Communities@Work Wins ACT Large Employer of the Year

Communities@Work has been recognised as the ACT Large Employer of the Year at the ACT Training Awards on Thursday 10 September 2020, for the second year in a row.

Carla and Lee - ACT Training Award Winner

CEO Lee Maiden and CFO/COO Andrew Chenery with the ACT Large Employer of the Year 2019 Award

The ACT Large Employer of the Year award recognises a large organisation with a demonstrated commitment to training its employees and encouraging and assisting them in their employment-related development. 

We are proud and humbled to receive this recognition, and congratulate our whole team, including our Registered Training Organisation (RTO) – The Centre of Professional Learning and Education – for all of their hard work in developing and running an incredible training program. We are proud to support ongoing professional development for all our employees. 

Lee Maiden, Communities@Work CEO was thrilled to receive the award:  

We are elated to have been recognised as the ACT Large Employer of the Year at the ACT Training Awards for the second year in a row. Communities@Work has a strong and ongoing commitment to developing the best people, which means a highly skilled and qualified team. To be an employer of choice, we need to continually support and invest in our peopleIt is our hardworking and dedicated team who make us who we are and make such an impact to the Canberra community.”  

As an employer of choice in the ACT, we have over 600 passionate and dedicated employees (including almost 500 Early Childhood Education and Care educators), all of whom help support positive educational outcomes and build a resilient, sustainable and socially inclusive Canberra community. 

Communities@Work’s learning and development strategies are designed to support organisational excellence and career development. Winning the award for the second year in a row demonstrates continuing investment in our employees. And it’s not just about training – to complement formal training opportunities, Communities@Work provides employees opportunities to cross-skill and develop career pathways working across roles and areas in Communities@Work. 

For example, when Hannah Rainbow joined Communities@Work as a Disability Support Worker in 2018, with no experience but an eagerness to learn, we saw her potential. We encouraged her to complete her Certificate 4 in Disability, mentored and guided in her studies, and providing opportunities to apply the concepts from her training in her work. 

The training boosted Hannah’s confidence. She presented ideas to implement in the program, risk-assessing options, assisting Senior Support Facilitators, and working exceptionally well with clients with complex support needs. Her training and mentoring encouraged her to take on a very complex program with dual licencing criteria (with the NDIA and CECA), gaining the opportunity to work with children in the Malkara School Holiday Program. 

Disability_Children_CommunitiesAtWork_Malkara_hannah_SHP

Hannah Rainbow with a child at the Malkara School Holiday Program

Eventually, she began leading the team and bringing forth ideas to improve the program. With the support of Communities@Work in her training, Hannah recently rose to become a Program Support Facilitator. Her knowledge since training has increased tenfold. Her professional development has not only improved her relationship with clients, successfully meeting her clients’ progress goals, but has also helped make a difference in the lives of her disability clients, while benefiting the program. 

Similarly, Loveleen Kaur is an employee of Communities@Work and a graduate of our Ascend program. She says, “being able to train and work at the same time has been very useful because what you learn in class relates to what you practise in service. What I really like about the program is not just the class and the study, it’s the extra support get from the trainers. Ascend is good because you got a job while you were studying so you were working straight away. It was a really great learning experience. I like coming to classes because everyone’s discussing what’s happening in their centres and you can compare how each centre does things differently. I love the support you get from all the teachers and their understanding that you’re working full time and studying, so they want to help you as much as they can”. 

ACT Large Employer of the Year Training Award News Story

RTO training for Centre Managers for Early Childhood Education and Care

Our Ascend Program has been designed as an ongoing traineeship model to source, train and secure the highest quality educators for our services. The program offers new educators permanent employment across our Children’s Services programs and enrolment into a Certificate III Traineeship within our RTO. The program is open to anyone passionate about working in this sector and who is energised when part of an elite team, whether they are commencing a new career, progressing their career or interested in making a career change. 


Applications for our 2021 Ascend Program (January Intake) are now open. 


Communities@Work believes that investing in our employees is crucial to the performance and social impact of the organisation. It is crucial to our ability to deliver the best quality, affordable, innovative, and flexible services that we offer, and to continue to deliver positive outcomes in the Canberra community. 

As Canberra’s largest not-for-profit community organisation and children’s services provider, and an Early Education and Care training provider, we would once again like to express our gratitude and exuberance at being recognised as the ACT Large Employer of the Year at the 2020 ACT Training Awards. 

#ACTTA20 #SkillsCanberra 


For more information on Communities@Work’s Registered Training Organisation, please visit our Qualifications and Professional Learning webpage.

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