Thursday, November 26th, 2009
Tina Zeleznik, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Disability Works Australia (DWA), has won the Business Award at the 2009 National Disability Awards, held in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 23rd November.

International Day of People with Disability Patron Therese Rein presented the award to Ms Zeleznik. Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs the Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services the Hon Bill Shorten MP, Minister for Ageing the Hon Justine Elliot MP, and the Minister for Employment Participation Senator the Hon Mark Arbib also presented awards.

Ms Zeleznik has displayed a constant commitment to improving employment of people with disability over the 25 years she has worked in the sector. Through DWA, she has assisted over 8,000 people with disability into employment.

After working with people with disability in previous jobs, Ms Zeleznik found that they just weren’t being given a fair go in the workplace and needed an organisation that would teach and assist employers to hire people with disability, and just how easy it can be. Although it can take a long time to educate employers about the benefits of hiring employees with disability, Ms Zeleznik has proved it is worth the time and dedication spent on each company.

“With currently over 85 large employers who have signed agreements with DWA, it shows that employers are willing to hire people with disability and with the right supports and modifications in place, people with disability are valued employees in the workplace,” Ms Zeleznik said.

“I am so grateful to receive this award for something that is truly a passion of mine. Helping people with disabilities gain employment is such a rewarding job. It would not have been possible for me to win this award without having such committed employers, motivated job seekers and Commonwealth Government support.”

James Rundle was one of the two people who nominated Ms Zeleznik for the award and said, “Tina’s knowledge and experience of human resources and its application continues to benefit people with disability by expanding opportunities at all employment levels. She has assisted over 8,000 people into work, inextricably changing their lives and those of their families and carers. Giving her life so selflessly to assist those less fortunate, Tina deserves the recognition of her peers to honour her professionalism, persistence and dedication for more than 20 years.”

The awards were administered by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). They are part of the International Day of People with Disability (held on December 3rd) and celebrate and acknowledge the achievements and contributions that people with disability make to the community, and recognised individuals within our community who have contributed to the disability sector. Fifteen inspiring Australians were nominated across five categories with three people in each category.

Contact Profile

Disability Works Australia (DWA)

DWA is a registered charity formed to maximise employment opportunities for people with a disability by providing employers with one single, free, effective contact point for the recruitment of people with disabilities. DWA has agreements with a large number of high profile employers including Coles Group, Compass Group, National Australia Bank, Woolworths and the South Australia State Government.
Jessica Neville
P: 08 8276 0900
M: 0417 807 382


Adelaide's Tina Zeleznik has won the Business Award at the 2009 National Disability Awards for her ongoing commitment to helping people with disability find jobs.


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