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Feros Care CDC Mandy wins BNI Award for best presentation

Mandy is advocating for diversity and inclusion within the business space in Townsville – and now she has won an award for her efforts.

Mandy is a Community Development Coordinator for Feros Care in Townsville, and has been a BNI member since 2015.

BNI stands for Business Network International, and is a worldwide organisation dedicated to business networking opportunities. Members exchange referrals and business with other members in the chapter, following the ‘Givers Gain’ philosophy.

As a not-for-profit, Feros Care receives a complimentary membership, slotting into the ‘Employment Services’ category for the Townsville BNI chapter, which has almost 50 members.

And with five years’ experience working in disability employment, Mandy takes her expertise into every BNI meeting to seek employment opportunities for people with disability and encourage other businesses to be more inclusive.

As a result, she recently won the Bernie Award for Most Memorable Presentation.

“Each week, members are given 45 seconds to talk about their business in front of 36 members and guests,” Mandy explains. “We were given the topic on the day to talk about a compliment that we had received.”

“I shared a story from a previous role which has always stuck with me through my years working in Disability Employment.”

The story was about Murray, who had a disability and was struggling to find a suitable job. He came to Mandy and said that he wanted to be part of a team and wear a uniform.

Mandy found Murray a job with a supportive employer, who presented Murray with his own uniform, complete with his name stitched on.

“When Murray received this uniform, he burst into tears and embraced his employer in appreciation,” says Mandy.

“This is WHY we do what we do. And that is why I shared the story with the chapter – to remind them of the importance of employing a person with a disability, and how they are wonderful for business and can be such an integral part of the team.”

Feros Care is very much in the awareness space for encouraging other organisations to be more diverse and inclusive. And since the talk, Mandy has seen success in businesses taking that message onboard.

“I’ve been sending people with disability through to one employer from the BNI chapter, and two more want to sit down with me and talk about employment opportunities,” Mandy confirms.

“As a Community Development Coordinator, we need to find a balance, build relationships with employers and really get them to see that benefit of employment people with a disability.

“And this kind of thing really works in Townsville because it’s a very word-of-mouth town.”

Mandy also has a goal to make the BNI chapter even more inclusive and diverse.

“We’re already the most inclusive chapter in North Queensland, but I’d like to create diversity to support people with mental health along with disability and aged care. And I’d like to see more First Nations businesses in the chapter.

“At the end of the day, we don’t know who our people know. And because people are looking for referral opportunities, BNI is creating awareness.”

Congratulations to Mandy and everything she does in the Disability Employment space to encourage this awareness to grow.

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