports people with disability to develop employment skills and access paid employment. The program is a collaboration between Yooralla and the Centre for Adult Education, under the auspice of Box Hill Institute of TAFE.

Since commencing in 2017, the program has supported dozens of people with disability to build employment skills and find jobs.

According to Andrew Nankivell, Yooralla’s Senior Group Manager Pathways to Employment, the most recent group of participants through the program achieved a great employment result.

“We recently customised our training program for the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) to provide our Skills for Life and Work course to their clients, with acquired brain injuries. At the conclusion of the first Equal@Work TAC course, half of the participants had identified paid and voluntary employment opportunities” said Andrew.

The program is comprised of four stages:

  1. A six-week pre-accredited course: Skills for Life and Work that is jointly conducted at Box Hill Institute’s CBD campuses.
  2. An eight-week program looking at job seeking skills and “soft” work skills with a suitably trained volunteer mentor.
  3. Work experience, and
  4. Job search.

VASS Steering Committee

The VASS Steering Committee (SC) was formed in 2007 by a group of volunteers, all of whom were ventilator users.

The VASS SC was fundamental in the creation of Yooralla’s VASS – a world-class purpose built accommodation providing tailored supports for ventilator dependent people.

Yooralla’s VASS is the only facility in the Southern Hemisphere providing ventilator users to live in a community based, person centred, non-medical model.

The VASS SC ensures that people with complex health and disability needs can live well, direct their own care and have genuine opportunity for community inclusion.

The VASS SC has been at the forefront for advocating for the rights, fairness and safety of ventilated dependent people, in educating the medical community about their needs, and ensuring that VASS continues to provide be a best-in-class social model of person-centred care.

Finalists will be announced in early July.

Congratulations to the teams and good luck for July!

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