Campbell Page and Tip Top Bakeries have partnered together to champion disability in the workplace.

At Campbell Page our vision is that no one should be denied the opportunity of secure employment, which is why we partner with employers to help make a difference. Together with Tip Top, our goal is to start the conversation and change the way we all think about inclusion in the workplace.

Launching Our Partnership

The Campbell Page and Tip Top Be Seen Employment Program launched in late April 2017. At its foundation, the Be Seen Employment Program aims to build inclusive workplaces that recognise ability.  It will provide a roadmap to employers who believe that diversity is key to a successful and thriving workplace.

Kicking off the program, 9 eager Campbell Page customers were invited to attend an interactive information session, where Tip Top’s Sally Close, could get to know each individual in an informal setting. The idea behind the interactive information session was to change how we look at and conduct standard interviewing and recruitment processes. It gave each individual a chance to demonstrate their strengths without the added pressure of formal recruitment processes.

During the interactive information session, Sally asked the participants to break off into groups of two and discuss their achievements and contributions either in previous work, school or life in general. Each participant then shared their partner’s story.

What struck me most was how articulate and invested they were to each other’s stories. It was great to see how thoroughly prepared our customers were, and how passionate and dedicated our team are, with special mention to Arturos Employment Consultant, Joanne Remedios, and Tracy Stamers who is the Peninsula Employer Partnership Advocate. – Cassandra Warin, National Disability Employer Partnership Manager, Campbell Page

A standout moment for Cassandra and Sally was when a young  Campbell Page customer with Autism, Arturo, sat next to 58-year-old John. John spoke proudly about Arturo’s achievements at school as he encouraged others to overcome their fear of stage performance and Autoro spoke of Johns many accomplishments.

This exercise is something that even the most experienced executive could be involved in, and it was wonderful to see our cohort shine professionally in this environment. – Sally Close, Head of People and Culture, Tip Top

At the end of the day, 6 of the 9 attendees were selected to move to the next stage and come back the following day for a site tour and one on one interviews.

Recognising Ability

For the 6 shortlisted candidates, the next day began with a site induction and a uniform fitting, before they followed Sally through to the Tip Top warehouse in Dandenong. They were given a full introduction to some of the work they may be completing if selected as the successful candidates. From the initial preparation stages and baking of the goods, right through to packaging and distribution, they were shown everything.

The tour gave all candidates the opportunity to ask questions without feeling nervous or anxious. Using the site tour to break the ice meant the candidates were in an environment where everybody was learning, so the task of asking questions was much less daunting than it would have been if they had to ask the same questions on the first day of work.

After the tour, the one on one interviews with Sally began. In these interviews, Sally focused on getting to know each individual to gain a better understanding of what each candidate’s strengths were, and what support they may need. By getting to know each candidate over two days Sally was able to make informed decisions that reflected their abilities.

Having the interviews at this stage of the recruitment process not only makes the candidate feel more comfortable but it also gives the interviewer the opportunity to see a fuller picture of who the person is and whether their values and skills align with the company. – Cassandra

From the 5th of June, Arturo will commence a two week trial period with Tip Top Bakeries. During this two week trial, Arturo will be guided and mentored by Tip Top team members, as well as by Campbell Page.

Arturo, the new employee for Tip Top is pictured here with Campbell Page employee Raquel at the Be Seen Career Expo that was held prior to the commencement of the Be Seen Employment Program

Be Seen in 2017

In 2017, it is time for organisations to stand up and recognise ability. Implementing small changes in the recruitment process is a great first step for organisations who want to champion disability in the workplace. However, this has to be followed by a well-rounded approach to supporting employees who have an invisible or physical disability.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported in 2012 that the unemployment rate for people with a disability sat at 9.4%, which is nearly twice the rate of 4.9% for people without a disability.* The Campbell Page and Tip Top Be Seen Employment Program is an initiative built by both organisations to lower the unemployment rate of people with a disability.

Tip Top is a trusted, creative bakery, with a proud and strong history baking for Australians for over 50 years. Tip Top make, sell and distribute across Australia and New Zealand, with 16 bakeries, 22 main depots, 2 offices and over 4,500 employees. Their products include bread, rolls, buns, crumpets, muffins, pikelets, hotcakes, cake, speciality bread, breadcrumbs and frozen goods such as pizza bases and garlic bread for retail and food service industries.

Campbell Page is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to transforming people’s lives through securing long-term employment. We believe that all people with a disability have the potential to be meaningful contributors to their employers and through employment be included in all aspects of the community. That’s why we work with employers to champion diversity in the workplace, which in turn can help their businesses thrive. This year we are calling on our team, our customers, employers and communities to #beseenin2017.

Click here to find out more about Campbell Page and Tip Top, or contact us directly.

Untitled design (41)

Words by: Tiarne Pattison


**Australian Bureau of Statistics, Disability and Labour Force Participation, 2012 (2015). At