Shifting the dial on employment for Australians with disability

This presentation unpacks research into interventions and policy levers intended to promote the labour market participation and employment of Australians with disability. It examines evidence of the effectiveness of approaches to moving people with disability into paid work in Australia over time; evidence gaps; and limitations in how the outcomes and impact of these interventions are measured. Finally, it explores ways in which legislation and policy levers might be better designed and applied to encompass more nuanced framing of disability, economic participation, and the future of work, beyond traditional thinking about ‘disability employment’.


A/Prof Sue Olney Research Fellow, University of Melbourne, Australia

Associate Professor Sue Olney is the UoM-BSL Principal Research Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, and a Visiting Fellow in the Public Service Research Group in the School of Business at UNSW Canberra. Her research examines the impact of market-based reform of public services on marginalised citizens, with a focus on disability services, employment and the welfare-to-work service system. Sue has worked in universities, government and in the not-for-profit sector, and been involved in a range of cross-government, cross-sector and interdisciplinary research projects, government and community sector initiatives, committees and working groups to promote access and equity in employment, education, training and disability services in Australia and internationally.

Dr Jenny Crosbie Research Fellow, Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University

Dr Jenny Crosbie is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Disability Studies) from Deakin University, a Graduate Diploma (Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management) from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from Swinburne University

Jenny has worked to support people with disability to be included in community life for over 35 years, in a variety of research, advocacy and practice roles. She has managed transition and employment services for people with disability and was the inaugural executive officer of DEA. Since 2004 Jenny has undertaken research related to community inclusion for people with disability and people experiencing disadvantage.

Jenny has a particular interest in understanding and addressing barriers to economic participation that young people with intellectual disability face, in particular barriers at the system level, which limit opportunities available.

Her PhD research reconceptualises thinking about economic participation for young people with intellectual disability and identifies factors that promote their inclusion in community-based economic participation roles.

In her current role Jenny is undertaking research related to employment and disability, with a particular focus on employer engagement and enabling policy and systems.