WaterAble Connections Program
WaterAble is a network for people with disability and their allies in the Victorian water industry.
WaterAble encourages people to consider the full range of disabilities in our community to ensure our organisations cater to all our employees and customers. For example: people with physical disabilities; people with low hearing or low vision; people with long-term illness, including mental illness; people with brain injuries or people who are autistic.
Purpose of Connections program
The aim of the Connections program is to facilitate connections between senior leaders and employees with disability, to help promote and support disability inclusion in the Victorian water industry. It is expected that the program will:
- bring together senior leaders and employees to learn from each other by sharing knowledge and experiences
- enable networking opportunities for employees with disability
- facilitate senior leaders to gain insights into how to support employees with disability and build a disability inclusive culture
- foster higher levels of disability awareness and engagement throughout the industry.
Please note the Connections program is not a mentoring program – the relationship between senior leader and employee is not a mentor/mentee relationship, but one of equal exchange and mutual benefit.
How to join the Connections Program
Please complete the below Expression of Interest form by Wednesday 31 March 2021. Pairs will be matched by the WaterAble Organising Committee and notified during April 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may apply to join the program if you are a senior leader (including Non-Executive Director, Managing Director, executive or manager), or if you identify as an employee with disability working in the Victorian water industry.
The Victorian water industry includes: Victorian water corporations; Catchment Management Authorities; the Victorian Environmental Water Holder; VicWater; and private sector organisations in Victoria providing water and waste water services.
The program will run for 6 months commencing from when you are matched with your pair. At the end of this period, pairs have the option of continuing the relationship if they wish (outside the program).
The WaterAble Organising Committee will aim to match individuals based on responses to the Expression of Interest forms and communicate these introductions/matchings via email. It will then be up to participants to initiate the first meeting or conversation with their Connections pair.
Have a call and arrange a meeting (in person or virtual). A coffee meeting (even if virtual!) is a suggestion to make it not too formal. At this meeting, pairs are encouraged to discuss the parameters of the relationship, expectations and clarity around confidentiality. Pairs are encouraged to get to know each other and understand what each hopes to achieve from the relationship.
As a guide, 2-3 meetings over the 6 month program is recommended. Pairs are encouraged to meet more frequently if it suits both parties.
The relationship should be mutually beneficial while being respectful of each other’s time and commitments and respectful of the confidentiality of discussions. Discussion topics may range from sharing of knowledge, experience and insights about disability, to diversity and inclusion more broadly, to general industry issues and other matters of interest to both participants.
A survey to all participants will be sent out at the end of the program to gather feedback and incorporate the feedback into future program adjustments.
Expression of Interest form
Please complete this form if you are interested in participating in the Connections program. Pairs will be matched and notified by the WaterAble Organising Committee.