In This Edition

  • WWDA Quarterly Progress Report Released
  • WWDA AGM Thursday
  • Revised and Updated: Preventing Violence against Women and Girls with Disabilities
  • NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework Report Released
  • White Flower Memorial
  • New Mental Health App For Teen Girls
  • El Gibbs on the Politics and the National Disability Strategy
  • Destroy the Joint: Silencing Disabled Women’s Voices?


General News

WWDA Quarterly Progress Report Released

WWDA has just released our Quarterly Progress Report which provides an overview of the key work programs and activities of WWDA for the period 1st July to 30th September 2015. It reflects and reports against WWDA’s seven key objectives, and strategies to achieve these objectives, as identified in the WWDA Activity Workplan 2015-2016.

For further information:

•    Download a copy of the WWDA Quarterly Progress Report (PDF)
•    Download a copy of the WWDA Quarterly Progress Report (DOC)
•    Visit

WWDA Annual General Meeting 26th November 2015

WWDA will hold its Annual General Meeting tomorrow, Thursday 26th November 2015 by teleconference at 3:30PM Australian Eastern Standard Time. For further information, please contact Carolyn Frohmader at

Revised and Updated: Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls with Disabilities: Integrating A Human Rights Perspective

WWDA has released a think-piece commissioned by Our Watch on preventing violence against women and girls with disabilities from a human rights perspective. The paper has been substantially rewritten and updated. Its release coincides with the release of the National Framework to Prevent Violence Against Women.

Originally written by Carolyn Frohmader, Associate Professor Leanne Dowse and Dr Aminath Didi, and revised by Carolyn Frohmader, the paper argues that without a grounding in a comprehensive human rights framework, current approaches to violence prevention run the risk of reinscribing the marginalisation of gendered disability violence, resulting in the inadvertent perpetuation of the systemic violence and abuse experienced by women with disabilities in a wide range of settings. The paper was previously published in January 2015.

For further information:

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework Consultation Report Released

The Australian Government Department of Social Services has released their first consultation report on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguarding Framework. It is now available for download in PDF and audio formats from the DSS engage website.

In early 2015 the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released a consultation paper regarding the development of a quality and safeguards framework for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The purpose of the framework is to ensure that recipients of NDIS supports can make decisions about their supports while also enabling them to live free from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The aim of the framework is to promote innovation, continuous improvement and best practice in the provision of supports.

WWDA collaborated with People With Disability Australia (PWDA) on a submission to this consultation in May 2015. The joint submission addressed key overarching issues concerning the development of a comprehensive and rigorous NDIS Quality and Safeguarding framework that protects the rights and interests of all people with disability. In particular, WWDA and PWDA argued that the framework must be grounded in, and consistently apply, a human rights framework, informed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability and related human rights instruments. WWDA and PWDA made ten recommendations.

The newly released consultation report presents the findings from the consultation process, which included 16 public meetings in capital cities and regional locations in each state and territory, 7 provider meetings in locations around Australia, 6 workshops with specific stakeholder groups, 220 submissions, 585 questionnaire responses and an online discussion forum. An excerpt of the report is provided below:

“Overall, there was a high-level of agreement among stakeholders about the quality and safeguarding measures that should be adopted for the NDIS. While stakeholders emphasised the need to focus on developmental safeguards, they also generally suggested a need for high-level regulation.”

The design of the new NDIS quality and safeguarding system will be considered by the relevant Government Ministers in early 2016.

For further information:

Australian Cross Disability Alliance

White Flower Memorial: Remembering People with Disability Who Have Died as a Result of Violence, Abuse or Neglect

Today, Wednesday 25 November 2015, the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) is acknowledging International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by supporting a White Flower Memorial to remember people with disability who have died as a result of violence, abuse or neglect.

The Memorial specifically recognises that women with disability experience higher levels of all forms of violence than the general population.

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) has been coordinating the month-long White Flower social media campaign which culminates in a procession and memorial service in Sydney on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The White Flower Memorial event remembers women, men and children with disability who have died as a result of violence, abuse and neglect.

The White Flower Memorial is an initiative of disability rights activists, including Board members of PWDA. Suzy Keene, Director PWDA said:

“We will collectively shine a spotlight on murder, violence, neglect and other practices which devalue the lives of us all. We assert the right to life and dignity of the person and the right to live free from violence and abuse under Articles 10 and 16 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

The White Flower Procession and Memorial Service will take place on November 25 2015. A procession will leave Circular Quay (Sydney) at 4:30 pm and proceed to the Memorial service at Macquarie Place Park, which begins at 5 pm.

For further information:

Get the Latest from the Australian Cross Disability Alliance Online

WWDA is a founding member of the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA). ACDA has an online presence at and are also on Twitter.

WWDA Youth Network

New Mental Health App For Teen Girls: ‘Wake Up Rosie’

Rosie Respect recently launched an app for teenage girls called ‘Wake Up Rosie’. Wake Up Rosie is a free alarm clock app aimed at teenage girls, which harnesses art and music to fight mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Every morning Wake Up Rosie sends the user a happy image (donated by independent designers and artists) helping them to start their day in the best possible frame of mind, and also features a selection of sweet tunes as alarm sounds, donated by local musicians.

Wake Up Rosie provides a great opportunity for dialogue around how mental issues are affecting young Australians, as well as giving individuals free access to a small daily intervention that promotes self-care.

Cashelle Dunn

For further information:

As always, get the latest from WWDA Youth Network on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and the website!


Australian News

El Gibbs: High Time for Political Will and Progress on the National Disability Strategy

Recently appointed WWDA Management Committee member, El Gibbs, has written a piece for independent social journalism and health news website, Croakey, as part of El’s crowdfunded #CripCroakey project.

The project aims to “look at disability issues from a range of angles” in the context of a changing disability policy space, including the rollout of the National Disability Scheme (NDIS). The #CripCroakey project will include five articles written by El Gibbs on the topic of disability and health.

“The lack of progress on the National Disability Strategy is more than disappointing; it means that people with disabilities will continue to be shut out of wider society. Mainstream services will continue to be inaccessible and the hopes invested in the Strategy could be dashed.”

In the first article of the series, El argues that progress toward implementing the National Disability Strategy (NDS) has stalled due to changing political priorities. The NDS is a key policy instrument which underpins the NDIS and related disability policy initiatives at both state and federal levels in Australia. For it to be successful, El argues that the NDS must be strategically and meaningfully implemented at all levels and not only limited to specific disability policy outcomes.

“…it is important for the NDS to grow and evolve beyond these kinds of specific policy outcomes and become integrated in all levels of government policy. A commitment to improving the health outcomes for people with disabilities shouldn’t be brought unstuck by a change of government or political whims.”

For further information:

Destroy the Joint: The Silencing of Disabled Voices and Experiences Does Not Further the Feminist Cause

The ongoing politics of representation of women with disabilities and their experiences within broader feminist debates came to a head on the Destroy the Joint Facebook page this week. Destroy the Joint is a high profile Facebook page and campaign that aims to address contemporary sexism and the incidence of women killed by violence in Australia each year.

According to researcher Katie Ellis, writing for academic news source, The Conversation, this week the group “blocked and banned a number of high-profile Australian disability activists” who raised the question of whether Destroy the Joint includes deaths of women with disabilities killed by violence in their ‘Counting Dead Women’ statistics.

The group later issued an apology, which is copied below:

“Dear Destroyers, let us begin with a belated and unreserved apology about the way we have handled the comment moderation in this instance [the #beingawoman incident]. We acknowledge we can always be more inclusive.

We are constantly discussing ways we can achieve this and no woman living with disability should be excluded from this page. Anyone who has been banned as a result of this will be unbanned. Please email so we can be thorough about this.

It has always been our mission to include everyone and Counting Dead Women includes all women who have been killed as a result of gendered violence.”

For further information:

It’s a date! International Day of People with Disability, 3rd December 2015

 December 3rd 2015 will mark the 22nd International Day of People with Disability celebrated in Australia. IDPWD recognises the diverse contributions of people with disability around the world and their allies. If you are coordinating an event to mark the day you can register your event and check out other events around the country on the IDPWD website.

For further information:


If you have a news item, story, or other contribution you think could be included in the next WWDA News bulletin, contact