RTWN030: Graeme Innes AM explains how to shape an inclusive workplace

Today I speak with Graeme Innes AM who has recently published his autobiography Finding A Way.

Graeme Innes AM is an Australian company director, lawyer and public speaker. He has been a human rights practitioner for 30 years in NSW and Western Australia and has participated in the development of national and international human rights instruments.

Graeme was Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner from December 2005 until July 2014. During that time he also served as Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner for 3.5 years and as Race Discrimination Commissioner for 2 years.

In 1995, Graeme was entered into of the Order of Australia as a Member (AM). In 2003, he was a finalist for Australian of the Year. In 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra and appointed as an adjunct professor at the University of Sydney.

Make sure you buy a copy of Graeme’s autobiography Finding A Way and connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Graeme and I discuss:

  • Why he chose to study law
  • Whether Australian laws are adequate to require employers not to discriminate
  • How we can all tackle the task of changing  perceptions towards disability by employing people with disability, putting them in public-facing roles and setting targets
  • I ask Graeme my “magic wand” question
  • Graeme’s passion for sailing
  • How to ensure technology is accessible
  • Graeme suggests the Australian Network on Disability is a great resource for any employers who are serious about getting serious about disability confidence

Quotes from today’s episode:

  • “You don’t make a workplace safe by removing people with disabilities from it, you make a workplace safe by making the workplace safe”
  • “We need to say the small but powerful words to a person with disability: You start on Monday”
  • “If you’re not employing people with disabilities (20% of the population) then your business is not reflecting the community of your customers”

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