Barossa Enterprises celebrate 40 years of success in the community

Barossa Enterprises supported employees and staff celebrate their recent significant milestone at the purposed-built workshop at Nuriootpa.
Barossa Enterprises supported employees and staff celebrate their recent significant milestone at the purposed-built workshop at Nuriootpa.

Arguably the state's largest employer of people with disability - conveniently located on our doorstep - Barossa Enterprises has chalked up 40 years since officially launching.

BE chief executive officer Garry Velt says the enterprise's humble beginnings has grown into much more than an employment agency.

He explained how today the Nuriootpa site is renowned for people from the community with disability assisting the manufacturing of quality wine packaging services to support regional businesses.

The recent milestone has meant supported employees and staff are keen to share the history which has led to their success.

Barossa Enterprises was born out of a shared vision regarded by a handful of Barossa parents.

"These people were keen to find a better way to deliver quality services and opportunities for their family members and friends with disability," Mr Velt said.

History reveals Nora Weymouth was the driving force behind the first site 'Barossa Valley Rural Activity Centre' established off Menge Road, Tanunda, in 1977.

Awareness and funds were created through annual fetes held in October with sold goods made by employees.

However, an unexplained fire later that decade led to the site's only transportable building burning down.

Despite this devastation, the news hit the public which became the catalyst for creating a larger volume of awareness for the site's significance in the region.

"It also helped to bring the community together in support of people with disability," Mr Velt said.

After a few moves, and renamed Barossa Enterprises in 1979, the company took up residence at a building at Basedow Road, Tanunda.

Outgrowing that site, Barossa Enterprises moved to its current purpose-built office and workshop complex at Samuel Road in 2009.

Currently the site values over 100 staff, support workers and supported employees.

For supported employee of 38 years Alison Munzberg, BE is her safe haven - a place where she has made many friends over the years and her role is "needed" to support local wineries.