John Karageorge, Town Planner and Disability Advocate

As part of the VicWater webinar series, we are proud to bring you our latest webinar on disability inclusion: ‘Smoothing the Path for Disability Employment in the Water Industry’ where guest John Karageorge will bring his unique perspective of how his disability has impacted his career and how employers can push to facilitate a more inclusive workplace culture.

John believed his career had come to its natural end when his disability progressed to a point that he could no longer carry out his normal duties. In 2017 he retired from his work in local government, but still had much to offer.

Vision Australia introduced John to Melbourne Water, where he has been able to utilise his skills and experience from a career spanning many years in town planning and people management. As he moves to the next phase in his career, he plans to utilise his lived experience as a person with a disability and focus on disability advocacy.

John’s story provides the perspective of what it means to live with disability and how organisations can actively work to remove the barriers to diversity in the workplace. John explains “barriers are often things created by people, to restrict people and that goes beyond people with disabilities… it can’t just be ‘oh we have a policy’. In addition to saying ‘this is what we do’, you’ve got to be seen… it has to be visible.”

Pivotal to John’s re-entry into the workplace after his retirement, was an organisational culture of inclusion. This included a willingness to provide the appropriate equipment and software to support him to carry out his role. John has seen how far organisational culture has come regarding disability inclusion, but there is still work to do. In his presentation he will speak to the meaningful changes that organisations can make to improve workplace culture so it is more diverse and embraces inclusion.

John will be joined by keynote speaker Beau Vernon, Director, Speaker, AFL Coach, Disability and Mental Health Advocate, Llewellyn Prain, Director of Western Water and Founder of WaterAble, and Dean Barnett from IWN.

To be part of this important conversation, be sure to register here.