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Phil Hayes : CEO Wallara Australia : Project Starfish
January 15, 2018
RECOMMENDATION FOR MR. SUBHASHISH ACHARYA (SUBS) FOR
EXTRAORDINARY EMPLOYMENT MODEL CREATION FOR PEOPLE WITH
Wallara Group was established in 1959 by local Business Council, parents and passionate
volunteers to help children with a disability in the Dandenong area. In 2007, Wallara Group
completely reinvented itself and the organisation restructured entirely, changing from an
institutional congregate care facility to a community based provider of services. Wallara’s home
of nearly 50 years was demolished and in its place now stands Wallara’s new headquarters; a
highly innovative and integrated development featuring a world class high-support facility and
a mix of supported and independent accommodation for individuals with a disability.
FROM THE NBA (National Basketball Association in the USA) TO THE CEO OF WALLARA
Prior to being appointed as CEO of Wallara in 2007, I was previously employed for 12 years by
the NBA in global commercial and business development roles. Over that period I was based
out of multiple locations outside the USA and ultimately was assigned the position of Managing
Director of the Asia Pacific area. I made the transition from the corporate world to Wallara
Group because I have a passion to assist people with disabilities so that they can lead
productive, inclusive and meaningful lives. It is important that we highlight this cohort as having
“different abilities” instead of being “disabled” because everyone brings something unique and
of value to the table. It is this drive that moved me to change my career from a corporate
executive to leading one of Australia’s most innovative providers of support for people with
different abilities in Australia.
UNEMPLOYMENT: AMONG PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, A GLOBAL CONCERN
Unemployment among this community is not a national, but a global concern. They are being
left out from the mainstream which results in social problems, pressure on world governments
for social security programs and lack of productivity because of unemployment. The world is a
large ecosystem and I passionately believe that we all need to work towards uplifting others
who are in need.
MR. SUBHASHISH ACHARYA (Subs): EXTRAORDINARY AND COMMENDABLE WORK
Subs and I have different corporate experiences, yet we are both equally passionate about
helping people with different abilities find meaningful work. At Wallara, we work daily with more
than 500 people who all have different abilities and our team of Support Coaches are helping
them find high meaningful work and social roles so they can uplift their lives and take their place
in our community and feel valued. Everyone wants to make a contribution and the biggest
barrier is stigmas and lack of understanding in the general community and platforms and tools
to match this community with jobs and work.
Subs has built a “Digital” training model that is extraordinary. The training model is unique.
Trainees with disability are taught specific skills for the contemporary business world using an
online program. The individuals are able to be trained quickly with skills that have industry
demand. This process enables global participation, learning, inclusion and is a great fit with the
current and upcoming generation. Such a digital model did not previously exist. The training
models are unique; they use cutting edge education models that include role play and real life
simulation and gamification. The program solves major problems of transportation, increases
effectiveness and subsequently delivers contemporary workers who can work remotely with
Such a model has huge possibilities of changing the entire unemployment situation the
disability and marginalized face to date. Learning is crowdsourced, which also means that
candidates can now access experienced professionals in the industry who invest 60 minutes
of their time to volunteer and teach trainees. I have personally been on several calls to teach
Subs team. The post and link below is a recording of the calls that happen in order to train and
inspire his global team. This is a very unique and cutting edge method of skill transfer.
The recording is here: https://soundcloud.com/projectstarfish/60minute2impact-recording-phil-
There is no doubt, Subs has invented an extraordinary “employment” model of the future for
people with disabilities. His training methods produce results. Currently, he is going to Harvard
Business School to help build a better version of what he has done before, to accelerate the
training and gainful employment process and scale it to accommodate thousands in the USA
and other parts of the world.
Such a platform is really long overdue - A platform to re-launch careers of those who really
need opportunities, but because of their current situation this does not happen.
I wish Subs all the best in his journey!
Chief Executive Officer
Phil Hayes : CEO Wallara Australia: Project Starfish