Tuesday 1st March 2016

In This Edition:

  • Submission to CRPD Committee 14th Session on Rights of Persons with Disability to Live Independently and be Included in the Community
  • WWDA Annual Report 2014/15 is now available
  • ACDA Youth with Disability National Forum Report Now Available
  • ACDA Attends Roundtable on the Cross-Examination of Victims of Family Violence in the Family Law Courts – Canberra
  • Australian Cross Disability Alliance welcomes appointment of new Assistant Minister for Disability Services
  • ‘Exclusion and Embrace: Disability, Justice and Spirituality Conference’
  • Call for Research Participants
  • Global Disability Watch Online Platform Launches
  • WWDA Youth Network

General News

Submission to CRPD Committee 14th Session on Rights of Persons with Disability to Live Independently and be Included in the Community

In February 2016 the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) made a submission to the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) Committee 14th Session ‘Day of General Discussion (DGD) on the right of persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community’.

Written by Carolyn Frohmader (Executive Director, WWDA) with input from Alliance members, the submission focused on the recent national Senate Inquiry conducted in Australia into ‘Violence, Abuse and Neglect against People with Disability in Institutional and Residential Settings’ – including the gender and age related dimensions, and the particular situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability. The incarceration of people with disability in institutional and residential settings – where they are exposed to and experience multiple forms of violence – violates a myriad of human rights, including the right of persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community (CRPD Article 19). The recent Australian Senate Inquiry and its findings, offered a relevant and timely contribution to the CRPD Committee’s work on Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The submission included brief discussion on:

  • The context of people with disability and human rights in Australia;
  • Violence against People with Disability in Institutional and Residential Settings;
  • Intersectionality and gendered disability violence;
  • The Senate Inquiry into Violence against People with Disability in Institutional and Residential Settings;
  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS);
  • Right to Housing.

For further information:

WWDA Annual Report 2014/15 is now available

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) is pleased to present you with our 2014-2015 Annual Report on Key International and National Projects, Activities and Achievements.

Our Annual Report provides a summary of just some of WWDA’s key projects and activities at the international and national level for the financial year reporting period 1st July 2014 – 30th June 2015.

The Report demonstrates the breadth, scope and high standard of WWDA’s work, on a wide rage of initiatives and programs, across all portfolio areas and across jurisdictions. Our Annual Report clearly demonstrates and reflects WWDA’s commitment to promoting and advancing the rights and freedoms of women and girls with disabilities – both within Australia and around the world. Our Annual Report also reflects the human rights based approach from which we operate.

It is outside the scope of this Report to do justice to all the work that WWDA undertook during the reporting period July 2014 – June 2015. However, in compiling this report, we have endeavored to give our members, supporters and funders a synopsis of just some of the key activities our organisation has undertaken, and has been engaged in, as part of our efforts to promote the rights of all women and girls with disabilities.

Further detail of WWDA’s work can be found on our extensive website at www.wwda.org.au

Our annual report is available for download from our website in Microsoft Word and PDF formats:


Australian Cross Disability Alliance

Australian Cross Disability Alliance Welcomes Appointment of New Assistant Minister for Disability Services

This month WWDA and the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) welcomed the announcement of the new Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Jane Prentice MP.

The Alliance is pleased to see this renewed focus on disability from the Turnbull Government, with the first Minister with the Disability portfolio since 2013.

The ACDA was the successful tenderer last year for the Australian Government’s preferred model of representation of people with disability in Australia, with each member body being led by people with disability.

“The Alliance today has written to congratulate the new Assistant Minister, and we look forward to meeting with her to discuss a range of disability issues,” said Rayna Lamb, President of Women With Disabilities Australia.

“One in five Australians have disability and the Australian Government has a range of responsibilities in the disability area including the overarching National Disability Strategy, income support, employment, discrimination law and important initiatives in education,” said Craig Wallace, President of People with Disability Australia.

“While we await detail on how responsibilities for different disability reform areas fall out under the new arrangements, I hope that we can also work with the new Minister to progress the National Disability Strategy, overdue reforms to employment services and work to remove violence, abuse and discrimination,” said Gayle Rankine, Chairperson of the First Peoples Disability Network.

“The Alliance will work closely with Assistant Minister Prentice to bring the voices of our members, people with disability, to the Government,” said Suresh Rajan of the National Ethnic Disability Alliance.

For further information:

ACDA Youth with Disability National Forum Report Now Available

In November 2015, the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) in collaboration with the Women with Disabilities Australia Youth Network (WWDAYouth), and the Victorian Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS), hosted a national forum of young people with disability on the theme of sexual and reproductive rights. The Youth with Disability National Forum was held as part of an exciting and innovative global project being established by the United Nations, to improve the human rights of young people with disability worldwide – particularly their sexual and reproductive rights and their right to freedom from violence.

The global project is being coordinated and implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with support from Family Care International (FCI), and has been funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). It is currently in the establishment phase and the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) has been working with the UNFPA and FCI to provide expert advice and assistance to set up and implement the Project, which is expected to run for four years.

A report on the Youth with Disability National Forum held in Melbourne on 6 November 2015 is now available for download. It includes:

  1. Background to the UNFPA Global Project, including ACDA’s involvement and role;
  2. Information about the organisations hosting the Forum, as well as information about UNFPA, FCI and AECID;
  3. Context for the global project;
  4. Detailed proceedings;
  5. Supporting appendices.

For further information:

ACDA Attends Roundtable on the Cross-Examination of Victims of Family Violence in the Family Law Courts – Canberra

The Australian Cross Disability Alliance attended an Australian Government national roundtable on the cross-examination of victims of family violence in the family law courts on 29th February 2016. Reducing violence against women and their children is a national priority of the Australian Governments. The purpose of the roundtable was to bring together key stakeholders to discuss this issue and to share potential solutions that may be put to government for consideration.

The roundtable was attended by a range of government representatives, members of the judiciary, academics, and representatives of peak body organisations which provide legal and other support to women and the broader community. The roundtable was designed to be a collaborative process, reflecting the efforts to address issues that involve a number of stakeholders.


Keep Up-to-Date with the Australian Cross Disability Alliance

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


Australian News

‘Exclusion and Embrace: Disability, Justice and Spirituality Conference’

Convened by Andy Calder, the 2016 Exclusion and Embrace: Disability, Justice and Spirituality Conference has the support of a range of organisations including the Jewish Christian Muslim Association and the Faith Communities Council of Victoria. The Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania is providing the Conference Secretariat. A range of themes will be presented and explored including ethics, care, inclusion in faith communities, friendship, discrimination, love, justice, liberation.

“In Australia an increasing number of people are actively exploring the intersection of disability and spirituality. An excellent Conference program will present perspectives across the faith spectrum, with opportunities for dialogue and formation of new networks. It will have appeal to people who live with disability, families and carers, academics and practitioners (volunteers and staff).

A feature of the conference will be a tribute to the late Rev Dr Christopher Newell AM. Christopher was a visionary social activist and disability advocate widely published across fields including ethics, telecommunications, pastoral care and spirituality”

Exclusion and Embrace: Disability, Justice and Spirituality Conference will be held in Melbourne between August 21st and 23rd 2016.

For further information:

Call for Research Participants

Please see below information about a research project being undertaken by a Masters student at Flinders University seeking perspectives of people with disabilities on factors that contribute to genuine inclusion for people with disabilities.

This research is not affiliated with WWDA so please contact the researcher Katie Butler directly using the contact details if you are interested in participating.

Hi, my name is Katie Butler and I am a student of the Master of Disability Studies with Flinders University. I am currently undertaking my research dissertation that is looking at the factors that contribute to making situations genuinely inclusive to people living with disabilities.

My research is supported by my supervisors Dr Kerrie Lante and Dr Paul Jewell of the Disability and Community Inclusion unit at Flinders University and my project has been approved by the Flinders University Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (Project number 7095).

The purpose of my research is:

  • To increase understandings of the factors that shape genuinely inclusive settings for people with disabilities.
  • To increase knowledge and capacity to plan for, create and foster truly inclusive environments, communities and programs.

I am looking for people who live with a disability, are 18 years of age or older, who live in Australia and who are keen to share their experiences about what enables them to feel included in their community.

Are you interested?

If you are interested in participating in this study, you would be required to attend an interview of up to one and a half hours (1 ½ hours) in length, either face to face or over the phone.

You would be asked about the environments, circumstances, attitudes, behaviours, supports or personal strategies that are significant in helping you to become genuinely included in the day to day activities that you participate in.

Participation in this research is entirely voluntary and you would be free to withdraw at any time without consequence.  The information you provide in your interview will undergo a process of having personal identifying information removed before being used in the final research paper.

The findings of this research will be helpful in assisting to form a better understanding of what true inclusion is and how it can be achieved.

If you are interested and would like some further information, including a full information and consent kit, please contact me on 0467 492 752 or via email: butl0164@flinders.edu.au. Or, you can contact my supervisors:

Dr Kerrie Lante – phone: (08) 8201 5094, or email: kerrie.lante@flinders.edu.au

Dr Paul Jewell – phone: (08) 8201 2576, or email: paul.jewell@flinders.edu.au

If you know someone who might be interested in participating in this research, please feel free to pass on this information to them.

I hope to hear from you.

Thank you


International News

Global Disability Watch Online Platform Launches

 Global Disability Watch is a one stop platform monitoring, collating and reporting timely, accessible and usable ground driven information on disability, disability rights violations and development policy and practice from a range of global contexts, prioritising the global South. Working with a diverse team of global partners, Global Disability Watch reports and also investigates, providing effective tools for focused advocacy, protection and assistance. Global Disability Watch advocates for and promotes inclusive, respectful and responsive policy, humanitarian and development responses.

GDW works with and across a range of intersectionalities including age, race and ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, poverty and legal status among others.

GDW is a non-profit programme set up by and hosted at The Critical Institute, Malta in partnership with the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED), Plan International, Enablement, Universal Doctor and the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich.

GDW works in partnership with and through a growing network of local correspondents, including DPOs, activists and practitioners to:

  • prioritise locally driven information and research in particular the narratives of disabled people, field workers and activists over those of professionals and so-called ‘experts’
  • synthesise and simplify academic and organisational output for mass audiences including activists
  • render visible local concerns, policy and advocacy and support new local action streams
  • investigate in-depth issues that go unreported
  • provide support with tools that are accessible and ultimately useable by local advocates, practitioners and disabled people

For further information: www.globaldisability.org

Interact and Share your story: http://globaldisability.org/contribute


WWDA Youth Network

WWDA Youth Network continues to go strong. Some recent articles over at WWDA Youth include:

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