Monday, 04 December 2023

Reception for Barkuma Employer Awards

Welcome to Government House for the presentation of the Barkuma Employer Awards, celebrating the people and organisations who provide Barkuma clients with the opportunity to reach their full potential through meaningful employment.

Government House has had a long association with these awards, and we are pleased to continue this.

As you know, yesterday was the United Nations’ International Day of People with Disability.

Last Friday here at Government House, we were pleased to mark this occasion at our monthly Lunch on the Lawns event.

The public had the opportunity to sit in our gardens and enjoy their lunch while listening to music from DJ Georgia, a Novita client, and an Auslan interpreter supported people with hearing impairments to participate in a garden tour.

The event proved successful and we hope to build on it next year.

And of course, you are all welcome to attend Lunch on the Lawns on the first Friday of each month, the next which will be Friday 5 January. Our website has more information.


As Governor, I am committed to supporting diversity and inclusion across all sectors of our community.

I am deeply grateful to Barkuma and other organisations which support people with disability to live rich and meaningful lives.

While employment provides financial support through earning a wage, a job is much more than that.

It’s where we get to extend our skills, grow in confidence, develop pride in what we do, and feel that we belong.

I thank the employers here this evening for consistently providing Barkuma clients with opportunities for meaningful work, within a safe and supportive environment.

I am grateful to you for opening up your business, not for profit organisation or local council to workers with intellectual disability, and in doing so, setting an example for more workplaces to follow.

To the employees here this evening, well done for pursuing employment with the support of Barkuma.

I am proud of your hard work, your desire to contribute to your communities, and your courage to try new things.

I know that many of you have celebrated significant milestones at your workplaces, including 15, 20, 25 and even 30 years of service.

Thank you for your commitment to your roles, and for taking pride in what you do.

I am sure you have made many friendships, gained new skills and importantly given new perspectives to others through your contributions.

To the Board and staff of Barkuma, I thank you sincerely for your commitment to supporting your clients to thrive in long-term employment.

As the very first provider of a Disability Employment Service in South Australia, nearly four decades ago, you now have the highest long-term employment success rate nationally for people with developmental disability.

Congratulations on this outstanding achievement and I wish Barkuma and its employers all the very best for the future.

And to Barkuma’s clients, I encourage you to keep up the good work. “Live your all”, as the Barkuma motto says!

Coming events