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Disability Support Employment / Mental Health Specialist

Work First


Work First is a unique suite of person-centred disability employment services that support companies and individuals to make inclusive employment possible for people with a disability. Borne out of years of research and practice evidence and driven by the need to improve disability employment outcomes, Work First works with individuals and companies to make employment and careers possible. Our services are available to companies through the Work First Corporate program and to individuals who are self-managed clients of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Work First is the disability employment and mental health service of the Centre for Disability Employment Research and Practice. It is where CDERP illustrates how theory can become practice in the delivery of innovative services to individuals and businesses.


We’re looking for someone with a passion for disability employment and mental health. The role won’t suit someone looking for a 9-5 lifestyle, because our program is very much client-driven. It’s not a traditional employment service role, it’s powered by Discovery, fuelled by passion, and built on a growing evidence base that informs practice. This is a role for someone committed to delivering quality mental health support and Customised Employment with fidelity to the model, not simply adopt the name.

Working with a small caseload of participants, Work First Employment Specialists evaluate the skills and talents of individuals, then develop and coordinate opportunities with businesses in the local community whilst supporting the individuals mental health. Successful employment is when both the individual served and the business’s needs match – true mutuality. Employment support and mental health Consultants collaborate with a community network to train effective communication techniques, accommodations, and how to develop natural supports in the workplace.

Effective Employment Consultants maintain the greatest level of independence and enjoy an ever-changing environment. They communicate with their teams and other stakeholders appropriately. They evaluate the needs of the people served through timely assessment, communication, and observation, and modify their plans through consideration of the person’s response, all underpinned by Discovery with fidelity to the model.

Employment Consultants are also comfortable with diversity, compassionate, and exceptional listeners. Their attention to detail, self-confidence, and a good sense of humour is critical to success.

At Work First it’s about more than a job, it’s about the whole person.


  • Passionate with a belief that anyone can work
  • Confident, relaxed and have great conversational skills
  • A great listener with an eye for detail (more detective and less interrogator)
  • Have a valid driver’s licence
  • A reliable fully insured vehicle
  • Able to advocate on behalf of our clients
  • High level of computer literacy
  • Sound organisational skills
  • The ability to work autonomously
  • Ability to adapt to change
  • Like to work outdoors – most of our work is in the field
  • A degree in Allied Health or a related science area is preferable
  • Certificate in Auslan would be of benefit but not necessary


  • Small caseloads
  • Time to invest in the client and family
  • Access to world-class training and development via CDERP College
  • Generous leave entitlements
  • Access to EAP – no cost
  • Opportunities for growth and development internally
  • Flexible work arrangements


This role would suit someone living in the eastern suburbs, south-eastern, inner western suburbs or outer east of Melbourne, as the person we employ will work primarily with clients in this region.

This role will commence immediately.

We also have an office in North Melbourne that can be utilised when needed. However this role is hybrid and allows you to work from home as well.

To submit your application, click Apply Now.

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