Welcome to 
Disability Employment Australia’s 2021 Conference

Disability Employment Australia’s Conference is presented by Disability Employment Australia.

The 2021 conference will be held 6-8 September 2021 at Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney

View the 2019 presentations here
View the photo gallery here


The conference dedicated to significantly increasing open employment outcomes for people with disability

Program information

Our 2021 national conference is the ideal gathering place for the people central and significant to the future planning and future-proofing of disability employment policy, design, model and practice. And that means you!

DEA’s annual conference is a significant opportunity for you to engage directly with what is going on in disability and employment policy, programs and practice. This year, we have two jam-packed days of the latest sector developments, best practice program ideas and big picture thinking.

First up, we want to highlight our breakout sessions. A conference will always have impressive keynote speakers and panels, however, the engine room of the conference is the breakout sessions. There is a lot going on during these sessions and DEA is delighted with the range of experts that applied to present at this year’s conference.

This is a critical time for DES, for disability employment policy and for providers. The DEA conference is the right place to meet, engage, contest, network and build your capability. We couldn’t meet in 2020 so we have to make up for that in 2021.

Bear in mind that while the DEA’s conference is happening while:

  • DESE engages the procurement process for the next iteration of its generalist employment program (NESM and OES)
  • The NDIA enacts its PES 2021-22 Action Plan’s priority area’s targeted actions
  • The National Disability Employment Strategy project which aims to “introduce new initiatives and improve existing programs to increase employment outcomes and break down barriers that people with disability may face in finding and keeping a job”.
  • The DES Taskforce and DES Reference Group is focussed on identifying reforms to DES for 2023.

We are only just starting to see the fruits of the labour of the 2018 DES reforms. In 2021, program numbers, placements and outcomes are the highest on record. More people with disability, injury and health conditions are being supported and assisted by your services into sustainable employment and the numbers keep rising!

This follows the once-in-a-century worldwide pandemic and its impacts on the economy and labour market. This was preceded by bushfires that decimated the land and communities across Australia with 25% of the population affected.

Through the last year there has been a tide of arguments about the value of the DES program. Meanwhile, DES providers continue to deliver for people with disability and employers in every town and suburb, in regional and rural settings, as well as in cities across the country.

Have you got a presentation for the breakout sessions? Aside from our 2021 keynote speakers and panels, there is always much to digest and contemplate, be challenged by and challenge during our breakout sessions. DEA welcomes your suggestion for a breakout session at this year’s conference.

As you know, the pulse of the conference is networking. The program is the driver of discussions across breaks and drinks, coffee catch-ups and the gala dinner. Representatives from DSS, NDIA and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment will be at the conference, so take your opportunity to network with our peers in those departments and agencies.

This is your chance to be involved and have your voice heard!


Who should attend?

Disability Employment Australia’s Conference is Australasia’s premier conference for managers, aspiring managers, practitioners, and academics working in or with the disability employment services sector. Anyone with an interest in employment assistance for people with disability including:

  • Disability Employment Services
  • jobactive
  • people with disability
  • advocates
  • training organisations
  • policy makers
  • researchers
  • employers and their representatives
  • academics.

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Registrations Are Open!

Registrations for Disability Employment Australia's 2021 Conference are open. Please contact Conference Works on 03 9870 2611 if you have any queries.

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