Business Start-up Awards create career opportunities

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As they Celebrated International Day of People with a Disability, on Tuesday 3 December, Good Sammy Enterprises (previously Good Samaritan Industries) awarded their inaugural Good Sammy Business Start-up Awards to young people living with a disability inspiring pathways to their working future.

With final exams over and the school year complete, and while thousands of Western Australia’s school leavers are considering their future career opportunities, Good Sammy’s Start-Up Award winners will be making use of their prize money to turn their passions into a business opportunity. These awards are kindly sponsored and supported by Santos.

Good Sammy Award winner Minna Sanders has just completed Year 12 at Seton Catholic College and has a passion for woodworking. Minna creates unique wood products customised with imagery using a pyrography unit. Minna will direct her award funding into advertising and new equipment to transform her woodworking hobby into a micro-business.

Melanie Kiely, CEO of Good Sammy Enterprises, said, “The six young people who receive the Santos Good Sammy Business Start-up Award are the first winners in this inaugural category. We believe that everyone regardless of physical ability, should have the opportunity to leverage their skills and make a meaningful contribution including by starting their own business.  We are very proud of all their ideas and achievements and look forward to seeing them thrive – driven by their entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for their work.”

“International Day of People with a Disability is an important day of celebration at Good Sammy Enterprises as we recognise all the people who are supported by Good Sammy Enterprises to find meaningful employment. Awarding scholarships is just one of the many ways we support clients and students in the pursuit of their working goals.”

This year’s six Santos Good Sammy Business Start-up Awards, and 20 other scholarship sponsored scholarship winners, will share in a prize pool in the categories of training, technology and business start-up.

Good Sammy Enterprises has been invested in creating employment opportunities for people with a disability in Western Australia for 60 years, with a focus on reuse and recycling. This year with the help of 284 volunteers and 556 employees, they employ over 272 people with disabilities and have supported 787 people to achieve new heights in their working careers and to accomplish personal goals.

Good Sammy Enterprises’ 29 retail shops in Western Australia create employment throughout the supply chain and generate income to fund training, employment support and other services.

“The support from the public through their generous donations of household goods and clothing, as well as assistance from our private sector partners, enables Good Sammy to create these amazing programs and to support people with disability to reach their employment goals,” said Melanie.

Luke Sputore is another of the recipients of a Santos Good Sammy Business Start-up Award. He is a year 11 student, attending Atwell College, who is also a star drummer. He currently volunteers his time to teach primary school students. He would like to start his own Drum Instructor Business and will use the scholarship money to ensure that it is set up correctly.

“The idea of making a career out of something I love is exciting and the scholarship will help make this happen,” he said.

Ashlee Gregori also received an award. She has just completed Year 13 at Armadale Education Support Centre and has started her own business making and selling items that she has sewn. She makes aprons, casserole holders, oven mitts and Kangaroo Joey bags and sells them at markets and school market days.

Ashlee will use the scholarship to purchase more sewing equipment and materials to further develop her business.

Hon Stephen Dawson MLA, Minister for Environment, Disability Services and Electoral Affairs, attended the award ceremony and said that Good Sammy Enterprises is leading the way in providing genuine work opportunities for people with disabilities, including social enterprises. He also reflected that the State Government should be offering similar opportunities and has asked the Public Service to look at ways of providing work options for people living with disabilities.

To commemorate more than 60 years of history helping Western Australians with meaningful employment, Good Samaritan Industries will become Good Sammy Enterprises. Good Sammy Enterprises, utilises the colloquial terminology to harness the Good Sammy name, known and trusted in WA, to further foster connections with customers, clients and donors.

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