Social Inclusion Week, 24 November to 2 December 2012, is an annual initiative, conceptualised by Dr Jonathon Welch AM, that encourages communities to reconnect and be inclusive of all cultures, age groups, nationalities and the disadvantaged. The theme for Social Inclusion Week 2012 is: Collaborate, Connect and Celebrate!
Social inclusion Week is about connecting with local communities, work mates, family and friends to build relationships and networks, addressing isolation and exclusion by supporting people who may be unable help themselves. The focus is especially on young people 12-25 years of age, unemployed families with children, disadvantaged Australians, people with a disability or mental illness, people who are homeless, older people and Indigenous Australians.
Since 2001, WISE Employment has invested time and funds into projects to support the most disadvantaged in our community including people with disability, mental illness, youth, ex-offenders, refugees and Indigenous communities. Another project is the operation of four socially-inclusive social enterprises, employing close to 200 people.
Each social enterprise employs a blended workforce. Qualified tradespeople, apprentices and industry experienced staff work alongside people from disadvantaged backgrounds, often struggling to maintain work in the competitive labour market due to their disability, mental illness, age, cultural background, housing status or other barrier.
We invest in growing the social enterprises because we believe the community is enriched when everybody has the opportunity to realise their potential and be empowered through employment.
How Australia is faring 2012 highlights Australia’s progress relevant to social inclusion indicators including employment, housing and homelessness, health and quality of life, financial stress and inequality, social connections, multiple disadvantage as well as education pathways and skills.