In This Edition

  • NDIS ILC Co-Design Online Forum Report Now Available
  • WWDA AGM 26th November 2015
  • WWDA Speaks to The Guardian about Forced Sterilisation in Australia
  • WWDA Attends SDG Gender Equality Conference
  • UN Has Serious Concerns About Human Rights Violations Against Australians with Disability
  • Young Australians with Disability: Successful Contributors to Global Youth Disability Initiative
  • International Day of People with Disability, 3rd December 2015
  • PWDA Recruiting for Two Positions

 General News

WWDA collaborates with NDIS Grassroots Discussion Group and WA NIDS My Way Peer Support Group to Host ILC Forum

On 1st November 2015 WWDA, along with a number of volunteers, facilitated an online forum to provide an opportunity for members to contribute to the National Disability Insurance Agency’s NDIS Information Linkages and Capacity Building framework (ILC) co-design process.

The forum was a collaboration with the NDIS Grassroots Discussion Group and the WA NDIS/My Way Peer Support Group. Despite having a short time-frame in which to organise the forum, it was a great success with 98 participants engaging in the discussion. Participants included representation from all the Australian States and Territories and from many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

NDIS Grassroots Discussion is an online Facebook group which was created in June, 2012 in response to an identified need for a place for people with disability, the families and the service sector to enter into discussions about the scheme as it was developed, trialled and rolled out.

WA NDIS/My Way Peer Support Group is an online discussion group and has welcomed almost 600 members since its inception in July, 2015.

The ILC component of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), formerly known as Tier 2, is the part of NDIS that is designed to provide information, linkages and referrals to to connect people with disability, and their families and carers if appropriate, to disability-specific, mainstream and community supports. The ILC provides capacity building supports for people with disability are are not directly tied to an individual through an individually funded NDIS package.

WWDA has previously made submissions to the ILC design and implementation process. You can access the most recent submission from the WWDA website or download ILC Submission in PDF and ILC Submission in DOC formats directly.

A report on the outcomes of this most recent forum is also available for download. The report includes all responses from participants in unedited form.

For further information:

WWDA Annual General Meeting 26th November 2015

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

WWDA Speaks to The Guardian about Forced Sterilisation in Australia

WWDA Executive Director, Carolyn Frohmader was recently interviewed by Bridie Jabour from the Guardian Australia during the United Nations Australia Universal Periodic Review. An excerpt of the article is provided below.

The United Nations has raised concerns Australia is breaching the human rights of women with disabilities by allowing their forced sterilisation. Australia’s human rights record is being assessed by the UN human rights council before the universal periodic review and the sterilisation of women with disabilities was raised in its session in Geneva. The treatment of asylum seekers and Indigenous people was also raised as well as discrimination in Australia of people with disabilities.

Carolyn Frohmader, CEO of Women with Disabilities Australia, said Australia does not have any laws in place to prohibit the forced sterilisation of women with disabilities, or children, and it falls under the UN definition of torture. WWDA believes no child should be sterilised at all as they cannot give proper consent because of their status as minors.

We’ve got a long way to go. At the end of the day is not about how it’s done, how it’s regulated, it’s about the fact it’s an egregious human rights violation and it is recognised as a form of torture, there is no excuse for torture so there is no argument [for the forced sterilisation of women with disabilities]

For further information:

WWDA Attends Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Gender Equality Conference

WWDA Youth Network Manager Cashelle Dunn and Management Committee member Bonnie Millen represented Women with Disabilities at ‘The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Gender Equality – Turning Targets into Actions’ conference in Canberra on 28th October 2015, hosted by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Australian Council for International Development and the Australian Government Office for Women.

The purpose of the workshop was to explore what the SDGs mean for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment and how Australian Governments and civil society can work individually and collectively to support their implementation and achievement.

Image: Cashelle Dunn (left) and Bonnie Millen (right) attend SDG Gender Equality conference.

Image of Cashelle Dunn and Bonnie Millen in front of Office for Women banner

 Australian Cross Disability Alliance News

United Nations Express Serious Concerns About Human Rights Violations Against Australians with Disability

The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) has raised serious concerns about human rights violations against Australians with disability during its review of Australia’s human rights record in Geneva.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) allowed member States of the HRC to assess how Australia is tracking against its human rights obligations.

The UPR provides a platform for Australian NGOs to update the international community on the human rights situation in Australia. The UPR Disability Coordination Group has been working as part of the 200 strong UPR NGO Coalition to raise priority human rights issues for people with disability, including forced sterilisation, indefinite detention, involuntary treatment, restrictive practices, legal capacity and violence in institutions.

The review report will be handed down on Thursday 12 November and the Australian Government will then have an opportunity to respond.

For further information: 

Keep Up-to-Date with 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.

On the website you will also find links to access and download ACDA submissions, publications and reports, media releases, and details of our campaigns. The website also connects with the ACDA Twitter feed and includes a latest news blog.

For further information:

 WWDA Youth Network News

Young Australians with Disability: Successful Contributors to Global Youth Disability Initiative

On Friday 6th November WWDA Youth Network along with the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) and the Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) hosted a forum on promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people with disability on behalf of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

The forum elicited the views of young people with disabilities on the branding and aims of the ‘Youth and Disability Policies of Social Inclusion, Gender Equality, Non-Discrimination and Prevention of Sexual Violence Initiative 2015-2018’. A report and video from the forum will be provided to the Australian Government and to the UNFPA to be incorporated into findings from similar forums being held around the world.

The forum was held in Melbourne with a diverse group of 12 young people who had been selected from across Australia. The forum was co-facilitated by Cashelle Dunn (WWDA Youth Network), Matthew Bowden (PWDA) and George Taleporos (YDAS). Carolyn Frohmader (WWDA) and Chris Brophy (WWDA) coordinated the event. A full report on the forum and additional photos are forthcoming.

Below: Photograph of youth forum participants and facilitators. Photography by Margherita Coppolino

Photograph of youth forum participants and facilitators.


Back from left:
Matthew Bowden (PWDA), Kalena Spurling, Bonnie Millen, Cashelle Dunn (WWDA), Charlotte McSpedden, Brendan Pearce, Ryan Pollitt, Jade Pollitt, Chris Brophy (WWDA).

Front from left:
George Taleporos (YDAS), Carolyn Frohmader (WWDA), Jonathan Shar, Amy Deguara.

Australian News

People With Disability Australia (PWDA) Currently Recruiting

Our friends and Australian Cross Disability Alliance partners, People with Disability Australia (PWDA), are currently recruiting for two positions based at their Sydney offices. Positions include a ‘Communications and Membership Development Manager’ and ‘Advocacy Projects Manager: Social Justice’. Applications close 5pm 20th November 2015.

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, reply to this email or contact