(from right) Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Paul Brown of Jigsaw Australia with Christine Walker, General Manager Post Office Network – NSW and ACT of Austpost
This award is given to individuals who demonstrate leadership and create positive and measurable benefits for the third sector.
Paul has led Jigsaw since 2014, when he co-founded it alongside Fighting Chance co-founders Laura and Jordan O’Reilly. The last two years have been monumental for Jigsaw. We’ve begun to prove to Australia, at scale, what we’ve always known: that people with disability prepare best for work, through work. In September 2019, 205 people with disability had accessed employment training at our original hub on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Now, we have provided over 600 traineeships, employed close to 100 people with disability at award wage and transitioned 44 people into mainstream employment, whilst delivering on multi-million dollar commercial contracts across four locations (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide) and online.
We have a proven, self-sustaining social enterprise model that works: it trains and transitions people with disability into mainstream employment quicker and with better long-term outcomes than the current sector-wide approach. Moreover, it supports individuals in building their skills and confidence, making professional and social connections, and increasing their self-esteem with a purposeful contribution to society.
We’re delighted that Third Sector, and others, are recognising the impact Jigsaw creates through social enterprise, and the role of Paul’s visionary leadership in shaping Jigsaw into what it is today. Paul, well done, you are a true agent of change!
Jigsaw is a social enterprise that provides an innovative pathway to open employment for people with disability. By embedding a comprehensive skill-based training program within our commercial document and data management business, Jigsaw enables people with disability to achieve their employment goals at their own pace. Jigsaw’s holistic approach starts from the very basics of core work skills and supports trainees all the way through to transition to open employment with ongoing support and coaching once they have transitioned.