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Another testimonial has been added to the platform's website by a user of our online facilities.  This one is by James Nyland, an incredibly talented photographer, who is one of our pilot testers.  We have enjoyed working with James and have been excited to see his photography up on our favourite stock photo library - Shutterstock. We strongly believe that sharing user testimonials is a great way to highlight the practical value of the platform and our mentoring service.  Indeed, we recommend members include testimonials on their own internet pages (with appropriate consent of course).  We believe, it can be a powerful way to promote your services/products and a great way to highlight the value of your work. Do you know an Australian with disability who might benefit from one-on-one mentoring to help them set up a money-generating endeavour?  Please encourage them to fill out short form below.  If they have any questions, they can reach us by emailing [email protected] or by phoning 0436 480 769.
The growth of gig work during the last few years has been extraordinary.  During the height of the pandemic, it was a way to work and earn, while so much of the world was shut down.  As life lurched back to the workplace, it has reflected the desire of some to continue working from home and independence.  Globally, governments have introduced measures to legislate gig work - including moves in Australia by the new Australian government.  For the non-disabled such moves are sensible, because they are measures to ensure safe work and fair wages for people who really employees but unscrupulous employers are calling freelancers.  For some Australians with disabilities, the flexibility of gig work is the only way we can work. Until laws catch up with that, we should be aware of what a salaried worker would be paid to do what we do and that multiple gigs with the same entity might not be possible.
A custom build for a WordPress website often involves the use of paid plug-ins for the site to operate properly.  This is a reasonable expense and designers aren't doing anything wrong by using them and then expecting clients to pay the extra cost.  But when you have agreed the cost to build your site, you might not have factored in the additional expenditure. When negotiating the cost to build your website, you should ask the developer how much the plug-in renewals will cost you. Remember to allow for currency exchange rates.   The platform's website and online services use several such plug-ins and we have a few bills coming up to renew the licenses on those plug-ins.  We are factoring in those expenses into our current grant applications.  When members of the platform commission their own websites they should also factor in that additional cost. We will also be including the cost of plug-in renewals into our operational budget.  Such expenses are the cost of doing online business in the Twenty-first Century.
On 31 May 2022, our CEO Gary Allen was due to speak for about 10 minutes about 10 minutes about disability entrepreneurship, the platform and how interested people can get involved.  The event was organised and hosted by the disability service Mable.  The late afternoon event was opened by our Patron Dinesh Palipana OAM. Unfortunately, some technical gremlins (despite the best efforts of Mable) made Gary's participation impossible, Mable kindly offered to distribute material by email.  Gary urged attendees to write blog posts, present at webinars and become mentors for the platform.  There was a great deal of interest in the platform and the transformative potential of disability entrepreneurship. We aim to include the material here in due course. Do you know someone with a disability who wants to set up a money-generating endeavour?  Encourage them to complete the form below.  Or contact us at [email protected] or phone us on 0436 480 769n if they have any questions. There is free Bronze membership if they want to get a sense of our services.
We have been notified our application to the Samford and Pine Rivers Community Grant scheme was successful. We are incredibly excited It was for $5,500 – less than the $10,000 we applied for but it will be a massive help.  Now we need to rattle the tin around the country for the other $4,500 budget items.  Hopefully, the support of MS Queensland, which has DGR status will help. This is one of the few applications we submitted recently.  We are both grateful and hopeful it will be the beginning of good things.  Did we mention we are excited?
We are delighted and very grateful to share that the amazing Outcomes Australia initiative has made a philanthropic contribution to the platform.  This will cover some immediate bills and keep us ticking over while we apply for grants and seek other funding.  Our recent applications would take us a long way through our immediate funding goals.  Let us know if you are aware of another organisation that is looking to make a tax-deductible contribution before the 30th of June. The funding would also enable us to stop providing support services to would-be disability entrepreneurs in Australia.  This will not only assist individuals to pursue financial independence, it will assist with social engagement, personal dignity and mental health.  We also believe it will have genual benefits for Australia. Do you an Australian with a disability who hopes to generate a little bit more income or to increase their social engagement?  Ask them to complete the short form below.  If there are any questions they can email us at [email protected] or phone us on 0436 480 769.
An interesting reflection on the future of work from the US. It is a global pattern that will suit Australians with a disability.  Working from home in a gig-based set up and allows us to design work space coma, duties and role that suits our needs, limitations and aspirations.  The platform is here to assist you with setting up and operating your gig-based endeavour.
We recently completed and submitted an application for the Queensland Social Enterprise Development Grant.  It is a medium-sized grant and it was a detailed application form.  We included some letters of support  from a few of our partners and sponsors. We have tried to put our best possible of foot forward. This is a fantastic Queensland government scheme and we know it will be HUGELY competitive.  The process will take a bit over a month, so we doubt we can keep our digits crossed, much less breath held that long, but we are sending lots of positive vibes to the universe, please do so as well. If all of our recent applications are successful it would be all of our urgent bills paid, but going forward, there are still a few big-ticket items to be paid for.
We a massive fans of the CFA and their important work. Lots of interesting reading in this edition. The story about the NDIA is particularly shocking.  We urge all followers of the platform to subscribe to this newsletter
James Nyland is a talented member of the platform's community.  He is one of our pilot testers.  He is also a very talented photographer.  Some of his work is now listed on Shutterstock, a stock image library that pays contributors when they sell the work of the photographer. We are sure you will all agree, James is an incredibly talented photographer.  We are working with him to help monetise his hobby and to build a gig-based micro business. Do you know an Australian with a disability who wants to monetise a hobby/craft, who aspires to set up a gig-based micro business, or someone who wants to start a small business? Encourage them to complete the short form below, or to contact us at [email protected] or phone us on 0436 480 769.  Our free (Bronze) membership is a very useful way to explore our services without paying any money.  Bronze membership is free for Australians with a disability, their carers or others who have a connection to disability in Australia.
The Queensland Business Basics grant opened again after it fell over on the Department's first attempt.  So many businesses were in the application queue we spent over an hour being told we were more than hour away from being able to lodge. All that time stressing about whether the system was working and how many people who were ahead of us in the application queue. We spend the latter part of the hour and a half spent watching percentage of the remaining money dropping down. Don't get us wrong, we really appreciate the opportunity to apply and the Queensland government is to be congratulated for the grant scheme.  It wasn't a process that was especially disability friendly but we understand they are administering a highly competitive program. If we are successful, the albeit small grant monies would make a huge difference to the platform.
This isn't a disability employment story per se, but it provides us with an opportunity to repeat something that we feel worth saying (again).  The pandemic has enforced changes to work that have suited the needs and reality of Australians with a disability in the workforce.  It has also served as a demonstration of the fact that remote work and gig work can work in practice.

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