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23 August 2013
The Governor of Queensland Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC will today officially open a $3.6million fully accredited food packaging facility with state of the art equipment, to be operated by people with a disability.
Endeavour Foundation CEO David Barbagallo said the organisation was honoured to have Her Excellency as Patron open a facility which will provide meaningful employment in a genuine commercial enterprise for 221 people with a disability, along with support, employment skills training and opportunities for career development.
“With full HACCP accreditation and fourteen new food packaging ‘clean rooms’, we have a increased capacity to meet high level packaging requirements. We can pack both gluten-free, allergen-safe foods and provide quality packaging and processing in very large volumes,” Mr Barbagallo said.
“By providing these high quality services to the market we can remain commercially viable and secure continued employment opportunities for the 221 people with a disability employed here,” he said.
Endeavour Foundation Chairman Grant Murdoch said employment rates for people with a disability in Australia are ranked very low at 21 out of 27 OECD countries1.
“We must do more to improve employment opportunities for Australians with a disability because we know that having a job is a vitalsource of confidence, self-esteem and a sense of purpose for all people including those with a disability. Through training and development, supported employment can also be an essential stepping stone into other paid work for people with a disability,” Mr Murdoch said.
2012 Masterchef runner-up and Brisbane dessert afficionado Julia Taylor and her sister Katie Steffens will be there to celebrate with a cupcake decorating competition for people with a disability who work on site.
“It's so exciting for us to be part of the opening for this new Endeavour Foundation facility, especially as Katie works for Endeavour Foundation in Gladstone. She absolutely adores her job and to hear that 218 people with a disability will be employed at Wacol is a boost to the community and to Queensland,” Ms Taylor said.
Mr Barbagallo thanked the generous donors and community fundraisers who had given generously to the construction and given their personal time to create the beautiful landscaping.
“We especially acknowledge the Rotary Club of Brisbane Inner West and Great Endeavour Rally participants from 2012, who raised a combined total of $711,000 towards this magnificent new building,” he said.
“With such wonderful supporters by our side, we are confident the future holds new opportunities for people with a disability, including the chance to develop employment skills and hold a real job with real outcomes. This expanded complex gives us the opportunity to welcome new customers who can utilise our services right here in Brisbane,” Mr Barbagallo concluded.
Media contact: Kirrily Boulton, Mob: 0429 077 886 Email firstname.lastname@example.org