Disabled People


The Centre for Volunteering holds that Inclusivity and Diversity foster a sense of belonging, boosting productivity among employees. We promote equal opportunities in all volunteer roles. Volunteers with diverse backgrounds amplify community impact. Moreover, volunteering is a crucial route to employment, enhancing confidence, honing skills, and widening networks.

Inclusivity refers to creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and included, regardless of their differences. It is about actively addressing barriers and ensuring equal opportunities for all individuals. On the other hand, diversity refers to the range of differences in individuals, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation. While inclusivity focuses on creating an inclusive environment, diversity emphasizes the recognition and celebration of these differences. Both inclusivity and diversity are important for fostering a sense of belonging and creating a diverse and inclusive community.

Unfortunately, Australia is a long way behind other OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries when it comes to inclusivity and diversity, attracting and integrating differently abled people into the workplace. Even though 20% of people in Australia live with a disability, * they face an unemployment rate of almost double that of their fellow Australians. Importantly, this disproportionate rate is not necessarily due to a lack of willingness on behalf of Australian employers – 77% are open to hiring people with a disability – but rather, a lack of meaningful action, with only 35% demonstrating behavioural commitment to doing so. *

This phenomenon can be largely attributed to the stigma and discrimination that people with physical disability and mental health conditions face. For instance, organisations may have misconceptions about the support required to meaningfully include and engage these communities. In turn, these misunderstandings can contribute to a perceived lack of capacity, further fuelling the issue.

How can you create an inclusive and diverse workplace?

Equity is an essential aspect of fostering inclusivity and diversity in volunteer involving organizations. At The Centre for Volunteering, we offer a variety of resources for individuals and organisations to engage with, and foster inclusivity and diversity in their workplaces and community.

Together, we can build stronger communities that celebrate and embrace the richness of our differences.

Free Inclusion Trainings

These workshops explore the positive outcomes of inclusive volunteering by reviewing case studies and utilising practical tips to increase inclusion. You will learn the skills to remove the barriers to volunteering and how to help young people find meaningful volunteering opportunities. These trainings can be delivered online or in person for larger groups.


Inclusive Volunteering Pathway to Employment Program

This program was developed to reduce and remove barriers for people living with disability or on a mental health recovery journey. The program supports these communities by matching participants with meaningful volunteering roles that help build the skills, experience and confidence needed to work towards employment goals.


Advisory Groups

Driven by a desire for equitable access, these panels explore ways in which information, services and programs best support volunteer-involving organisations in reaching people living with disability Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, newly arrived migrants and people living regionally.


Community Consultations

These open and inclusive sessions are framed around barriers to volunteering and go on to inform Advisory Groups. Running across the state in person and online, they help provide valuable insights from people with diverse lived experiences.


Nationally Recognised Training

The Centre for Volunteering, through NSW School of Volunteer Management (SVM) [RTO code 90031] offers various accredited qualifications, aimed at volunteers and volunteer leaders. Topics covered include how to work with diverse people, and managing and promoting diversity.


Volunteer Management Activity

This initiative was designed to increase opportunities for people of all abilities to participate in the social and economic life of their broader community through volunteering.  This is being done through by breaking down barriers to volunteering faced by identified groups, and much more.


*Disabled People’s Organisations Australia 2018, Factsheet: Employment of Persons with Disability.
*Australian Government 2018, Businesses missing out.