All Public Sector employees are encouraged to watch our virtual launch to hear from the Minister for Human Services, the Hon Michelle Lensink MLC; Mickey O’Brien giving a Welcome to Country and reflecting on the importance of valuing disability in our community; and Keynote Speaker Michelle Ryan, Artistic Director of Adelaide’s Restless Dance Theatre, an internationally-renowned company creating inclusive dance theatre and career pathways for artists with disability.
Take a look at the South Australian Public Sector Disability Employment Strategy and Plan which detail a framework for a public sector that respects and values the contribution and experience of employees with a disability with clear actions and deliverables. The South Australian Public Sector Disability Employment Toolkit is an online resource designed to provide information and practical advice for all employees.
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Learn about our speakers
Hon Michelle Lensink MLC
Minister for Human Services
Department of Human Services
Michelle is the Minister for Human Services, with responsibility for a range of programs and services that improve the wellbeing and safety of South Australians.
Significant current challenges in her portfolio include addressing the scourge of domestic violence in our community, the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and developing a new housing and homelessness strategy for South Australia.
Michelle has a long-standing interest in human services and related areas, as a shadow Minister and in former professional roles as a physiotherapist at the Repatriation General Hospital at Daw Park and advocacy in an aged care sector peak body.
In 2015 she became the first female serving Member of the Legislative Council to have a baby, so has a personal understanding of the challenges of juggling a family with a demanding career.
Michelle is deeply committed to equality for women and to improving women’s economic status, participation and leadership opportunities, safety and wellbeing throughout their lives.
Michelle was formerly one of Australia’s leading artists, performing with Australian choreographer Meryl Tankard and the Australian Dance Theatre in New York, London, Tokyo and Paris. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 30, is now a wheelchair user and continues to choreograph and perform.
The day of her diagnosis, was also the day she stopped dancing for 10 years. Up until that point, Michelle’s career hadn’t suffered at the hands of serious injury or physical setbacks; she considered herself lucky.
“When you’re a professional dancer you take great pride in and great care of your body,” she said. “Then all of a sudden, my body wasn’t working the way it had always worked, and the way that I wanted it to work, so I not only lost my career, but also the way I viewed myself, I didn’t see myself as a dancer anymore.”
Michelle was appointed Artistic Director of Adelaide’s Restless Dance in 2013, an internationally renowned company working with people with and without disabilities to collaboratively create inclusive dance theatre and develop professional career pathways for dancers.
Restless has created three works for the company, In the Balance, Touched and Intimate Space which have been presented in the Adelaide Festival and Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Intimate Space received a Ruby Award for Arts Innovation and Enterprise, an Adelaide Critics Award for Best Professional Group and nominations for a Helpmann Award and Ruby Award for Best New Work. Michelle was inducted into the South Australian Women’s Honour Roll in 2015.
In 2020 Michelle was awarded the Australia Council for the Arts Dance Award for Outstanding and Sustained Contribution.
Michelle’s contribution to providing inclusive performance practice - “Restless dancers are being paid for rehearsals and performances and are seen as artists. Not as a person with disabilities who dances. They are artists.”
Erma Ranieri PSM FIPAA
Commissioner for Public Sector Employment
Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment
Appointed on 1 July 2014, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment Erma Ranieri works passionately towards creating a world-leading public sector that serves South Australians well, does what it says it will do, and to which every public servant is proud to belong.
With the role of the public sector being to serve and support South Australia to thrive, Erma leads sector-wide reform to modernise the public sector and continue to build on its value and service to the South Australian community.
Erma has worked for more than 30 years to help organisations optimise productivity and employee wellbeing. She was named a 2014 Telstra Business Woman of the Year as SA Winner of the Telstra Community and Government Award for her role in leading transformational change throughout the public sector.
With a key focus on flexibility, diversity and leadership development to ensure the public sector is positioned as an Employer of Choice, Erma continues to challenge cultural and structural barriers to drive innovative, collaborative and connected services for the community.
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29 June 2020