Annual Report 2004-2005


About Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA)

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) is the peak organisation for women with all types of disabilities in Australia. It is a federating body of individuals and networks in each State and Territory of Australia and is made up of women with disabilities and associated organisations. The national secretariat is located in Tasmania, the island State of Australia. WWDA is run by women with disabilities, for women with disabilities. It is the only organisation of its kind in Australia and one of only a very small number internationally. WWDA is inclusive and does not discriminate against any disability. WWDA seeks to ensure opportunities in all walks of life for all women with disabilities. In this it aims to increase awareness of, and address issues faced by, women with disabilities in the community. WWDA seeks to ensure the advancement of education of society to the status and needs of women with disabilities in order to promote equity, reduce suffering, poverty, discrimination and exploitation of women with disabilities. WWDA is unique, in that it operates as a national disability organisation; a national women’s organisation; and a national human rights organisation.

WWDA addresses disability within a social model, which identifies the barriers and restrictions facing women with disabilities as the focus for reform. The aim of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) is to be a national voice for the needs and rights of women with disabilities and a national force to improve the lives and life chances of women with disabilities. The objectives of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) are:

  • to actively promote the participation of women with disabilities in all aspects of social, economic, political and cultural life;
  • to advocate on issues of concern to women with disabilities in Australia; and
  • to seek to be the national representative organisation for women with disabilities in Australia by: undertaking systemic advocacy; providing policy advice; undertaking research; and providing support, information and education.

WWDA is managed by a National Management Committee, which is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. All members of the Management Committee are women with disabilities. WWDA has two paid staff members: an Executive Director, and a Business Manager. WWDA receives a small amount of operational funding annually from the Commonwealth Government, and is required to re-apply for funds each year.

More information about Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) can be found on WWDA’s website at: www.wwda.org.au


WWDA President’s Report – By Annie Parkinson

a picture of Annie Parkinson, WWDA President.

WWDA President – Annie Parkinson

The WWDA year started for me in January, when I flew down to Tasmania to meet with WWDA staff in our national office in Hobart. I spent two days with Carolyn Frohmader, our Executive Director and Angela Court, our Business Manager, discussing what we had coming up for the year and assisting with the completing the Global Survey on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, the aim of which was to shed light on the progress that countries have made in the adoption and implementation of the Standard Rules and to find out what form that implementation has taken and to what extent.

This past year has thrown up a lot of areas for WWDA to make our presence felt in, some that are specific to women with disabilities, some that became part of our intervention in the mainstream political agenda such as examining Industrial Relations and Welfare to Work for the impact they may have on women living with a disability. We have continued to highlight the two areas that WWDA has been working on for some time, sterilisation and access to health screening services for women who have disabilities. As a consequence of WWDA’s paper on enforced sterilisation, presented at the Disabled People’s International (DPI) Summit in Winnipeg last year by Leanne Dowse, DPI, which is part of the United Nations, has included as one of their reforms to work towards, an end to the sterilisation of minors with disabilities. No sterilisation for minors is a position also supported by the NSW Attorney-General although other State/Territory Attorney’s General do not appear to support this position.

The difficulty that women across a whole spectrum of disabilities experience in gaining access to cervical and breast screening has been raised by WWDA in many forums, ranging from the Australian Women’s Health Network in Melbourne in April to the Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) Round Tables this year in Sydney. The second of these HREOC consultations brought together representatives of the disability movement and the Royal College of Australasian General Practitioners, where a range of issues facing people with disabilities and women with disabilities in particular, were discussed. We hear that BreastScreen Australia has taken on the physical access issues our members have raised in these forums and are attempting to make their premises physically accessible for all women seeking mammograms.

In the last few months, politics on the broader national agenda have taken our attention, particularly the mooted Industrial Relations and Welfare-to-Work proposals. We feel a strong concern that women with disabilities will be most severely affected by the proposed changes, given the double whammy of the existing structural difficulties that exist for women with disability entering and staying in the paid workforce and the punitive approach loaded with disincentives of the Welfare-to Work program. This has been backed up by the independent analysis done by the National Centre for Social & Economic Modelling (NATSEM) which demonstrated that sole parents and women with disabilities will be the most financially disadvantaged from the proposed changes.

I was able to join with women representing the three national women’s secretariats to meet with Kevin Andrews (Minister for Employment & Workplace Relations) and express our concerns about the difficulties that women face moving out of welfare and into work. Our Industrial Relations spokesperson Sue Salthouse has done some very detailed work on the question of how both sets of proposals will affect women with disabilities and more detail on this is provided later in this Report.

Reflecting on the focus that WWDA has maintained this year, I feel very pleased with one aspect of it in particular. Our strategic plan stresses the need for us to develop our links with other women’s groups as well as maintain the links we have in the disability field. In the past we’ve struggled to make those connections in anything but a tenuous way. In the last few months though we’ve had a strong involvement in the women’s secretariat’s campaign in Industrial Relations. The three secretariats involved are Womenspeak, auspiced by the YWCA, the Australian Women’s Coalition and Security4Women which is auspiced by the Business and Professional Women (Australia). There are over 60 women’s groups affiliated with these secretariats Contact with these women’s groups should be very helpful in raising the profile of Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to members of other women’s groups across the country.

I would like to thank the other members of the WWDA Management Committee for all their contributions during the year and as always, thank Carolyn and Angela for their hard work, as always, above and beyond the call of duty. I would like also to thank the many WWDA members who have undertaken representative work on behalf on WWDA and who have contributed to the work of our organization.


WWDA Executive Director’s Report – By Carolyn Frohmader

a picture of Carolyn Frohmader, WWDA Executive Director.

WWDA Executive Director – Carolyn Frohmader

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) has had yet another hectic and demanding year and despite our small amount of resources, has achieved a number of significant outcomes over the past 12 months. We have been particularly active and successful in our systemic advocacy work, most notably in the area of the Federal Government’s welfare to work policies and industrial relations reforms.

As Executive Director, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Annie Parkinson, WWDA’s President, for her hard work in this role over the past year. Thanks too, to Sam Jenkinson for her support in the role as WWDA’s Vice President. My thanks go to the WWDA Management Committee members for your efforts over the past year, particularly for your support during my leave in August following the death of my mother. I would like also to acknowledge those WWDA members who have undertaken representative work on behalf of WWDA over the past year. I would like to give particular acknowledgment to Sue Salthouse for the invaluable work she has given to WWDA over the past year, specifically her work on the welfare to work and industrial relations reforms. And finally, a big thank you to Angela Court, who has worked tirelessly and diligently in the WWDA Office, and acted in my role during my leave.

The following report gives a brief synopsis of WWDA’s performance over the past 12 months, under the categories: Advice to Australian Government on Policy and Service Delivery; Consultation, Representation and Networking; Community Information, Awareness Raising and Education; and Corporate Governance. These categories are consistent with the outcome requirements within WWDA’s funding contract with the Commonwealth Department of Family & Community Services (FaCS).

1. Advice to Australian Government on Policy and Service Delivery

WWDA has provided significant input to a number of government, non-government and industry processes, reviews, inquiries, and consultations during the past 12 months. At a Federal Government level, WWDA’s formal submissions have focused on the major areas of employment, welfare reform, industrial relations reforms, and the evaluation of the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. These submissions have informed inquiries undertaken by the Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC); the Commonwealth Department of Family & Community Services (FaCS) and the Commonwealth Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR).

WWDA made a considerable contribution to the Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) National Inquiry into Employment and Disability, which commenced in early 2005. In March 2005, WWDA President Annie Parkinson, attended a National Roundtable conducted by HREOC, which formed part of the Inquiry. The aim of the Roundtable was to identify the barriers facing people with disabilities in employment, and also to canvass ideas about practical initiatives and potential solutions to further employment opportunity of people with a disability.

WWDA also contributed a written submission to the Inquiry, which was developed in consultation with WWDA members. The Submission examined the available data relating to gender, disability and employment and detailed the barriers that women with disabilities face when seeking to participate in the labour market. WWDA’s Submission identified a number of specific strategies required to address the barriers facing women with disabilities in seeking, finding and maintaining employment. WWDA’s Submission makes a number of clear recommendations and strongly argued that any strategies which look to the principles of ‘mutual obligation, self-reliance and early intervention’ require a clear sense of the reality of the situations that women with disabilities face, and a commitment to addressing the barriers that stand in the way of them participating in the labour market. (A copy of WWDA’s Submission to the National Inquiry is available from WWDA’s website. Go to: http://www.wwda.org.au/employsub2.htm

During the past year, WWDA has also sought out opportunities to provide input to a range of State/Territory Government Policy Reviews relevant to women with disabilities. Policy areas addressed have included reproductive health; parenting; women’s services and disability services provision. All WWDA submissions are routinely provided to WWDA members and every politician in Australia (via email). Hard copies are also provided to relevant stakeholders, including the Minister for Family & Community Services (FaCS); WWDA’s funding body; and other Government Ministers and Departments as appropriate. WWDA Submissions are also widely disseminated and are made available on the WWDA website.

At a national level, WWDA’s leadership and systemic advocacy in relation to employment, welfare reform and industrial relations reforms has had significant impact and has received extensive media coverage (Examples of media coverage is attached in Appendix 1). WWDA has joined the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in spearheading the ‘What Women Want’ Campaign, which involved more than 60 national women’s organizations. WWDA’s targeted advocacy and a strategic fund raising campaign, resulted in the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) being engaged to undertake research into the impact of the Federal Government’s proposed welfare to work measures as they impact on people with disabilities. The NATSEM research analysed the distributional impact of the proposed changes upon the disposable incomes and effective marginal tax rates of those affected. Amongst the may detrimental effects which will result, it showed that the disposable incomes of people with disabilities can be up to about $120 a week lower under the proposed new system than under the current system. It also found that effective marginal tax rates will be sharply increased, ranging up to 75%, under the proposed new system, over a reasonably wide range of earned income.

a picture of Mario Kardum from Perpetual handing over a donation.

Mario Kardum from Perpetual handing over a donation towards the cost of the NATSEM research. Marie Coleman , centre, (National Foundation for Australian Women) and Sue Salthouse (WWDA) accepted the cheque.

WWDA’s work in relation to employment, welfare reform and industrial relations reforms not only resulted in some direct and indirect outcomes for people with disabilities in relation to welfare reforms but greatly lifted the profile of WWDA. Spin offs from this work included a noticeable increase in enquiries to the national WWDA office and also resulted in a number of new memberships, both individual and organisational. One particularly satisfying outcome of WWDA’s work in this area has been the increased awareness of national women’s organisations to the needs and concerns of women with disabilities. It has resulted in a specific research project on the labour market outcomes for women with disabilities being undertaken by an honours student working at NATSEM, with discussion for a second research project, to be funded by money allocated by the Don Chipp foundation, currently under way.

WWDA has provided regular input and feedback to Government on telecommunications policy and service delivery through WWDA’s Telecommunications Working Party. Monthly reports on the activities and achievements of the WWDA Telecommunications Working Party have been widely disseminated.

WWDA has provided responses to the Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) Disability Advisory Council on a number of issues including for example: the Draft Prices, Terms and Conditions Code; review on the Priority Assistance Code; Review of the Consumer Role in Telstra; ACIF DAB Strategic Plan; Single Consumer Code Discussion Paper; Operations Manual for Consumer Participation in ACIF; scoping paper for a Payphones Code; ACIF Guidelines G586 (Access to Telecommunications for People with Disabilities).

Other advocacy work conducted by WWDA’s Telecommunications Working Party has included:

  • Submission to the Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee on the Telstra (Transition to Full Private Ownership) Bill 2005 and related bills;
  • Feedback to AMTA on its Good Practices Guide for People With Disabilities;
  • Lobbying Telstra regarding the lack of public information about its non-Sensis directory assistance service and the lack of information about Telstra Disability Services on the Telstra Website Homepage;
  • Correspondence to Telstra Disability Services Unit on the need for inclusion of disability related information in its new e-learning modules being used with sales and service staff;
  • Proposal to Telstra to extend the scope of the Telstra Budget Pay initiatives;
  • Correspondence to Minister for Communications, Information Technology & the Arts to express WWDA concerns about the need for an Independent Disability Equipment Program;

In late 2004, WWDA released the report ‘Consumer Issues In Telecommunications’ which was the culmination of a twelve month research study undertaken by WWDA’s Telecommunications Working Group as part of the Telecommunications Consumer Representation Grant. This research was undertaken in areas where WWDA constituents had voiced concerns about aspects of telecommunications. It covered a range of issue areas, including:

  • an investigation of commercially available phones which would be suitable for use by older people and people with some disabilities;
  • market potential for a Universal Design mobile phone suitable for use by older people and people with some disabilities;
  • availability of information about the Telstra Disability Equipment Program (DEP) from Telstra Shopfronts;
  • availability of information on how to obtain equipment from the DEP when the customer’s primary carrier is not Telstra; and
  • ability of women with disabilities on low income to gain access to the Internet.

The Report identified a number of areas where WWDA believes further work is needed to address the inequities people with disabilities face in relation to telecommunications products and services. The Report has been disseminated widely, including to all telecommunications industry bodies, relevant politicians and other key stakeholders. WWDA received very positive feedback on the report and its findings.

Over the past year, WWDA has continued its systemic advocacy work on the issues relating to access to breast and cervical screening for women with disabilities. In mid 2004, as a direct result of lobbying by WWDA, the Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) held a National Summit on Access to Medical Services for People with Disabilities. A paper written by Sue Salthouse & Keran Howe on ‘Access to Breast & Cervical Screening for Women With Disabilities’ was presented by Keran Howe on behalf of WWDA at this National Summit. A number of outcomes were achieved as a result of this national Summit. In late 2004, WWDA was invited to attend a national meeting of the State/Territory managers of the Breastscreen Australia and the National Cervical Cancer Screening Programs. The major areas of importance taken up by managers of both programs were in the intersection of Health, Gender and Disability and the need for a holistic approach to the health of women with disabilities; information accessibility; distribution of information, the need for training of all people who work with women with disabilities, and the need for evaluation of current programs and strategies directed to encourage participation by women with disabilities.

In March 2005, WWDA was invited to participate in the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing’s National Forum ‘Cervical Health, Future Directions – A Women’s Health Forum’ held in Canberra. The purpose of the Forum was to discuss the revised draft National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Guidelines for the management of well women with an abnormal pap smear result. WWDA’s delegates to the Forum raised concerns that the Guidelines did not tackle many of the issues and concerns which WWDA has raised over a number of years. These issues include for example: the lack of data around participation of women with disabilities in screening programs; incidence of cervical cancer amongst women with disabilities; and mortality from cervical cancer for women with disabilities. WWDA has continued to undertake advocacy work with the Commonwealth Department of Health & Ageing in relation to these matters, and is seeking more formalized opportunities to work collaboratively with the agency to develop targeted strategies.

Another spin-off from the HREOC National Summit saw WWDA invited to attend a National meeting organised by the Royal College of General Practitioners in conjunction with HREOC. The meeting was being conducted specifically to discuss ways of improving access to Australian general practice by people with disability and was a direct result of the HREOC National Summit and the issues raised by the disability sector. WWDA was represented at the Forum by our President Annie Parkinson, who was able to raise a number of issues of concern, including:

  • the importance of adjustable height beds for cervical screening;
  • the difficulties faced by women with disability seeking help on issues of fertility or conception because of assumptions that women with disability do not/should not bear children
  • the lack of access by blind and vision impaired people to the secondary public health and community information that is available to other health care consumers;
  • the need for free annual checkups for people with intellectual disabilities;
  • the problem with ‘diagnostic overshadowing’ where a doctor is unable to see beyond the client’s disability.

In December 2003, WWDA received a project funding grant from the Reichstein Foundation in Victoria. The purpose of this funding was to implement a project to Improve the Status of Women With Disabilities through Systemic Advocacy at a national level. The main objective of the Project was to develop a range of systems, activities and processes that:

  • provided informed and representative advice to government on women’s policy development and implementation relevant to the views and circumstances of women with disabilities;
  • represented the views of women with disabilities through consultation with the WWDA constituency and other groups and organisations relevant to women with disabilities’ concerns;
  • enabled specific policy analysis on individual areas of organisational expertise and concern; and
  • contributed to WWDA’s commitment to creating leadership opportunities for women with disabilities.

The final Report of the Project was completed in December 2004. The Report, entitled ‘Improving the Status of Women with Disabilities in Australia through Systemic Advocacy’ provides detailed information on the activities undertaken by WWDA for the grant period. It demonstrates WWDA’s ability to achieve a number of significant outcomes with a small amount of resources. It further demonstrates the unique capacity of WWDA to fulfill the role of providing effective systemic advocacy to address the myriad of issues facing women with disabilities in Australia.

WWDA has participated in a number of meetings during the year with politicians and representatives of FaCS to raise issues of concern to women with disabilities in Australia. Examples include:

  • Commonwealth Department of Family & Community Services (FaCS) National Secretariat Program (NSP) – Workshop on Secretariat Funding Contracts,
  • Commonwealth Department of Family & Community Services (FaCS) National Secretariat Program (NSP) – Annual Performance Review Meeting;
  • WWDA Delegation Meeting with Senator Kay Patterson & Senator Kevin Andrews – Welfare Reforms;
  • WWDA Delegation Meeting with Federal Politicians – Telstra (Transition to Full Private Ownership) Bill 2005;
  • WWDA Delegation Meeting with Senator Jan McLucas – Issues of Concern to Women With Disabilities.

2. Consultation, Representation and Networking

WWDA has performed its role as a two way conduit between the community and Government on social policy issues, as detailed in WWDA’s funding contract with the Commonwealth Department of Family & Community Services (FaCS). As the national representative organization for women with disabilities, WWDA has continued to work hard over the past year to consult with its members on a wide range of issues, including Government policy initiatives such as welfare and industrial relations reforms. WWDA has also undertaken extensive consultations with its constituents on employment issues in order to inform its submission to the Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission’s National Inquiry into Employment and Disability. WWDA’s consultative processes with members around the Federal Government’s Welfare to Work policies and planned industrial relations reforms have enabled WWDA to provide specific case studies to Government to highlight the current inequities women with disabilities face in relation to labour force participation. Consultations were also conducted with WWDA members on the role and effectiveness of the Commonwealth Disability Strategy (CDS) as part of the FaCS Review of the Commonwealth Disability Strategy.

During the past year, WWDA has been (and continues to be) represented on a number of national, State/Territory and local working parties, committees, advisory bodies, and other fora. WWDA has also been represented at a number of one off forums during the past year. Examples of WWDA representation for the year are included in Appendix 2.

WWDA has further developed and maintained links across a range of sectors, including the disability sector at international, national, State/Territory levels. WWDA’s major project for the year, the development of the WWDA Online Information and Referral Directory, provided the impetus for WWDA significantly enhancing its profile and developing links and networks with a wide range of organizations, groups and services at national, State/Territory and local levels. WWDA is represented on a large number of electronic mailing lists and discussion groups and routinely uses these lists to disseminate information.

WWDA has worked in close partnership this past year with the National Foundation of Australian Women (NFAW), Womenspeak, and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) on the effects of the Federal Government’s Welfare-to-Work policies and industrial relations reforms. This work has seen WWDA further develop and strengthen its alliances, particularly with national women’s organizations.

WWDA has continued to work with the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) on a wide range of issues affecting people with disabilities. WWDA is represented on the AFDO Board of Directors, and over the past year has worked with AFDO to establish and develop its operating infrastructure – including the development of the AFDO Strategic Plan; Membership categories and criteria and so on. WWDA has also provided delegates to represent AFDO on various forums including for example: the National People with Disability: Participation & Payments Forum; the Health Insurance Commission Consumer Communication Group; Health Insurance Commission Great Service Conference.

Over the past year, WWDA has sought out opportunities to establish and develop new collaborative relationships that will assist the organization to achieve improved outcomes for women with disabilities. WWDA has continued to expand its international networks and has built further on existing relationships at the international level. In mid 2005, the Global Fund for Women (an international grant-making foundation supporting women’s human rights organizations) Board of Directors appointed WWDA Executive Director Carolyn Frohmader to the Global Fund for Women Advisory Council. Since 1987, the Global Fund for Women has granted over $40 million (US) to more than 2,700 women’s groups in over 160 countries with guidance from the Global Fund for Women Advisory Council. Council members provide expertise in the areas of grantmaking, evaluation, fundraising, communications and organizational development. Advisors serve three year terms. Carolyn’s three year term on the Council commenced on June 1, 2005.

In November 2004, WWDA worked collaboratively with ConnecTV (the only broadcast TV production program for people with disabilities in the United States) and People With Disability Australia (PWDA) on an international video conferencing project, conducted to enable people with disabilities from around the world to share their knowledge, experience and ideas. The video conferences were taped and incorporated into a TV documentary. WWDA and PWDA hosted a real time link up with ConnecTV on International Day of People with Disability (December 3) 2004. The session, for women with disabilities, involved discussion around topics of interest, with a particular focus on Sexuality and disability.

In February 2005, WWDA was invited by Mobility International USA to contribute a story for inclusion into a new publication ‘Success Stories of Inclusive Development’. MIUSA works for empowerment, equal opportunities and human rights for women and girls with disabilities around the world. WWDA’s contribution focused on the development and role of WWDA (as an organization run by women with disabilities for women with disabilities), along with specific information about WWDA’s systemic advocacy work around the issue of sterilization.

In December 2004, WWDA was invited by the UN the Special Rapporteur on Disability, Sheikha Hissa Al Thani, to participate in the Global Survey on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The aim of the Global Survey was to shed light on the progress that countries have made in the adoption and implementation of the Standard Rules and to find out what form that implementation has taken and to what extent. The survey was intended to help the UN assess how far countries have come in the implementation of the Standard Rules at the levels of: Policies; Legislation; Programmes; Resources allocated; Involvement of organisations of people with disabilities. WWDA worked with the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) to co-ordinate a response to the Global Survey on behalf of national peak disability organizations. A copy of the Response to the UN Global Survey is available from the AFDO website. Go to: http://www.afdo.org.au/_docs/UN/Global_Survey_FINAL.html

WWDA has worked collaboratively with a wide range of organisations over the past year on issues of mutual interest and has had input to a range of research projects, reviews and enquiries. Just some examples include:

  • National Research Project into the Role of State/Territory Disability Advisory Councils;
  • Women With Disabilities and Mammography Screening Research Project (University of Sydney & BreastScreen NSW)
  • RMIT University Domestic Violence and Women with Disabilities Training Resources Project
  • Centrelink Community Sector Satisfaction Survey 2004
  • NOVA Public Policy & Pharmacy Guild of Australia Continence Management Research Project
  • OSW Window on Women Survey
  • Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria & Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) Private Lives Research Project
  • Australian Lawyers Alliance Database Research Project
  • Amnesty International National Plan of Action to address violence against women in all its forms

3. Community Information, Awareness Raising and Education

As the only national representative organisation for women with disabilities in Australia, WWDA has worked hard over the past year in its work to improve the lives and life chances of women with disabilities by: undertaking systemic advocacy; providing policy advice; undertaking research; and providing support, information and education.

During 2004-05 WWDA undertook a major project – the Development of an Accessible Information and Referral Directory for Women With Disabilities in Australia. In September 2004, WWDA received funding from the Commonwealth Office for Women (OFW), to conduct a project which would enhance WWDA’s capacity to better respond to meeting the needs and concerns of women with disabilities. The Project aimed to develop an accessible Information and Referral Portal to enable WWDA to provide effective information, advice and referral to women with disabilities, their associates and the broader community, in an efficient and effective manner.

The Project ‘Development of an Accessible Information and Referral Directory for Women With Disabilities in Australia’ was widely publicized by WWDA using a wide range of mechanisms. The response to the initial introductory information about the project demonstrated that there was widespread interest in the Project from a range of sectors. Feedback from those who responded to this introductory information indicated that the Project would address the information needs of a number of organizations and agencies, and not just those in the disability sector. As a result of information dissemination about the Project, WWDA received 79 responses from organizations contributing information to the Project.

The WWDA Information and Referral Directory was added to WWDA’s Website in June 2005. The Directory contains an extensive amount of information about services and organizations across a wide range of issue areas, with thousands of entries detailed under specific category headings. Just some examples of information found in the Directory include:

  • All disability and related organizations across Australia, including national organizations;
  • Every legal centre and service in Australia;
  • Organisatons Australia wide that provide individual advocacy services to people with disabilities;
  • Information on where to go to get aids and equipment;
  • Details of services that can help with assisted reproduction;
  • Agencies that deal with violence and abuse, including listings of crisis services, women’s shelters and more;
  • All women’s health centres, services and organizations around Australia.

The WWDA Information and Referral Directory was (and continues to be) enthusiastically received. WWDA received very positive and supportive feedback on the Directory, with many users commenting on the ease of access and navigation. The WWDA Information and Referral Directory is available from WWDA’s website. Go to: http://www.wwda.org.au/portmain.htm

During the period September 2004 – September 2005, WWDA presented papers at a number of national and State/Territory Conferences and Forums, covering a wide range of issues, including: gender and disability; women’s health; disability and ageing; violence against women with disabilities; telecommunications and much more.

In April 2005, WWDA presented two papers at the 5th Australian Women’s Health (AWHN) Conference in Victoria. Sue Salthouse presented a paper entitled ‘The Sick State of Health Services for Women with Disabilities’ which examined the many factors which are barriers to women with disabilities achieving a positive state of health and well being. It also canvassed a number of strategies for change, and focused on areas that WWDA believes warrant focused attention, and these include: research and data collection; inclusion and consultation; education and information; the use and scope of information technologies; and the articulation of services. Leanne Dowse also presented a paper on behalf of WWDA, entitled ‘Moving Forward or Losing Ground? The Sterilisation of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Australia’. This presentation was a version of the paper WWDA presented at the Disabled Peoples’ International World Summit, Canada in September 2004. The Paper outlined WWDA’s work in the area (including its national project on sterilisation and reproductive health of women and girls with disabilities), traces developments in Australia and discusses some of the critical issues in the consideration of sterilisation and reproductive rights as a human rights issue.

In November 2004, WWDA presented a paper at the VISION 20/20 Workshop, a national forum to consider future scenarios in telecommunications. The ACA Vision 2020 Project had been going for some time and disability consumers were very concerned that insufficient attention had been paid to the ramifications of developing future scenarios without consideration of the ‘connectivity’ of services and equipment. The WWDA presentation, written and delivered by Sue Salthouse, focused on the need for a strong regulatory framework which will ensure that all equipment and service providers have an obligation to cater for people with disabilities.

The ‘Home Truths’ Conference was held in Melbourne 15-17 September 2004. This National Conference aimed to discuss, debate and highlight practice and policy issues relating to sexual assault and domestic and family violence. WWDA was selected to present a paper at this Conference on Domestic Violence and Women with Disabilities. WWDA’s paper ‘Double the Odds’ – Domestic Violence and Women with Disabilities’ examined the reasons for the higher incidence of domestic violence experienced by women with disabilities. It looked at the extra barriers which prevent women with disabilities from leaving a situation of domestic violence – from a refuge with no ramp to the erosion of self esteem which is a legacy of living with disability. It questioned the attitude of women’s organisations which ignore the experiences of the sisterhood of women with disabilities.

In early 2005 Helen Meekosha (past WWDA President and current WWDA Human Rights rep) was awarded the Noted Scholar position at University of British Columbia (UBC) for 2005. As part of her role as visiting scholar, Helen presented two major events at the University. On June 22rd, she presented a public workshop on “Working with Women with Disabilities in the Community” and on June 23rd, she presented a public seminar entitled “A Feminist/Gendered critique of the Intersections of Race and Disability: The Australian Experience”. WWDA supported Helen in this work by providing a small amount of funds to assist with the cost of a carer. WWDA also provided a range of WWDA promotional material for distribution at both these presentations.

a picture of Helen Meekosha.

Helen Meekosha in Vancouver, Canada

In April 2005, WWDA was invited to facilitate the first afternoon of the Women in Adult and Vocational Education Inc (WAVE) 2005 National Forum. The national forum was conducted to consider: the relevance of VET to Australian women; the responsiveness of VET to Australian women; and whether life long learning principles apply to women who work in the VET sector.

a picture of Sue Salthouse representing WWDA at the WAVE National Forum

Sue Salthouse (seated) representing WWDA at the WAVE National Forum

In December 2004, WWDA was represented at the Australian Sociological Association (ATSA) Conference 2004 ‘Institutions: Change in the 21st Century’ by Helen Meekosha. Helen participated in the Health Day theme ‘Has de-institutionalisation worked?’ As the only disabled woman in attendance at the National Conference, Helen was able to initiate and participate in debates that aimed to raise awareness of sociologists to critical disability theory and feminist disability theory.

During the 2004-05 year, WWDA has continued to provide information to the community and raise awareness of the issues facing women with disabilities. WWDA has had several articles published during the past year, including for example:

  • Domestic Violence and Incest Resource Centre (DVIRC) Newsletter #4, 2004/5 – Summer Edition published ‘Real trouble in the Home – the Domestic Violence Reality for Women with Disabilities’ by Sue Salthouse (WWDA);
  • Consumers Health Forum Journal – published a version of Leanne’s Dowse paper ‘Moving Forward or Losing Ground? The Sterilisation of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Australia’;
  • Spinney Press Book “Disability Rights” – published chapter on ‘The Status of Women With Disabilities in Australia – A Snapshot’ by WWDA;
  • Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) ‘Activate’ newsletter – two WWDA articles published;

During the past year, WWDA has received media coverage on issues concerning women with disabilities (a listing of media coverage is included in Appendix 1). Examples include:

  • 3CR Community Radio Women on the Line – interview on Sterilisation of Women & Girls with Disabilities; aired nationally;
  • ABC Radio (PM), the World Today (Radio National) and Lateline (ABC TV) – interview on Welfare Reforms and Women With Disabilities;
  • Radio 1 RPH (Adelaide) – interview on Welfare reforms and Women With Disabilities
  • Canberra Times – article on Welfare Reforms and People With Disabilities;
  • Canberra Times – article on Welfare Reforms and Women With Disabilities;
  • Financial Review – article on Welfare Reforms and People With Disabilities;

The WWDA website continues to be extremely popular and successful. For the period November 2004 – September 2005, the WWDA website has received 106, 623 visits and 283740 hits. Usage statistics for the WWDA website show that users are accessing most of the WWDA website once they get to the site, and that users come from many different countries throughout the world. An analysis of the pages accessed also demonstrate that the WWDA Online Information & Referral Directory is a popular component of the WWDA website. The WWDA website has been updated and maintained during the past year. A major development with the website has obviously been the addition of the Information and Referral Directory, which has significantly enhanced the website. Up to date information about the organisation is provided on the WWDA website, including membership details and forms.

During the past year, WWDA has continued to produce its Monthly WWDA Update Bulletins which give an overview of WWDA’s activities and also provide information on other initiatives occurring within the sector. The WWDA Monthly Update Bulletins have been emailed to all WWDA members (who are on email); and hard copies posted to all members who are not on email. Update Bulletins are also distributed to every politician in Australia, and also to other relevant key stakeholders. The Update Bulletins are also made available on WWDA’s website. WWDA has regularly received positive feedback on the Update Bulletins.

4. Corporate Governance

As the only national representative organisation for women with disabilities in Australia, WWDA has continued its work to improve the lives and life chances of women with disabilities by: undertaking systemic advocacy; providing policy advice; undertaking research; and providing support, information and education. As a national peak body receiving operational funding from the Commonwealth Government, WWDA has contributed to Government policies affecting women with disabilities, carried information between the Government and the community on social policy issues, and represented constituents’ views.

During the past year, WWDA has continued to develop and improve its organisation policies and procedures, and undertake capacity building initiatives to reflect the growth and changing needs of the organisation. Inherent in this, has been the need for WWDA to endeavour to diversify its funding and resources. WWDA has written several funding submissions seeking project funding for capacity building initiatives. Examples include:

  • Submission to the Commonwealth Office for Women (OFW) Women’s Leadership and Development Programme (August 2005) – decision pending;
  • Submission to the Reichstein Foundation (Victoria) (April 2005) – unsuccessful;/li>
  • Submission to an Independent Philanthorpist, via the Reichstein Foundation (Victoria) (September 2005) – decision pending;/li>
  • Submission to the Tasmanian Government (October 2004) – unsuccessful;/li>

WWDA’s major project for the year – the Development of an Accessible Information and Referral Directory for Women With Disabilities in Australia – was a major step forward for the organization. In recent years, WWDA has witnessed a major increase in requests to the organization for individual advocacy, particularly from people in crisis. This explosion in the number of specific enquiries had stretched WWDA’s capacity to respond, particularly given the fact that WWDA is an organization with only 1.5 paid staff. However, WWDA considered it imperative that the organization respond because a significant number of the enquiries for assistance came from women in crisis from all over the country. WWDA acknowledged that as an organization, it needed capacity building resources to develop a quick, reliable way to access services (and information about services) Australia-wide. The significant increase in enquiries to WWDA was not altogether surprising, given WWDA’s high profile and reputation as an organization of excellence. However, as a still relatively young organization, WWDA recognized the need to further develop its infrastructure so as to best serve its members and its aims and objectives. WWDA had therefore identified an urgent need to develop internal information systems which would enable WWDA to provide information, advice and referral to women with disabilities, their associates and the broader community, in an efficient and effective manner.

The WWDA Information and Referral Directory has already proven a great success and has enabled WWDA staff to respond quickly to incoming requests for individual advocacy. It has helped to make WWDA a more efficient and responsive organization.

WWDA has continued to work to its Strategic Plan (2004-2009) during the past year. WWDA Policy Priority areas for 2004-2009 were developed following extensive consultation with WWDA members, associate organisations, and other stakeholders. The Policy priority areas reflect a range of issues of concern to women with disabilities and include: Violence (including unlawful sterilisation); Health (with a particular focus on cervical screening; breast screening;); Housing and Accommodation; Disability Support; Employment and Income Support; Information & Communication Technologies; and Education. Underpinning these priority areas is a focus on women with disabilities who are identified as at particular risk; including those women who face multiple or aggravated forms of discrimination as a result of race, ethnicity, sexuality, or other status.

WWDA has complied with all aspects and conditions of its funding contract with the Commonwealth Department of Family & Community Services (FaCS). It has also met its Constitutional requirements and requirements under the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Incorporations Act.


WWDA Management Committee 2004-2005

Annie Parkinson – WWDA President

a picture of Annie Parkinson, WWDA President.

Annie Parkinson, a long-standing member of WWDA, and WWDA’s Vice-President for 2003-04, has over 30 years experience in activism in the women’s movement, and the gay and lesbian rights movement. She was involved in the development of the ground-breaking publication ‘I Always Wanted to be a Tapdancer’, a book of stories of women with disabilities published in the late eighties. She has worked as a research assistant in the disability field, and in the 1990’s, co-founded an organisation called Access Plus, a group that addressed issues which particularly affected queers with disabilities. She has been actively involved in the establishment and management of several organisations, and has been a member of a number of management committees.


Samantha Jenkinson – Vice President

a picture of Samantha Jenkinson, WWDA Vice President.

Samantha has been involved in advocating and promoting her rights and the rights of other people with disabilities since the early 1990’s when she became involved with student politics at university. She was one of the participants at the first Pathways conference (bringing together tertiary students with disabilities from across Australia) and has continued to work with and for people with disabilities in her professional capacity as a Social Worker. Her working background in the disability sector includes work as a trainer, group facilitator, case manager and systemic advocate.


Sue Salthouse – Secretary

a picture of Sue Salthouse, WWDA Secretary

Sue Salthouse has worked in the area of social justice since 1996, playing an active role in advocating for women with disabilities. Sue runs her own Consultancy company which specializes in community consultation with people with disabilities, research and project implementation and management. Sue is the founder and coordinator of WWDA’s Telecommunications Working Party and she has also undertaken a number of research projects for WWDA covering a wide range of issues of concern to disabled women. Sue undertakes a wide range of representation activities for WWDA including representing WWDA on various Boards as well as presenting papers at Conferences and other forums. Sue also convenes the ACT Women With Disabilities Group.


Pamela Menere – Treasurer

a picture of Pamela Menere, WWDA Treasurer

Pamela lives in Corryong in North East Victoria and has been involved with WWDA for many years, having held positions of Secretary and Treasurer of the Management Committee. Pamela has been involved with several advocacy and disability related groups including the Victorian Women with Disabilities Network, Towong Shire Community Access Committee and the Hume Region DHS Disability Advisory Committee. She is also actively involved with numerous other community organisations in her local area. Pamela has worked in part time paid employment as an outreach employment counsellor with a disability employment agency.


Joyce Deering

a picture of Joyce Deering

Joyce has lived in the Northern Territory for more than 30 years, and currently lives in Darwin. She has been associated with WWDA for many years, and has been Vice President, Acting President and Treasurer. Joyce is involved in disability advocacy through many avenues, including being a Consumer Representative for WWDA on a number of Committees and Advisory bodies. Joyce is the co founder of Integrated Disability Action (IDA) Inc which is now recognized by the Northern Territory Government as the Peak Disability Organisation for the Northern Territory.


Lina Pane

a picture of Lina Pane

Lina has extensive experience in working as a social worker in the disability field and is well known as a feminist disabled writer and keynote speaker. Her professional career has included carer support; service development in the areas of women’s health programs, women’s employment services, mentoring and peer support programs, and life coaching. Lina has her own Consultancy company which specializes in community development work, social work, and research particularly in the disability field. Lina has particular interest and experience in stress management for women and the study of psychotherapy, mind mastery and relaxation techniques.


Kate List

a picture of Kate List

Kate has a keen interest in disability policy and is an enthusiastic campaigner for the rights of women with disabilities. Kate has worked as a Policy & Research Officer for WWDA and has also worked in disability policy with the Commonwealth Government. As a qualified scientist, Kate has also worked at the Australian Museum and taught at the Australian Defence Force. Kate has undertaken a number of representative roles on behalf of WWDA including being the WWDA rep on the Board of the Australian Disability Studies and Research Institute (DSARI).


Jill Fowler

a picture of Jill Fowler

Jill Fowler has extensive experience in the disability sector and is a passionate advocate for the rights of women with disabilities. Jill is a part of the successful Consultancy Firm, H C Harrison Consultants, which provides the general public, businesses and all levels of government with advice about how to provide equitable access within and around the built environment as well as staff development in the area of Disability Awareness. Jill has worked across the Disability, Recreation, Carer and Advocacy sectors for 15 years. She has had extensive involvement in both access and service delivery issues including: representation on many boards of management, committees and consultative groups.


Sheila King

a picture of Sheila King

Sheila King has a long history of advocacy for people with disabilities. She is the Secretary and founding member of Access For All Alliance, a volunteer community group established to ensure equitable and dignified access to all premises and facilities whether public or private, to all members of the community. In November 2003 Sheila received an Annual Peer Award from the Physical Disability Council of Australia for her efforts in addressing the issue of access to health professionals across Australia. This took the form of a study into the lack of adjustable height examination beds in doctor’s surgeries throughout Australia.


Margie Charlesworth (resigned 2005)

Margie has a keen interest in issues of mental health. She has been a volunteer systemic advocate since 1996 and has contributed to a number of community based disability organisations, including the Physical Disability Council of South Australia and Disability Action (SA). Margie has also held the position of Secretary for the WWDA Management Committee. Margie has undertaken a Bachelor of Social Science, at Adelaide University, majoring in Gender Studies and Politics. In 2005 Margie resigned from the WWDA Management Committee to go to Canada to complete her studies.


WWDA Staff

a picture of Carolyn Frohmader, WWDA Executive Director.

Carolyn Frohmader, WWDA Executive Director

a picture of Angela Court, WWDA Business Manager.

Angela Court, WWDA Business Manager


WWDA Operational Funding Audit Certificate

Steele, Burnett and Nelson
Chartered Accountants
A.B.N. 36 009 552 694

Federal Department of Family and Community Services
Audit Certificate

Program Funding Recipient: Women With Disabilities (Australia) Incorporated

Type of Funding: National Secretariat Program

Statement of Income and Expenditure for the period: 01/07/2004 to 30/06/05

I have audited the financial statements of the organisation for the period indicated and provided answers to the following questions. Where a “No” answer is given I am providing an accompanying note to the certificate.

I have read the Conditions of Program Funding under which payments have been made to the organisation by the Department of Family and Community Services for the audited period. YES

I am satisfied that all payments made to the organisation by the Department of Family and Community Services in, or for, the audited period were spent for the agreed purpose(s) or, if not yet fully spent, have been accounted for in the audited financial statements.YES

I am satisfied that the organisations observed all Condition of Program Funding relating to the organisations audited financial statements.YES

There were no other matters of a material nature that came to my attention, other than those noted in my audit report.YES

Name of Engagement Partner: Derek Steele
Name of Audit Firm: Steele Burnett & Nelson
Address: Po Box 28 Rosny Park TAS 7018
Telephone No: (03) 6244 5044
Fax No: (03) 62447319
Date: 14 October 2005


Appendices

Appendix One: Media Coverage

  • 3CR Community Radio Women on the Line – interview on Sterilisation of Women & Girls with Disabilities; aired nationally;
  • ABC Radio (PM) and Radio National – interview on Welfare Reforms and Women With Disabilities;
  • Canberra Times – article on Welfare Reforms and People With Disabilities;
  • Canberra Times – article on Welfare Reforms and Women With Disabilities;
  • Financial Review – article on Welfare Reforms and People With Disabilities;
  • ABC Radio World Today & Midday news – interview on Welfare Reforms and Women With Disabilities;
  • 1RPH Melbourne – interview on Welfare Reforms and Women With Disabilities;
  • Western Australia Perth Independent Newspaper – article on Welfare Reforms and People With Disabilities;

Appendix Two: WWDA Representation 2004-2005

  • Global Fund For Women (US) Advisory Board;
  • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) Board of Directors
  • Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Standards Project Steering Committee;
  • Disability Studies and Research Institute of Australia (DSARI) Board of Directors
  • Northern Territory Division of General Practice Management Committee
  • Family Court of Australia Family Violence Policy Reference Group;
  • Centrelink DisAbility Customer Service Reference Group;
  • Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) Disability Advisory Council
  • Telecommunications Disability Consumers Representation Project Advisory Body (TEDICORE)
  • Telstra Consumer Consultative Council Darwin
  • Attorney Generals’ Human Rights NGO’s Forum
  • Family Court of Australia Family Violence Policy Reference Group
  • Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) National Inquiry into Employment and Disability RoundTable;
  • Consumers Telecommunications Network (CTN) Forum “Consumer Protection Beyond the Universal Service Obligation: Reshaping Consumer Safeguards”
  • Telstra launch of its Big Button Phones
  • Australian Communications Authority (ACA) Forum on Consumer Driven Communications
  • NovitaTech Roadshow of phone/mobile/communication adaptations of standard equipment
  • Internet Users Society of Australia (ISOC) Conference on ‘Convergence’ issues
  • Briefing Meetings at Parliament House on 7-8 September 2005 with politicians on the implications for people with disabilities of the Transition to Full Private Ownership of Telstra
  • Australian Communications Industry Forum Disability Advisory Board (ACIFDAB) Workshop ‘Information Accessibility Code’
  • Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) Forum ‘Single Consumer Code’
  • Australian Communications Authority (ACA) & Telecommunications Disability Consumers Representation Project Advisory Body (TEDICORE) National Vision 20/20 Forum
  • National Disability and Participation Alliance – 2005/06 Budget
  • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) National Forum – Reform of the Disability Support Pension and Employment Assistance Programs for people with disability
  • Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing National Forum ‘Cervical Health, Future Directions – A Women’s Health Forum’
  • Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing Women’s Futures: Beyond 2005 – Women’s Health Strategy Focus Group
  • Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Forum
  • ACOSS Advocacy for Action Day
  • National ‘What Women Want’ Forum
  • ACOSS Annual Conference 2004 – ‘From the Margins to the Centre’
  • Health Insurance Commission Consumer Communication Group
  • Health Insurance Commission Great Service Conference
  • RMIT University Domestic Violence and Women with Disabilities Training Resources Project
  • FaCS Sub-Scheme Committee – developing the Disability Employment Standards Quality Assurance Auditor/Technical Expert Certification Scheme
  • Commonwealth Department of Family & Community Services (FaCS) National Secretariat Program (NSP) – Workshop on Secretariat Funding Contracts,
  • Commonwealth Department of Family & Community Services (FaCS) National Secretariat Program (NSP) – Annual Performance Review Meeting;
  • WWDA Delegation Meeting with Senator Kay Patterson & Senator Kevin Andrews – Welfare Reforms;
  • WWDA Delegation Meeting with Federal Politicians – Telstra (Transition to Full Private Ownership) Bill 2005;
  • WWDA Delegation Meeting with Senator Jan McLucas – Issues of Concern to Women With Disabilities

Appendix Three: Feedback

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) regularly receives feedback on its performance. Included below are some examples of the type of feedback WWDA has received from its constituents over the past year.

Dear Carolyn
I have just finished reading your submission to the Women’s Safety Strategy for South Australia. Thank You, it was THE BEST submission of this kind, I have ever seen, you missed nothing. I value your work.
Annette A
25/10/2004

We love your site and try to carry as many articles as possible by and concerning women with disabilities.
Cheers,
Barbara Duncan
Editor
www.disabilityworld.org
22 September 2004

Dear WWDA
Just a short note to express my appreciation of all that you have done on this web site. As a woman living with disability in Kenya, Africa, I am amazed at the similarities that face women with disability in the two countries dispite all that separates us. I was especially informed by the article on the status of WWD in Australia. I can relate to all the lines of comparative analysis that is mentioned in the article. This is just to thank you and urge you to keep it up. We, in the less developed countries are encouraged by your work.
Thank you.
Salome Muigai
14 November 2004

Dear WWDA,
I have just finally had the time to actually read thru this bulletin you sent! Just wanted say I think you are amazing and doing so many FANTASTIC things that I am in awe of you energy and commitment!!! It is such important work, it’s great you are still doing it!!!
Take care,
Tashe
16 February 2005

Dear Ms. Frohmader,
National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda (NUWODU) appreciates the opportunity to network with you and to access information about women with disabilities in Australia. This information is vital to NUWODU and there is no doubt that it will uplift the standard of living of women with disabilities in Uganda. Your Web-site is such an inspiration to NUWODU, as we have found it a one-stop site for information resources covering all aspects of women disability. Realizing that learning from another country is a rich resource, this networking is very crucial to women with disabilities of Uganda. Once again, we are so grateful for the support and collaboration extended to us and look forward to continue those relationships as we meet challenges that lie ahead.
Best wishes,
Asamo Hellen Grace
Chairperson
16th November 2004

Dear Angela,
This is splendid report. WWDA obviously has been working with a wonderful network of women and has great skills in its own organisation. Congratulations. Keep up the good work! Would WWDA be happy for me to forward this report to the women’s list at ausfem-polnet@postoffice.utas.edu.au? I think that all this wonderful work should be well known among women!
Cheers,
Barbara McGarity
7 September 2005

To WWDA,
RE: WWDA Submission to the National Inquiry into Employment and Disability Congratulations WWDA on an excellent submission.
Pauline Smit
on behalf of the National Executive of Women’s Action Alliance
5 May 2005

To: WWDA re Submission to the National Inquiry into Employment and Disability
Just to say I think this is an excellent submission. It puts into context some of the statements in our own less formal submission, including quotes from 3 women on our council’s Disability Working Party. As usual, it provides some good quotes we can use in our local advocacy and awareness-raising activities. (For example, the WWDA website was quoted by our Mayor in her welcome speech to our International Womnens Day lunch event this year. It had a theme of “women and disability” and attracted about 250 guests from our diverse community, with Fiona Smith of EOCV the main speaker.) It just occured to me to mention this to you, so you know your work is appreciated and actually quoted more than you might be aware.
Regards
Liz
3 May 2005

Dear Ms Frohmader
I refer to your email of 3rd December 2004 attaching the Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) Update Report for November 2004. The Minister for Women, the Hon Desley Boyle MP, has noted your report and has commended the work of WWDA. Your dedication to improving outcomes for women with disabilities is evident in the manner that you represented your community, raised issues of concern and provided practical solutions to overcome these barriers. Thank you for bringing this information to our attention and the Minister wishes you well with your future advocacy work in this important field.

Dear Carolyn
I have read with interest your emails on Pamela’s list, and congratulate your organisation on the initiatives you are bringing to the attention of the Minister regarding policy affecting women with disabilities.
Sue Conde
President
Australian Women’s Coalition
23 September 2005