Work experience and supported employment in a wide number of social enterprises

  • Compass Farm – (20 acre organic farm) market gardens, animal husbandry, bee keeping, site services, fruit orchards and more
  • Compass Connections Café – (Hospitality) located in Nambour, the café is a collaboration with Cricks Nambour and provides flexible employment and skills training
  • Wabi Sabi – (Retail Outlets) sell a wide range of items made by Compass trainees
  • Harvest Kitchen (Gourmet Foods) – Harvest Kitchen creating a wide range of condiments and foods for sale
  • Rakes & Panes – (Landscape Maintenance) – Lawn & Garden maintenance and Window detailing
  • Green Thumbs Nursery – (Nursery) – plant and seedling production
  • Earth & Wood – (Art & Crafts) – pottery and woodwork enterprise
  • Garden Cafe  – (Hospitality) -located at the Tanawha Botanical Gardens, the Cafe provides flexible employment and skills training

Most people identify very closely with their work and take great satisfaction from performing their role to the best of their ability. Work is one of the main sources of the sense of achievement that underpins our confidence and it is also often the basis for many of our ongoing friendships.

Access to stable long term employment in the mainstream in Australia for people with disabilities is quite limited. For those with intellectual impairment, these opportunities rarely extend beyond those people with a mild disability. The majority of others have either had no vocational opportunities OR they have been limited to ‘sheltered workshop’ environments that generally focus on repetitive and often menial labour.

At Compass we recognise that everyone benefits when they can identify with some type of work and the more varied and meaningful that work is, the more value it lends to their lives. The more the work provides an interface with the broader community, the more acceptance they gain and the more the community is educated to the capacity of people with a disability to fill a valued role in their society.

The solution to meeting this absolutely vital need has been the development of a number of social enterprises as listed above. These enterprises naturally link with vocational activities that also satisfy some therapeutic and/or creative requirements for the person involved. These can be the making of products that then form part of the retail chain – Jewellery, bath products, screen printing, pottery, wooden items, seedlings and so on.

Almost every trainee who attends Compass plays some role in the social enterprises – directly or indirectly. This is so evident when you meet them and see the pride they take in their work and the confidence they gain that then flows over to their lives. Naturally this is also where many of their lasting friendships are formed. Above all this perhaps is the acknowledgement they receive from members of the community when they come in contact with each other via the enterprises.