In This Edition

  • WWDA welcomes new Management Committee members
  • WWDA urges government to include women with disabilities in recently announced violence funding package
  • Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) end the violence campaign
  • ACDA website launching soon
  • WWDA Youth Network represented at United Nations in New York

General News

New WWDA Management Committee Members

WWDA Welcomes New Management Committee Members

WWDA is proud to announce that we have four new Management Committee members: Jen Hargrave, Margherita Coppolino, El Gibbs and Bonnie Millen. These women join our existing management committee team of Rayna Lamb (President), Cashelle Dunn (Vice-President), Pamela Menere (Treasurer), Karen Swift (Member) and Iva Strnadova (Member).

As an organisation run by and for women with disabilities, it is vital that at the highest level of our organisational structure we have a range of women who are passionate about working for change to improve the experiences of all women with disability in Australia and Internationally.

Each of these women come with years of wisdom and lived experience in the disability and women’s sectors. WWDA has no doubt that we will grow ever stronger and wiser with the welcome addition of these amazing women at the helm.

Please join us in welcoming Jen, Margherita, El and Bonnie. You can read more about them on the WWDA Website.

[Image] New Management Committee members: Bonnie Millen (top-left), El Gibbs (top-right), Margherita Coppolino (bottom-left), Jen Hargrave (bottom-right).

WWDA Urges Australian Government to Include Women With Disabilities in Recently Announced Violence Funding Package

The Australian Government recently announced a $100 million package of measures to provide an increased safety-net for women and children at high risk of experiencing violence. The package aims to improve frontline support and services, leverage innovative technologies to keep women safe, and provide education resources to help change community attitudes to violence and abuse.

WWDA welcomed the announcement of the funding package from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Women Senator Michaelia Cash and will continue to advocate at a national and international level to ensure that the scourge of violence against women remains on national and global agendas.

WWDA believes that ALL women and children in Australia have the right to feel safe and live without fear of violence, in all its forms.

In an interview with Will Gooding on 5AA radio Adelaide last week, WWDA Executive Director Carolyn Frohmader highlighted the need for a universal response to violence against women that is applicable to ALL women’s experiences, but which also incorporates direct and targeted measures that address the specific needs and experiences of diverse populations of women. She said:

Women with disability, Aboriginal women, and women from non-English speaking backgrounds are cohorts of women where violence is particularly epidemic, but who are not well served by existing service responses.

There are a large number of women with disability who live, for example, in institutional settings, such as group homes, respite care facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, prisons – these environments are their ‘domestic’ setting. Regrettably, in Australia our domestic violence legislation does not cover women with disability in these institutional settings, because the violence that occurs within those environments is not considered ‘domestic’ violence.

Whilst we are heartened by the measures announced today, one thing that we will continue to advocate for is dedicated and targeted resources for women with disability, Aboriginal women and women from non-English speaking backgrounds.

We agree that training of front line workers is very important, however, we argue that, in the case of women with disability, there must also be resources directed to empowering and building the capacity of women with disability themselves – so that they are able to understand and recognise what constitutes violence; learn about realising their human rights; and seek a pathway to safety from the many forms of violence they experience – including domestic violence.

For more information:

Australian Cross Disability Alliance Logo

Australian Cross Disability Alliance News

Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) End The Violence campaign

The Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) have been running a Facebook and Twitter campaign aligned with the extensive ACDA submission to the 2015 Australian Government Senate Inquiry into Violence, Abuse and Neglect against People with Disability in Institutional and Residential Settings.

Infographics and associated case vignettes were released daily on Twitter and Facebook throughout the Senate Inquiry consultation period. You may have noticed these appearing on the WWDA Facebook feed. Each infographic included the #EndTheViolence hashtag and included a call to action for readers to urge their local MP or Senator to call for:

  1. A Royal Commission into violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in Australia.
  2. An overhaul of the criminal justice system
  3. The establishment of an independent national statutory watchdog to protect, investigate and enforce findings regarding violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability.

The purpose of the End The Violence campaign is to draw attention to the range and forms of violence that people with disability continue to experience in Australia, drawing on case studies included in the Senate Inquiry submission. The campaign aimed to encourage individuals to contact their political representatives and provided an easy means to do so.

The full set of infographics will be available on the ACDA website once it is launched. In the meantime, check out ACDA on Twitter.

For more information:

Disability Alliance Website Launching Soon

Work has been coming along on developing a basic website for the Australian Cross Disability Alliance, of which WWDA is a member. The Alliance is made up of WWDA, People with Disability Australia (PWDA), National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) and, First People’s Disability Network (NEDA).

The ACDA website will serve as a central resource for the work of the Alliance, including policy, submissions, systemic advocacy and details of our advisory work. We will let you know once the website is launched. In the meantime, you can follow ACDA on Twitter.

WWDA Youth Network Logo

WWDA Youth Network News

WWDA Youth Network Represented at United Nations for Day of the Girl Summit

WWDA Youth Network Manager, Cashelle Dunn, is currently representing the WWDA Youth Network at the Day of the Girl Summit 2015, being held at the United Nations in New York.

The Day of the Girl Summit brings girls and girl-serving organisations together to celebrate the International Day of the Girl. The Summit has become a movement; a year-long, action-oriented virtual platform for change makers to leverage community resources in support the advancement of girls’ human rights.

October 1st marked the first day of the 11 days of action leading up the International Day of the Girl. Cashelle is very excited to attend, to hear from girls from all around the world, and promote the issues and priorities of WWDA Youth! She will keep everyone updated on what’s going on through @WWDA_Youth social media.

For more information, go to: