News Tag: Hobbyists

The word "Thank You" in big 3D red letters.

MinterEllison is working on advice on the benefits question

The amazing team at the law firm, MinterEllison has been supporting the platform for some time with pro bono legal advice.  They have been incredibly generous and supportive.  We cannot speak highly enough of their valuable support.  Recently, they have started work to provide us  with expert advice on the benefit question we mentioned recently.

Australians with disabilities on a government pension, benefits or healthcare card might worry that income in one month might impact on their entitlements into the future.  What might be concerning is the inherent changeability in income from a monetised hobby/craft, for gig-based micro-businesses and small businesses.  It can be  hard to predict future income – especially early in an endeavour’s journey.  Our hope is to smooth out some of the peaks and troughs of income over time.

The prospect of benefitting from independent and expert legal advice from a firm with a standing like MinterEllison is incredibly reassuring.

Australian currency background

Changing how you think about generating income

For most of us, having to retire from ‘regular work’ means that we will need to change how we think about generating income.  This is also true for people with longterm disabilities who have not been able to engage and remain employed in the Australia workforce.

In the case of ‘regular work’, most of us strive to secure a job that will pay the bills, be rewarding and is respectful/safe. Reality is that many of us will not be able to secure enough income from one source to cover all of our needs.  Instead, we need to be prepared to compile a suite of income sources to get us what we need. Hopefully, all of them should address the respect, dignity and enjoyment criteria.

Our goal is to build and grow a resource library that will assist members to identify and pursue for themselves useful and realistic for their disabilities and capacity.  With the blog and mentoring, we hope to support members to maximise the money they earn from their endeavours.

‘Passion economy’ is the new buzzword that’s shaping the future of work – ThePrint (Utkarsh Amitabh | February 2022)

We have previously posted an item with the admonishment not to pursue your passion as a career.  That notwithstanding, we agree with this item, a really good step being taken by some people who lost their jobs to the pandemic is to set up an endeavour that aligns with your passion.  For Australians with disability, we strongly suggest that your money-generating endeavour is something that you enjoy doing and something that you’re curious about. is here to support you to pursue that passion.  

A Blackman who is visually impaired walking with a cane in a busy city street.

We are thrilled to share James’ amazing photography is on sale

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.

Cartoon of a diverse group of workers collaborating.

Participating in a small business event hosted by Mable

On 31 May, the CEO of the platform, Dr Gary Allen will be participating via video link in a small business event being hosted by Mable.  It will be a terrific opportunity to reflect upon disability entrepreneurship, the platform and operating a successful company while living with a disability.

Our Patron, Dinesh Palipana OAM, will open the conversation.  The team is thrilled to be connected to the event from 4-6 pm on 31 May.  We strongly believe that disability entrepreneurship could be a powerful solution to several apparently intractable problems in Australia and beyond.

Do you know someone who wants to establish a monetised hobby/craft, a gig-based micro-business, or a small business?  Encourage them to complete the short form below or to email us at [email protected] or phone us on 0436 480 769 with any questions.   In addition to our paid services (which could be billed to an NDIS plan), we offer free Bronze membership to Australians with a disability, their carers or others with an established connection to disability in Australia.  Bronze members can access many of the resources and services on

A man with an artificial leg pathway through a swing of a golf club on a golf course.

We are excited to be included in a scheduled meeting

We are excited to be included in a scheduled meeting | Members of the team leading the platform and the team guiding the Griffith Inclusive Futures: Reimagining Disability will be meeting with Wayne Gerard, Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur.  The hope is that Gary will be included in the future meetings of the GIF team.

We are excited to be meeting with Wayne and enthusiastic about being involved in the development and growth of the Griffith Inclusive Futures: Reimagining Disability.

We passionately believe in the transformative potential that entrepreneurship could have upon the lives of individuals, their families, their communities and even the Australian economy.  We are obviously biased, but we believe we are at the start of something very exciting.

Man wearing a business suit in a manual wheelchair rolling himself

The employment of Australians with a disability

People aged between 15 and 64 years with disability have both lower labour force participation (53.4%) and higher unemployment rates (10.3%) than people without disabilities (84.1% and 4.6% respectively).

There are 2.1 million Australians of working age with a disability. Of these, just under half are employed (47.8%), compared with 80.3% of people without disability.

Australia’s employment rate for people with disability (46.6% in 2015) is on par with developed countries. In developing countries, 80% to 90% of people with disability of working age are unemployed, whereas in industrialised countries the figure is between 50% and 70% (United Nations Department of Information 2007).

34% of people with disability are managers and professionals (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016).

A visually impaired man speaking to his raised smartphone.

Why we believe disability entrepreneurship is the answer to some big problems

Australians living with a disability face a combination of big and apparently intractable problems. 2.1 million Australians are of working age and live with a disability. Around 40% of Australians with a disability live on, or near the poverty line. More than 30% of Australians who live with a disability experience prejudice, discrimination and ignorance in the workplace. Australians with a disability are under-represented in the workforce.  University graduates with a disability experience longer delays in securing work.

The dominant approach to disability employment is flawed.

For some disabilities, individuals will not know day-to-day or sometimes hour-to-hour if they will be well enough to work.  This is is incompatible with part-time or casual engagements. This is not the fault of the employers or the disabled workers, but it does leave them economically vulnerable and isolated. The current approach also ignores the reality that for emergent disabilities and progressive disabilities, as well as injury-related disabilities (such as TBI), individuals may have marketable skills, experience and networks.

Comparing Australia to overseas, disability entrepreneurship, relative to non-disabled entrepreneurship is not as high as it is in North America, the UK and Europe. When you drill further into this disheartening situation, individuals often refer to the absence of role models, peer support and resources. This suggests that a community of practice could be a way to address these matters…