As part of International Day of People with Disability we celebrate our people who identify as having a disability, including new team members at the recently opened help desk in Adelaide.

The help desk was established to provide support services to the 45 South Australian government agencies and subcontractors who are covered by, or work on, the Across Government Facilities Management Arrangement (AGFMA). 

Marco Volpe is one of several new team members with a disability who works at the Adelaide office as a Help Desk Coordinator. He became a paraplegic after a car crash in 1995. 

Prior to his accident he worked as a welder and sheet metal worker but hasn't worked in the intervening 25 years.

"I thought I wouldn't be employable, I couldn't work a 40-hour week and there's issues with access," Marco said.

Things changed last year when he did a certificate in business and accounting software, and a job agency found him a 6-month contract working in an office for a disability agency. He was then notified about the job with Ventia.

"I was interested in the job with Ventia as it offered a bit of a challenge and was something new," Marco said.

Marco said the Ventia team had made him feel welcome and made sure he had access to the building and its facilities.

"I couldn't reach the paper towels in the kitchen, so they put the roll in the cupboard and moved the coffee machine so I could reach it better," Marco said. 

"They also sent me photos of the car park and bathroom before I started to make sure I could access them and that was fantastic.

I appreciate getting a job and what they've done for me. 

"It feels good having cash to spend and being able to get out of the house and be independent."


Pictured: AGFMA help desk team member, Marco Volpe


Creating a workforce representative of the wider community

AGFMA Project Director David Zensea said Ventia was committed to ensuring its workforce was more representative of the wider community by focusing on people's abilities, rather than disabilities.

"Early on in the development of the AGFMA bid, we made a decision to hire employees for our Help Desk who may not have had the opportunity to enter the workforce due to a disability," David said.

"We wanted to continue the momentum we'd achieved developing a program, framework and opportunities for applicants who identified as having a disability on the NSW Whole of Government Facilities Management Services contract. 

The AGFMA team is passionate about diversity and inclusion and part of that is proactively providing opportunities to those who wouldn't ordinarily have it. 

"We will continue to work closely with government agencies and internal recruiting to ensure other roles are available and accessible to all applicants."


International Day of People with Disability is held each year on 3 December. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with a disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.


Pictured above: AGFMA help desk team members