By Jim Booth
JIM: If you haven’t heard, Flourish Australia won the Workplace Inclusion Award at the Tamworth Quality Business Awards recently.
This was the first time this Award has ever been presented, across the region. In Tamworth there was a crowd of 830 people for the dinner at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre. The audience listened intently through our acceptance speech because, I think, there is great interest in the work Flourish Australia does. When we see the people we support reach their goals, these are successes that the whole of Flourish Australia can share in.
I am told the award was judged outside the region, so we must have impressed some good judges!
We were nominated by many of the people we support, which makes it even more exciting. We have been nominated four or five times in the last 6 years or so and have been finalists in 2015 and 2017, but hadn’t cracked an award until last week.
We have also presented the Mental Health Recovery Award in both Tamworth and Armidale over the last 4 years. This year I got to present in Tamworth to the Rural Adversity Mental Health Project. In Armidale Isaac Fogarty got to make the presentation to HealthWise.
I need to thank every one of the flourish team, and the people who nominated us, including Kellie Ward and Jarrad Smith who helped put the paperwork together, plus all of our managers who have helped make inclusion a key priority in this organisation.
Our inclusion of people from many backgrounds, more than 20% Aboriginal staff locally, Peer Workers across all programs, more than 50% staff from across the organisation having a lived experience of mental health issues – all represented up on stage to receive the award.
On stage I was pleased to be able to tell the story of our new contract to operate cleaning services at the Tamworth Agriculture Institute, and along with Garry Kelly’s Cleaning Service we have just commenced half a dozen supported employees who have all had support with their own mental health issues from Flourish Australia.
In August the chaps completed their first fortnight and for some it was their first pay cheques in their adult lives. We are so proud of them!
Thanks Teams for all your hard work The results are clear to be seen, with the people we support kicking great personal goals!
Thanks to Joblink Plus for sponsoring the Inclusion Award and ongoing thanks to the Tamworth Business Chamber for supporting Flourish Australia to continue to present the annual Mental Health Recovery award… which this year I had the pleasure of awarding to The Rural Adversity Mental Health Project.
Thanks all – I’m just so proud!
Flourish Australia Tamworth, 129 Marius Street TAMWORTH NSW 2340
02 9393 9433 or 1300 779 270