Highlights from our 2023 Conference and celebrating Award winners

An amazing time was had at our annual conference and inaugural awards night. Our speakers and awardees demonstrated time and again why we are Australia’s peak body for workplace inclusivity.

More than 150 people attended the awards ceremony which truly celebrated and highlighted what could be achieved by individuals and companies passionate about inclusion of people with disability.


The individual award for Disability Changemaker of the Year went to ABC journalist Nastasia (Nas) Campanella. As a journalist Nas highlights diversity issues, while her pioneering leadership resulted in ABC News employing 30 more people with disability across its teams. All thirty nominations were incredible and we want to congratulate everyone for the work they are doing towards disability inclusion.

The NSW Department of Communities and Justice won the Disability Employee Network of the Year award ahead of finalists Accenture Australia/New Zealand, the Attorney General’s Department and Australia Post.

Westpac, the Australian Taxation Office and Coles were the top performers in the Access and Inclusion Index which benchmarks companies on their long-term commitment to understand and implement practices to meet the needs of customers and employees with disability across all areas of business.

“The award nominees, finalists and winners have all demonstrated a deep commitment to disability inclusion, not just for employees, but also for their customers.”
– Australian Disability Network Chief Executive Officer, Corene Strauss


The Australian Disability Network’s annual conference the following day brought together almost 30 local and international speakers to explore the theme ‘The Accessibility Awakening.’

Emceed by veteran radio and television broadcaster Julie McCrossin, more than 480 delegates attended the in-person and online conference which sparked lively discussions, ideas and networking between the presenters and delegates.

The inclusive and supportive atmosphere of the event was undeniable with many speakers, panellists and audience members with disability revealing their personal stories of challenges and successes and sharing innovative but often simple processes that have improved their businesses and the experiences for employees and customers with disability.

Presenters and attendees explored a broad range of topics including;

  • Tips to embed accessibility
  • Case studies of successful workplace inclusion and accessibility programs.
  • Future work trends
  • The importance of having people with disability in leadership roles and board positions

“One of the biggest things with companies is to make sure that you are managing accessibility, including disability, like you would any other part of your company and structure. Accessibility isn’t optional.”
– Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer, Jenny Lay-Flurrie.

If you attended in person or virtually, you have access to the recording of the event, the transcript, and slides, which are now available on the MCEC platform. Find instructions on where to find the recording and resources on our website.

The 2023 Australian Disability Network’s next national conference will take place in Sydney. Stay subscribed to our newsletter to be up to date with all the details including the date, venue, speaker program and sponsorship opportunities.


“I had the absolute pleasure of attending the best conference of my life last week. It was hands down the best conference I’ve been to and I keep talking about it to people”
– Tara Martin, Compass Group.