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  • Writer's pictureSocial Scaffolding

Project Updates: December'20

Welcome to our fourth and final newsletter for 2020. No need to dwell on the year that was, but certainly a time to adopt learnings and changes for the new year. We as a team continued to work effectively remotely, and worked with clients as they navigated new markets and new opportunities. The government’s commitment to supporting the economic rebound through local business, social enterprises and community connections will stand in good stead for the future. 2021 will be a year of greater opportunity for communities, NFP’s, social enterprises and businesses at large to find common ground and mutual benefit in working together.

Following, is an update on our current projects and new projects, that we are likely to see expand in the short term. If any of these case studies resonate with your business needs, do get in touch. And if you prefer comms via LinkedIn, we encourage you to connect with the Social Scaffolding LinkedIn page for continued and regular updates.


Equalising Employment Forum a Success

On 19 November, Social Scaffolding together with our co-design partners, held the Equalising Employment Forum. This forum brought together people with disability, employers and industry partners to engage in thought provoking discussions aimed at creating positive and innovative solutions for increasing and equalising employment opportunities.

First of all, we would like to send out a huge thank you to all the attendees for participating in the Forum.  The level of enthusiasm and passion in the room to create meaningful change that would lead to equalising employment for all members of our community was fantastic.

It is a sobering and disheartening fact that in 2020, people with disability in Australia continue to be less likely to be participating in the labour force than those without (53.4% to 84.1%). Despite these facts, what we saw at the forum was a high level of resilience and innovative thinking to go beyond these statistics to create change.

As one of the forum facilitators so beautifully said, “We are aiming for:

  • Everyone who wants to a job to be able to obtain one.

  • Increased uptake of higher skills jobs and more flexible opportunities.

  • Workplace discrimination to be a thing of the past with higher participation rates of people with severe and profound disability.

  • Diversity being encouraged with specific strategies in place.

  • Reasonable adjustments in place with specific strategies to recruit and attract employees with disability.”

These are not unrealistic expectations!

As we celebrated International Day of People with Disability last week, we would like to bring your attention to the theme this year, 'Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World'.

As we progress the agreed actions from the forum, our question is – What can we all do to remove the physical, technological and attitudinal barriers for people with disability so that we can achieve true inclusiveness?

Social Scaffolding will be providing the analysis and actions that came out of the forum shortly.

So stay tuned.


Show me: NDIS at 7 years and I'll show you the next seven.

The first seven years in anyone’s life are the most influential on how that person evolves into an adult and a member of our society.

This year the NDIS celebrated its seventh birthday and the new CEO Martin Hoffman has marked the milestone by calling on people with disability, participants, their families and carers and the wider disability sector to have their say on changes they would like to see to, take it through the next seven years of growth.

Reflecting on the past seven years, Mr Hoffman acknowledges “for many people, the NDIS experience has been life-changing, but others have told us the scheme could be simpler, faster, fairer and more flexible”.

The NDIA will conduct a three-month open public consultation on how the NDIS reforms will be implemented. People with disability, participants, their families and carers and the wider disability sector are strongly encouraged to take part.

Social Scaffolding works with a range of small and large service providers and we frequently hear about aspects of the scheme that create challenges for providers. These comments range from long-term funding certainty for specific services through to the timing and manner of price guide releases.

We encourage service providers across the spectrum to have your voice heard in this consultation process so that changes can be introduced that support a more efficient and effective scheme. The NDIA is taking feedback via written, audio or video submission. 

To have your say go to to find out how to submit your feedback.

(Heading borrowed from Seven Up)


We must do what we can!

Building a culture of human rights

In Queensland from 10 November to 10 December the Queensland Human Rights Commission runs an annual Human Rights Month campaign to highlight the importance of protecting and promoting human rights. To find out more about the human rights and Human Rights Month you can find a range of resources available on their website here.

Whilst the Human Rights Act Qld (2019) came into effect on the 1 January 2020, many individuals and organisations are still learning about what this actually means, including who it applies to.

Our team at Social Scaffolding have been having conversations both internally and externally with our clients about human rights and more specifically the end-game – how can we build a culture within Queensland of human rights!

What is culture? Culture by definition is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterise an institution or organisation. As such, a culture of human rights defines an organisation and society where everyone’s rights are respected, everywhere, every day.

Although human rights gain their power because they are legal obligations, it will be how these obligations are embedded in the way we think and act, that will create real change. Ange from Social Scaffolding worked with Mission Australia to focus on how they operationalise their legal obligations to create a human rights culture that will help to transform the organisation and the communities that it works with.

Darren Young, State Director, Queensland and Northern Territory at Mission Australia has stated that developing a human rights culture within Mission Australia is essential in both protecting and promoting human rights of individuals within our communities.

Darren Young, State Director of Mission Australia in Queensland

on partnering with Social Scaffolding to implement the Human Rights Act.

As we are currently in Human Rights month and in the lead up to International Human Rights Day on 10 December, we would like to ask each of you to start a conversation about human rights and what matters to you in this context.

So, you ask, where do I begin?

  • Talking about your experiences - Often the best place to start is talking about your own experiences. Sharing with others, in your own words, how a human rights issue/s affects your personally.

  • Connecting with values - Connect people with their highest values (such as compassion, justice, equality - ideas that everyone subscribes to). Connecting with values first helps a person to reframe the way that they think and feel about an issue. Trust me, the easiest way to disconnect with others is by bombarding them with opposing facts. Connecting with others through their values first will enable you to have a deeper and more enriching conversation, and unsurprisingly develop a stronger understanding of their individual experiences.

  • Knowing when to get involved and when to create a space for others – you may or may not be directly affected by a human rights issue, and if you aren’t, it doesn’t mean that you cannot support those who are. Helping to protect and promote human rights could mean speaking up and taking action to support individuals and/or communities who are affected. It could also mean building the capacity of vulnerable individuals and communities so that their voices be heard.

  • Be kind and compassionate – there is power and strength in kindness and it helps to transform thinking and systems to where we need to be into the future. Giving more bandwidth to kindness – towards yourself and others – rather than paying attention to unproductive opinions can help steer us towards developing a strong human rights culture.

  • Making an impact within your network – individual’s and organisations can have the largest impact with who is around them by advocating for human rights of those who are in your sphere of influence.

Social Scaffolding would love to talk with you about how you can embed a human rights-based culture within your organisation.


Partner workshops

Andrew worked alongside QSEC and Social Traders to deliver Social Enterprise development workshops in Cairns, Toowoomba and Rockhampton. Funded by the Qld Government, these workshops were designed to “Reset and Recover” with a focus on post-COVID economic recovery in the regions.

Robust conversations and strategic review of opportunities were the order of the day, with partnership discussions and procurement presentations occurring over the two days. Having worked in the social enterprise sector since 2005, Andrew had many stories of experiences to share alongside the wealth of knowledge from peers and social entrepreneurs driving for change.

Be sure to visit the new QSEC member directory, and the Social Traders certification guidelines to inform your procurement for 2021.


Looking towards 2021

And with this final edition of our newsletter, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Thank you to all our clients, it has been a great year working with you and we trust that 2021 will be a better year for everyone.

We hope that your family and friends were not directly impacted by COVID and that all your loved ones are on a path to a post COVID normal.

2021 is almost upon us. After a year of immense change, we will all be looking towards the future. All of us here at Social Scaffolding look forward to keeping in touch and working to a prosperous 2021.

Happy new year and stay safe.


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