WorkUp

The icare foundation's WorkUp initiative partners with organisations to help injured workers across NSW. 

Together, we’ll co-create new solutions to help those who need them the most get back up and participate in work, and more essentially, their community.

WorkUp is a forum to explore, share, challenge and create – where difference is celebrated, everything is considered and a wide range of skills are tapped into.

WorkUp finalists

Thank you to everyone who applied to the WorkUp investment call. We've received a great response with more than 90 not-for-profit, business, academic and government organisations applying.

All applications have undergone a rigorous judging process and co-design process, which involved applications being assessed by at least four judges and an oversight panel. Experts were consulted for many applications for further feedback and guidance. 

Given the volume and high-quality of submissions, it was extremely hard to select finalists and only a small percentage of applicants could move to the next stage of co-design. We are pleased to announce the organisations selected as WorkUp finalists are:

Organisation Project Organisation description
CoAct JobFutures Intensive Case Management and Social Networks Trial CoAct’s aim is to be the best at placing the most disadvantaged job seekers in work and is Australia’s largest network of not-for-profit employment services providers.
Happy Paws Happy Heart Happy Paws Happy Hearts in NSW Happy Paws Happy Hearts creates positive change by connecting isolated people with rescue animals. These mutually beneficial interactions differentiate us from other care programs. Most rehab programs make participants the passive recipients of care. We focus on re-instilling a sense of purpose which is vital to confidence, social connections and recovery.
Primary & Community Care Services (PCCS) Chinese Speaking Workers PCCS is a leading innovator and designer of holistic health services for people with complex needs. We have extensive experience and clinical expertise in working with people with severe and complex mental illness (including psychosocial disability), and design our programs to build local workforce capacity and capability. Our outcome focused services are designed in alignment with our strategic plan and are focused on complementing primary care services. 
Rumpus Skillshare Makeshift Program Rumpus specialises in Purposeful Play to strengthen, unlock and build community. A non-profit social enterprise, Rumpus provides a range of community programs, creative events, community development projects, and collaborative support programs that utilise creative practices as vital tools for learning, health, wellbeing and social inclusion.
Settlement Services International Transitional Pathways and Placement Service (TPPS) SSI is a community organisation and social business that supports newcomers and other Australians to achieve their full potential. We work with all people who have experienced vulnerability, including refugees, people seeking asylum and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, to build capacity and enable them to overcome inequality.
University of Newcastle (Family Action Centre, Faculty of Health and Medicine) Compassion Focused Therapy The University of Newcastle’s Family Action Centre (FAC) has more than 30 years’ experience in research and practice. We have a strong focus on innovative approaches to improving family and community health and wellbeing.
Uprise Stepped Care Mental Health Uprise provides scalable digital mental health training to improve employee engagement, productivity and retention. 
WithYouWithMe Project Evolution Born out of a mission to solve BIG problems, the WithYouWithMe team is dedicated to helping under-utilised groups to become competitive talent in the job market. With innovative tech solutions and industry leading training, we are solving underemployment across the globe by focusing on the ‘Future of the Worker,’ not just the ‘Future of Work.’

The WorkUp investment process

The WorkUp investment process: Call opens Friday 25 May, Expressions of interest - applications close Friday 29 June, first screen applications reviewed and co-design participants selected, co-design 6 weeks - August to mid September. Second screen - review and feedback and shortlist announced. Pitching November is coaching and refinement of proposals. Selection of successful selected. Ongoing is investment management and program delivery.

Co-designing and funding for impact 

Successful applicants have the unique opportunity to co-design with icare professionals along with the best-in-class social impact specialists.

You’ll have the chance to further refine and develop your idea with the experts – accessing icare’s data and insights to better understand and test against the real challenges faced by NSW workers and employers. 

A pitch of your co-designed solution could see your idea gain funding with a total pool of $5 million available to develop solutions for impact. 

Solving challenges for NSW's injured workers

We’re looking for new ideas to help solve challenges around maintaining or returning to work after a workplace injury.

We’ve identified five groups of workers that we’re helping with different challenges at different stages on a claim or injury recovery journey (below):

Increasing worker vulnerability and longer injury claim: 1. Still classed as employed but at risk of becoming detached from employment or disconnected, 2. Job ready and ready to work but no job opportunity exists. 3. Out of work and at risk of losing existing support (for example at risk of a family breakdown). 4. Out of work and socially isolated and unsupported (for example, no family or support network exists). 5. Hard to reach and out of the system (for example, homeless with no infrastructure to enable a return to work)

This is not just about improving the experience for workers recovering from injury in NSW better, but is based on a recognition that prolonged unemployment during the productive years of life impacts on the quality of life of affected individuals and their families. It acknowledges that, in some cases, a return to life is required before a return to work. 

Specifically, icare foundation seeks to deliver on the following objectives that align with the groups of workers in the diagram (above): 

Increasing worker vulnerability and longer injury claim: 1. Still classed as employed but at risk of becoming detached from employment or disconnected, 2. Job ready and ready to work but no job opportunity exists. 3. Out of work and at risk of losing existing support (for example at risk of a family breakdown). 4. Out of work and socially isolated and unsupported (for example, no family or support network exists). 5. Hard to reach and out of the system (for example, homeless with no infrastructure to enable a return to work)

Partner with us for innovation

Come to WorkUp and join others throughout NSW in working up new ways to help injured workers remain actively engaged in their communities.

We’re seeking organisations – from socially focused start-ups to established businesses and social service organisations – to express interest and share their ideas, big and small. 

Innovation could mean new technologies, partnerships or even a radical improvement to an existing way of working. Whatever your idea, as long as it brings something new to the table. 

Your proposal might be either a seed innovation (about testing new, promising ideas) or a scale program (broadening the impact of a proven solution)

We’ll also be looking for a strategic fit with the icare foundation. Meaning that your proposal:

  • Has a clear return to work focus or a ‘return to life’ focus that can support return to work outcomes in future.
  • Has the potential to directly impact or support injured workers in NSW, in either the private, public or non-government sector. 
  • Is not business as usual and is not the development of a service that would otherwise have a business case within existing schemes of icare.