The Public Service and disability employment – Canadian perspective

In this session, Graeme Innes, former Australian Human Rights Disability Discrimination Commissioner, will facilitate a key note presentation with Yazmine Laroche, the Deputy Minister Public Service Accessibility, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Government of Canada.

The Deputy Minister will discuss Canada’s approach to increasing employment opportunities for people with disability in the public service, including a federal internship program. And, will describe Canada’s response to its responsibility to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Ms Laroche will also examine practical ways to close the 30-point workforce participation gap for people with disability, emphasising how government can lead the way in reforming societal attitudes and improving access, accessibility and employment outcomes.

Following this, Mr Innes will host a question and answer session with the Deputy Minister.


Yazmine Laroche Deputy Minister, Public Service Accessibility, Canadian Government

Graeme Innes AM Facilitator

Graeme Innes AM is a lawyer, author, and company director. His autobiography Finding A Way achieved popular acclaim in 2016.
He has been a human rights practitioner for more than 30 years and is a conference presenter and facilitator.
Graeme was a Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission for nine years, responsible for issues relating to disability, race and human rights. In this role, he led work on:
· The ratification by Australia of a UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities.
· The Same Sex Same Entitlements inquiry.
· Regulations in the areas of accessible buildings and transport.
· Work with industry on TV and movie captions and accessible banking standards.
· Three inspections of Australia’s immigration detention centres.
Graeme led the merger of four blindness agencies to form Vision Australia, and chaired the board of that agency. He is currently the chair of the Attitude Foundation, a start-up aimed at using media to change attitudes towards Australians with disabilities.
Additionally, Graeme is Director of:
· Life Without Barriers, a $700 million turnover NFP providing support to people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, asylum seekers and children in out-of-home care.
· The State Insurance Regulatory Authority, regulating workers’ compensation and motor vehicle accident insurance in NSW.
Graeme was awarded an AM for his work on the development of the Disability Discrimination Act and was a finalist for Australian of the Year. On the international stage, he was a member of the Australian delegation that participated in negotiating the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
He was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Canberra in 2014, RMIT University in 2016, UNSW in 2017 and Edith Cowan University in 2018, in recognition of his work as a human rights activist.
Graeme is married with two adult children, loves cricket as a spectator and sailing as a participant, and relaxes by enjoying fine Australian white wine.