About WDEA Works

For thirty years, WDEA Works has been reaching out a helping hand to its local communities, improving the lives of people through employment and connection. WDEA Works is a multifaceted not-for-profit organisation offering Disability Employment Services (DES), jobactive programmes and NDIS activities.

WDEA Works has a team of over 390 people, based at 36 sites across Western Victoria and South East South Australia. Their expert staff supports people with a disability or disadvantage to find open employment (DES and JobActive) or employment within our Social Enterprises division. WDEA Works is also a registered training organisation, helping people extend their employment skills through study.

As a not-for-profit organisation, WDEA Works takes its surplus funds and channels them back into local community via the WDEA Works Foundation. Community groups receive help in the form of grants, donations, sporting and youth programs, sporting club sponsorships and achievement awards, all of which strengthen community connections.

Our Vision

We develop pathways for strengthening communities that enhance individuals, families and businesses.

Our Values


  • We act responsibly with honesty, trust and transparency
  • We make reasoned decisions without bias, in a fair and objective way
  • We take accountability seriously, following through on our commitments


  • We accept all people are unique, worthy and have something to contribute
  • We recognise diversity as a strength


  • We walk in the shoes of others to better understand their perspective
  • We recognise that everyone’s experiences and perceptions can be different to our own
  • We tailor simple solutions to solve challenging situations


  • We continually look for better ways to tackle challenges
  • We understand that innovations can be of all sizes and at all levels


Unlocking potential. Building ability.

WDEA Works benefits clients and employers

WDEA Works offers a range of services to benefit both clients and employers

WDEA Works values all clients and treats them with dignity and respect, and aims to provide the best possible service available. WDEA Works has a range of programs that suit many people’s varying requirements – from working with people of all ages to develop employment and life skills, to assistance in finding and maintaining employment in a range of settings. WDEA Works’ end goal is to provide a means of community participation to its clients that will in-turn promote an increase in social inclusion and an improvement in well-being.

Some benefits that our clients experience are:

  • Support in their chosen program
  • Building of confidence and self-esteem
  • Contribution to community
  • Increasing self-worth
  • Development of social and general life skills
  • Providing a pathway to independence

For business, WDEA Works offers a range of benefits and services that can be utilised at no or little cost to employers. These include:

  • Recruitment advice.
  • Vacancy lodgement services.
  • Candidate screening and short-listing services .
  • Access to the Australian Government Jobsearch website and local newspapers to advertise your vacancies.
  • Employees who can be trained in your particular industry.
  • Skills training of all levels for job seekers to suit your business needs.

WDEA Works also operates a number of Supported Employment Enterprises (SEE) or supported work environments, administered from WDEA Works’ Enterprises Division, at our Albert Street, Warrnambool site. WDEA Works is continually trying to innovate and source new employment opportunities for its WDEA Works SEE staff and would welcomely discuss any potential benefits to interested businesses or organisations. Some of the benefits that WDEA Works can provide to business include:

  • A contracted workforce to complete individual tasks / projects.
  • Projects may be short-term, long-term or seasonal, and can be a once-off or ongoing requirement.
  • A cost-effective labour force.
  • Supervision of workers supplied.
  • Work can be undertaken at the WDEA Works Albert Street site.
  • Participate in community development by providing work for our WDEA Works staff.

WDEA Works history

WDEA Works first commenced in 1989 as a service to assist clients with a disability to enter the workforce. Starting with three employees, WDEA Works initially operated out of a small office in Warrnambool but soon extended its coverage to Colac, Portland and Hamilton. As demand grew the organisation expanded its operations and services to cover a broader cross-section of the community. New services such as The Socialisers, a social group for people with a disability, and Futures for Young Adults were established.

In 1998 WDEA Works was able to obtain contracts to deliver a number of additional services, most notably for Job Network – an open employment service for all unemployed job seekers, regardless of their barriers to employment.

By 2008 WDEA Works had continued to grow its services. The Disability Employment Services and Job Network program was further strengthened by additional programs including:

  • Personal Support Program (now part of Job Services Australia)
  • Australian Apprenticeship Centre (contract ceased)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services (now part of Disability Employment services)
  • In 2009 WDEA Works opened offices in Ballarat, Ararat, Stawell and Horsham to deliver the Job Services Australia program (formerly known as Job Network).

In 2010, shortly after the expansion of coverage into central-western Victoria, WDEA Works was able to commence operation of its Disability Employment Services at these new sites.

The continued success of WDEA Works’ programs for over 20 years enabled one of the largest and most exciting additions to WDEA Works’ services since it began. In 2011 WDEA Works was approached by Vantage Inc. – a day services and supported work environment for people with disability. WDEA was able to incorporate Vantage into the services it offered which resulted in the ongoing operation of the Vantage supported work environments, to be known as “WDEA Enterprises”, and day services, to fall under the “WDEA Community” moniker.

In 2013, WDEA Works commenced delivery of Disability Employment Services in Bendigo and Castlemaine, and also opened an office in Shepparton in 2014. 2013 also saw WDEA Works add a training arm to the business, incorporating Balance Training Services under the banner of WDEA Training.

Since 1989, WDEA Works has created many support programs to assist those living with disability. Programs such as the Socialisers, ArtLink, CareerLink and the growth of WDEA Works’ Foundation (a trust fund that grants up to $100,000 per year to assist people with disability to gain or have greater access to employment opportunities), have maintained WDEA Works’ commitment to assisting the most vulnerable members of our community.


2020 is going to be a big year for WDEA Works. Sign up for our Newsletter today to be the first to hear of all the exciting events.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter
  • WDEA Works Employment division incorporates both Disability Employment Services and jobactive.
  • Disability Employment Services
  • jobactive