Tastex 40 years on . . .
Anniversaries… Anniversaries are markers in time, occasions to celebrate, times to remember…whatever the reason, anniversaries are important because they invite us to stop, to reflect on what’s past from within the perspective of the present. Of course, the present never stands still and our celebrations always contain an element of continuity.
So it was, with a sense of both thanksgiving and anticipation for the future, that Tastex Knitwear and Uniforms gathered to celebrate its 40th anniversary in October 2010. Tastex’s management and staff, together with members of the St Vincent de Paul Society, representatives of the Archdiocese of Tasmania, and representative members of Government gathered together for a celebratory dinner at The Old Woolstore, Hobart.
Tastex Knitwear, a "Special Work" of the St Vincent de Paul Society, established its knitting mill in Mill Lane, Glenorchy, in 1970. As a Special Work of St Vincent de Paul Tastex’s founding purpose was to provide employment and training for people with intellectual disabilities and to be self-funding through the production of its knitwear factory. Today Tastex Knitwear and Uniforms’ reputation for quality knitwear is unsurpassed in the knitwear industry. Its knitwear is sold Australia wide, is proudly Australian Made, and has attained Quality Assurance with ISO 9001-2008 certification.
Tastex’s success in the competitive manufacturing industry is a great reason to celebrate but that is not the primary reason for the celebratory 40th anniversary gathering. Tastex’s primary purpose, as stated already, is to provide employment and training for people with intellectual disabilities and it is in this endeavor, as an Australian Disability Enterprise, that Tastex has its greatest reason for celebration.
At this time Tastex employs 15 people with intellectual disabilities, each of them highly skilled in the knitwear and manufacturing industries, and each of them reflecting confidence, pride and self-confidence. Such achievements come as the fruits of committed and dedicated support staff who, for the last 40 plus years, have worked hard to ensure that Tastex has been able to provide a supportive work environment for its supported workers and at the same time ensure that Tastex’s manufacturing standards and goals are met.
The dedication of Tastex’s staff was recognized and applauded on its 40th anniversary with presentations to four of its longest serving staff, Lorraine Oates (31 yrs), Janine Bonnitcha (29 yrs), Peter Jones (26 yrs) and Colleen Janisch (22 yrs). Thanks must also be recorded for Tastex’s manager, Vicki Hawker, a dynamic executive who ensures Tastex is recognized nationally for its excellence in disability support and its quality products. Because of her excellent managerial skills Tastex maintains its place in a competitive marketplace and continues to supply employment and training for its supported staff.
Tastex’s capacity to meet its goals within a rapidly changing textile manufacturing industry has prompted Tastex’s recent expansion into the area of embroidery and the supply of a complete range of uniform garments. Tastex has two embroidery machines that allow for embroidered logos on its Tastex knitwear and all other uniform garments available through its “one stop shop” for corporate wear, school wear and work wear.