MAX paves way for disability employment at Mantra

Published by MAXSolutions on November 26, 2019
MAX paves way for disability employment at Mantra

Four Sunshine Coast residents with disability are set to experience a work ‘try out’ day with Mantra Mooloolaba Beach as part of the national AccessAbility Day program.

The program gives employers and people with disability the opportunity to break down barriers, meet on mutual terms, and build networks and relationships.

Currently, 2.1 million Australians of working age live with disability. Of these, just under half are employed compared with over 80% of people without disability.


The job shadowing opportunity will give four MAX Solutions customers a taste of life working in hospitality and find out what it takes to run a busy resort hotel. 

  • Darrell Harris, 60, who has permanent hearing loss in one ear, will job shadow in pool maintenance.
  • Rachael Bottomley, 21, who lives with autism, will take on the challenge of housekeeping.
  • Melanie Bernard, 30, who lives with an intellectual disability, will assist with conference duties.
  • Dale Mackay, 43, who is also Melanie’s partner, will be job shadowing the cleaning staff.


Across the country, 57 MAX customers will be participating in AccessAbility Day with employers in Nundah, Toowong, Fortitude Valley, Melbourne and Sydney.

MAX Regional Manager for Employment Services in Queensland, Aaron Papas, said many employers were open to employing people with disability but just didn’t know where to start.

“We often speak to employers who are afraid about getting it wrong,” Mr Papas said.

“There are certain myths that persist around disability in the workplace – that accommodating workplace adjustments is expensive or that people with disability present a health and safety risk.

“Thankfully, over time, many of the employers we work with to place candidates in roles, have come to understand that these perceptions are untrue.”

The latest evidence strongly suggests the opposite – that hiring people with disabilities is good for business.

According to Paralympian Dylan Alcott’s #RemoveTheBarrier campaign, employees with disability take eight fewer sick days than their able-bodied colleagues, and stay in a job one year longer.

“Historically, disability has been an overlooked talent pool, with people facing numerous challenges entering and participating in the workforce,” Mr Papas said.

“People with long-term or limiting conditions often have a knack of bedding into a new job quickly and finding solutions to challenges, thanks to their wealth of experience in problem-solving.

“That is a real skill-set and an asset to any employer – as the Mantra Mooloolaba team are about to see today.

“And, when employers are looking at hiring people with disability, they aren’t in it alone.

“The Australian Government has a range of resources available for employers and the Employment Assistance Fund offers free workplace assessments for eligible people with disability.

“We’re here to offer guidance and support to employers to enable them to access appropriate resources to support candidates when they apply for roles.”


Accor, which Mantra Mooloolaba Beach is a part of, is focused on creating a welcoming environment for team members from all walks of life.

Accor Apartments and Leases Regional General Manager for North Queensland and the Northern Territory, Winston Hall, said the hotel group is collectively committed to giving everyone unrestricted opportunity.

“As Australia’s largest hotel group, we are proud to take a leadership role in championing diversity and inclusivity,” Mr Hall said.

“For us, accepting diversity is not enough. Instead, we celebrate and encourage the diversity of our people and guests each day.

 “We find embracing diversity and equal opportunities leads to a positive and productive workforce which ultimately results in career development, greater debate, decision-making and outcomes for our business, Australia’s hospitality industry and broader society.

 “Diversity is what makes us different and we are very proud of our differences.

“We are so proud to partner with MAX Solutions to implement AccessAbility Day at Mantra Mooloolaba Beach and we hope this is the start of a long-lasting partnership.”


Image: Melanie Bernard, Dale Mackay, Darrell Harris and Rachael Bottomley at Mantra Mooloolaba Beach


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