Smoothing the Path for Disability Employment in the Water Industry

VicWater is inviting hiring managers and human resource professionals to participate in a webinar to expel the myths surrounding Disability in the workplace.

Featuring a keynote presentation from special guest disability and mental health advocate Beau Vernon, and panelists John Karageorge, Dean Barnett and Llewellyn Prain. We will conclude with a Q&A session with our panel.

All participants will be provided with practical tips and information about how to source candidates, and things to consider. The session will take place on WebinarJam, Wednesday 3 March 2021 from 10.30am and is free to attend.

Proudly presented by VicWater with support of the WaterAble Network


Keynote speaker - Beau Vernon

On 23 June 2012, Beau Vernon’s life changed forever. A normal incident in a game of Aussie rules football left him with C5-C6 quadriplegia. In an instant he went from a 23 year old who never sat still, to spending 8 months in hospital and looking at the prospect of spending his life in a wheelchair. Fortunate to have great support around him helped Beau to go on to live the fantastic life he does now.

Beau has a bachelor of business degree, is a director and ambassador for disability company Interact Australia, motivational speaker and a disability advocate. He has successfully coached senior grade football for 5 years, with 5 grand finals and 3 Premierships in that time. He is a Pride of Australia medal recipient, 2 x National Hand Cycling champion, husband and father of three, and an avid sportsmen trying his hand at adaptive surfing, golf and kayaking.

Beau wants to help others reach their potential and to understand that having a disability is not a bad thing. It is just a different way of living.

Guest Panelists


John Karageorge

John is a director at Kara Town Planning Services. John's strengths are in team building, mentoring new or aspiring managers and development of people.

Due to a life-changing incident, John understands the issues people face returning to work or adapting to a changed environment.

Panel guest Dean Barnett

Dean Barnett

Dean has been fortunate enough during his 30 year water industry career, to be involved in a range of recruiting opportunities. His personal focus in each case has been on the candidates' attitudes, values, team fit, energy and willingness to learn. While each candidates experience and skills are important, Dean’s view is that they can be trained if they are missing something with the attributes that he looks for as an employer.

On reflection, some previous appointments of candidates with varied abilities have added tremendously to their roles. Dean believes that people with autism can have a superior attention to detail, in areas such as spreadsheet data, or somebody who has a physical challenge can often deliver work equal to, or better than the team member next to them. The most rewarding aspect is to also see personal development and increased confidence with all employees.

Panel guest LLewellyn Prain

LLewellyn Prain

Llewellyn is the founder of the WaterAble, a network for people with disability and their allies in the Victorian water industry.

An experienced company director, Llewellyn is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been a member of the Western Water board since 2015. Llewellyn has a background in law and public policy and is currently an associate of the Nous Group.

In 2014 Llewellyn lost most of her vision to an hereditary eye condition.

This session will suit hiring managers and human resource professionals wanting to create inclusive organisations that are disability confident.