Women with Disabilities Victoria eNewsletter
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WDV Updates

Employment update - position available:  


We have a new opportunity to join our vibrant organisation!

Are you highly motivated?
Do you want to contribute to our leadership program?

 This is an exciting  part–time .5 position working in a disability friendly environment.

WDV are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic woman to continue to develop our leadership programs for women with disabilities.

This is one of two positions engaging and working with partners in implementing leadership programs for women with disabilities in regional areas.

Initially the position will be for a fixed period for 18 months with potential for continuation.

For more information about the position contact Sharon on  9286 780 or sharon.granek@wdv,org,au
Download the position description.

Applications close: 5pm Monday 7 July 2014
Applications in response to the key selection criteria marked confidential are to be addressed to Sharon Granek, Women with Disabilities Victoria, GPO Box 1160, Melbourne 3001, or email

WDV has exemption from the Equal Opportunity Act to employ women only. Women with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  E.O Exemption No. A141/2011


REMINDER: Work Education Training

Are you looking for work?

WDV in partnership with 4GR is delighted to offer an opportunity to attend work education training.

4GR works with people who may be joining the workforce for the first time, or perhaps facing barriers returning to work.

Navigating your way around the job market can be frustrating.

4GR supports students through a 12 – 16 week class based programme and work placement. They strive to get the best outcomes for each of student. 

Students receive individual attention with class numbers capped at 10 and two 4GR staff in the classroom at all times. Training is about the students and their needs, building your self-confidence and fulfilling your goals.
Success looks different for each student. They work closely with each individual to ensure outcomes are personalised and relevant.

The program will be provided at no cost to WDV members.

The next women’s only course starts on Monday 7th July which will run on a Monday and Tuesday for 12 – 16 weeks (depending on numbers and needs).

The venue will be in Caulfield.
Want to know more? 
Contact: Sharon Granek
Phone:    9286 7802
Gillian Baldwin  0407 890 236
Beth Evans  0402 243 025

For more information, about the training program itself, please download the 4GR training brochure.




InTouch Legal Centre

InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence provides free and confidential telephone services to migrant and refugee women experiencing family Image of inTouch logoviolence.
For legal advice, information and referral please contact inTouch Legal Centre Helpline every Tuesday
4:00pm – 6:30pm
Ph: 9413 6528

Interpreter services are available.



Wartime Violence against Disabled Women Often Ignored.

Disability rights activists called for a variety of remedies during a panel of a major London conference last week. "If you have reduced mobility, it makes it that much harder to run when everyone else is fleeing from the village, you may have less chance to run away," said one speaker.



LONDON (WOMENSENEWS)--International rights activists here recently pressed for the needs of women and children with disabilities to be addressed in international efforts to curb sexual violence in conflict zones.

"Disabled individuals are at least three times as likely to be experiencing sexual violence in conflict situations or in non-conflict situations," said Judith Heumannspecial advisor for international disability rights at the U.S. State Department, adding that baseline levels of violence get greater during conflict. "The data has been relatively minimal because in many areas, I think we can say in the U.S. and Great Britain and countries around the world, the issue of sexual violence in the area of disability is only a newly emerging discussion."

Heumann participated in a panel discussion that was one of 175 public events at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflictwhich was hosted here by U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie, the special envoy for the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, from June 10 to 13. The meeting drew a mix of activists, politicians, survivors, faith leaders and other officials. With representatives from more than 100 countries, summit organizers said it was the largest gathering on the issue. 

While delegates worked on tackling the impunity around sexual violence in conflict zones through an released during the event and changing global attitudes to these crimes, Heumann's panel highlighted the various ways in which women with disabilities may be at greater risk of violence, including gender-based violence, during pre-conflict, conflict and post-conflict times.

"Conflict in violence, whether it's sexual gender-based violence or intimate-partner violence, is of course a significant cause of impairments [disabilities] in and of itself," said Maria Kettassistant director of theLeonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre in London, during the panel. "Persons with disabilities may have been born with disabilities or they may have acquired them."

Panelists called for such remedies as including women with disabilities in post-conflict peace-building processes, more research, sensitivity training for judges, social workers, police and others in the community and improved support and services.

Human Rights 


‘Gender Blind, Gender Neutral: The effectiveness of the National Disability Strategy in improving the lives of women and girls with disabilities’

The National Disability Strategy (NDS) is the national policy framework to guide Australian governments to meet their obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which entered into force in Australia in 2008. The NDS is a ten-year Strategy that was formally endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2011. Under the NDS, a high-level Progress Report will be submitted to the COAG every two years. The first of these is due in late 2014.

This Submission from WWDA to the COAG, assesses whether, if and how the NDS is promoting, protecting, respecting and fulfilling the human rights of women and girls with disabilities in Australia. Importantly, this assessment from WWDA includes the provision of a critical analysis of where the NDS appears to be failing women and girls with disabilities. This Submission from WWDA is critically important given that to date, despite Australia’s international human rights obligations in relation to gender equality - all aspects of the NDS are un-gendered. WWDA’s Submission sends a strong and urgent message to all Governments that public policy which treats people with disabilities as a homogenous group only serves to perpetuate the stereotype of people with disabilities as asexual, genderless human beings, and gives rise to a policy, program and service vacuum whereby the human rights of women and girls with disabilities remain violated, denied, ignored and trivialized.

WWDA’s Submission demonstrates the vital importance of gender as a central consideration in the development of legislation, policy and programs to advance gender equality and to promote the human the rights of women and girls with disabilities. It also includes, for the consideration of COAG, key areas for future directions in order to strengthen the NDS as a mechanism to advance the human rights of women and girls with disabilities. This includes ensuring the NDS provides gender specific measures and women-specific initiatives, programs and projects in order to address the undisputed gender inequalities and ultimately, to achieve the NDS vision of ‘an inclusive Australian society that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens’.

WWDA’s Submission ‘Gender Blind, Gender Neutral: The effectiveness of the National Disability Strategy in improving the lives of women and girls with disabilities’ can be downloaded in either PDF or Word formats from WWDA’s website at:

For direct PDF download, go to:

For direct Word download, go to:

Please feel free to distribute this email through your Networks.



The proposed Federal Budget will have a devastating and disproportionate impact on some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Since it was announced last month VCOSS has spoken out strongly against the harshest and most unfair measures contained in the Budget, and we will continue to advocate strongly in the interests of low-income Victorians.
On Sunday 6th July VCOSS is joining with a broad range of community sector organisations and others to voice concern about the impact the proposed Federal Budget will have on those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable.
They invite you to join them to show that our community counts and to march for a fair Australia. They also invite you to inform people in your networks about what is happening and why we are speaking out.
WHEN: July 06, 2014 at 1pm - 3pm
WHERE: Queen Victoria Gardens, opposite the Arts Centre, Melbourne
For more information contact Beck Pope


Bust the Budget Rally.

People with Disabilities have been left behind far too long.
Now more than ever we need to stand together and say we need our pensions protected, our health care protected, we deserve the supports to participate in society, to afford to live independently and have the right to have paid employment and not be judged.
Now the Coalition want to slow our pension increases to CPI rather than wage increases, destroy Medicare by charging us $7 GP tax, pathology, hospital emergency fees and it will only get worse.
Then there is the axing of Ramp UP and the role of Disability Discrimination Commissioner.
They are removing these vital platforms for us to have a voice and be heard which will marginalize us even more.
We need to protect our voice and be heard for future generations.
So if you are a person with a disability, a parent of someone with a disability, a carer or support worker, come to this march.

Please note new time:
Fri 11th Jul, 2014: 12:00pm, Melbourne

For more information visit:

Employment, Training & Conferences


Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference: Champions of Change


The 2014 conference will bring together champions of change from across Australia. The conference will look at ways to better safeguard the rights of people with a disability. It will be a great opportunity to:
  • learn more about the big issues facing people with a disability including employment, inclusive education, the justice system and the NDIS
  • discuss new and creative ways to advocate for change
  • meet new people and increase your professional and personal networks
  • Judy Huett, self-advocate from Tasmania, representative on the expert group that presented to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) in Switzerland, 2013
  • The Hon. Mary Wooldridge MP, Minister for Disability Services and Reform
  • Graeme Innes AM, Disability Discrimination Commissioner
  • Colleen Pearce, Victoria’s Public Advocate
  • Kate Jenkins, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner
  • Bernie Geary, Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People
  • Frank Lambrick, Senior Practitioner, Department of Human Services
  • Dr Grant Davies, Acting Health Services Commissioner
  • Laurie Harkin, Disability Services Commissioner
  • Bill Lawler, Disability Advocate
  • Lauren Matthews, Executive Officer of Early Childhood Intervention Australia Victorian Chapter
  • Dream Theatre, producers of Bully or Victim? DVD
  • Maryanne Diamond, General Manager Advocacy and Engagement at Vision Australia and former World Blind Union president
  • Sue Smith, Coordinator of Self Advocacy Resource Unit • Walkley Award winning cartoonist First Dog on the Moon, who started drawing audio described cartoons, currently at The Guardian
The Reel Zone is a movie theatre with a difference. The films tell real life stories about how people with disabilities realise that their right to a fulfilled life is not straightforward. The stories share the many challenges people have to overcome before making real changes for themselves.
Features include:
  • Twenty Years Twenty Stories, where twenty individuals share how they used the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) – developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
  • Bungee Jumping, Lawyers & Love, is a series all about plunging into life. Kylie, Jane, Andrew and Chris each give an account of their struggles to live and love without anyone bringing in the lawyers.

Mon 4th Aug, 2014 - Mon 4th Aug, 2014: 9:30am - 4:30pm, Melbourne
Cost: Concession $250 |Disability Advocate $300 | Community Sector $350 |Government Sector $470
Register online
More information


Disability Networking Zone Needs Volunteers

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), the Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) and People With Disability Australia (PWDA) have joined with the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) to establish a Disability Networking Zone to inform participants at the conference of the issues regarding people with disabilities.

The Disability Networking Zone will be located within the conference’s Global Village. It is free to the public and open to the 15,000 participants attending the conference so it will be a vibrant meeting place for people from all around the world. The Global Village will have 20 other networking zones and 81 booths representing organisations globally.

The Disability Networking Zone will be open from Sunday 20 July, 2:00pm to 8:30pm, Monday 21 July to Thursday 24 July from 8:30am to 8:30pm and  on Friday 25 July, 8:30am and close around 5pm.

If you would like to be part of these activities during the conference and would like to volunteer your time to help out in the Disability Networking Zone, they will be happy to have you involved.

For more information and to register your interest, please contact Frank Hall-Bentick:


Advocacy, Leadership and Representation

Jo Verrent Leadership and Disability Forums in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Jo Verrent is a UK based artist, consultant and producer with disability who specialises in the development of diversity and access.

She is in Australia to talk about the transformational potential of employing disabled people in leadership roles within the cultural sector - not just for the benefit of those individuals themselves, but for the invigoration of cultural strategy, for the benefit of all.

Jo works in arts and culture at a strategic level with national agencies and on the ground with organisations and individuals. She is currently Senior Producer for the UK’s Unlimited Commissions program for disabled artists and companies and has recently delivered projects fusing disabled artistry and digital acumen.

She will be presenting a forum on leadership in Melbourne on Thursday 10 July.
Please RSVP to confirm your place by Friday 28 June 2014.

Date and time: Thursday 10 July 2014, 4:00-5:30pm
Venue: Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt St, Southbank VIC
In partnership with Arts Victoria and Malthouse Theatre

One Step Forward

via Ramp Up , Kate Larsen , Fri 20th Jun 2014

The disability movement in Australia has taken some significant steps forward over the last three years.

When Kate Larsen moved from London to Melbourne three years ago, she was surprised to find that Australia was on the back foot with disability issues. Today, however, she feels Australians with disability and their non-disabled allies are more informed and empowered than ever before.

When I moved back to Melbourne in 2011, I traded my London-based arts and disability job for an almost identical one running Arts Access Australia (AAA).

Although I had spent the previous five years working in the UK disability sector, I didn’t become much of an advocate until coming home to Australia.

It happened slowly at first. There were so many similarities between the two situations I found myself in, that it was easy to pretend that things were pretty much the same.

Australia has an international reputation for being a laid-back and friendly nation. And Melbourne, with its status as the world’s most liveable city (which it was recently awarded for the third year in a row), would surely be an extra-nice place for everyone to live in – right?

Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. A report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2011 showed that Australians with disability are most likely to be living at or near the poverty line compared to anywhere in the developed world, ranking 27th out of all 27 OECD countries in this particular measure.
Kate Larsen is a non-disabled ally, advocate and proud contributor to ABC Ramp Up. She recently stood down from her job at Arts Access Australia because she believes disability organisations should be run by people with disability. She tweets as @NDISnow.
read the full story...


Protest against the closure of ABC RAMP UP

BREAKING NEWS we are staging a 30 min Protest/Sit–in against the axing of ABC Ramp Up on June 30 at 12:30 PM SHARP at the Melbourne ABC studios in Corner Southbank Boulevard and Sturt Street, Southbank, Melbourne.

We have chosen the date because it is the date when the site closes and a time that that will bring the most attention as people will be going to lunch. It will... also allow people to come to the protest during their lunch break.

If this can be replicated in ABC studios in other states, that would be great. Bring your own black gaffer tape to symbolise how we are being silenced by this decision.

Let us know if you are in, how many people you think you can bring along and what state you are from by commenting on Facebook link below,

If you can’t make it ring Melbourne Switchboard (03) 9626 1500 and tell them of your disgust!


Bust the Budget Rally - please note updated time!

People with Disabilities have been left behind far too long. Now more than ever we need to stand together and say we need our pensions protected, our health care protected, we deserve the supports to participate in society, to afford to live independently and dare I say it HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE PAID EMPLOYMENT and not be judged or discriminated.

Now the Coalition want to slow our pension increases to CPI rather than by wage increases, destroy Medicare by charging us $7 GP tax, higher medicine costs, pathology, hospital emergency fees and it will only get worse.

Then there is the axing of Ramp UP and the role of Disability Discrimination Commissioner. They are removing these vital platforms for us to have a voice and be heard which will marginalize us even more.

We deserve equal rights. We deserve a stable and secure future. We need to protect our voice and be heard for future generations.

So if you are a person with a disability, a parent of someone with a disability, parent with a disability, a carer or support worker, or just someone who wants to show they care about people with disabilities come to this march.

When: 11th July 2014
Time: 12:00pm
Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3000

Please contact Riki Anya email: or phone 0424077942
Or Michael McNeill email  or phone 0415093465
Facebook event:


Social Inclusion and Accessibility

Future Melbourne Network

Future Melbourne Network's fourth seminar in the Creating a Better Future for Melbourne series will be held a week from today from 6pm Monday 30 June at Deakin Edge in Federation Square. This is a free event and no bookings are necessary.

Four people, passionate about Melbourne, will present their ideas on how we can build a highly functional, multi-modal and integrated transport network, which is fundamental to our city’s productivity, competitiveness, liveability, ecological sustainability and the health and wellbeing of our citizens, across the whole of the metropolitan area. These speakers are:

  • Chris Lowe, Executive Director, Bus Association Victoria Inc
  • Danae Bosler Manager, Public Transport Not Traffic Campaign
  • Janine Young, Public Transport Ombudsman
  • Griff Davis, Director of Advocacy and Communications, City of Whittlesea
They are also asking all people interested in Melbourne's future to contribute their ideas on these important topics. They encourage you to do so through the discussion board on our website or on Twitter by using the hashtag #bettermelb. There will also be an opportunity to share your ideas at the conclusion of Monday's seminar.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact them via email:

Future Melbourne Network

Connection is more than Just a Click

via Ramp Up , Jodie van de Wetering, Mon 16th Jun 2014

Can we change the world with a click and a share?

Engaging in online activism can’t replace putting a face to a name or chatting over a cuppa, but it can help some people with disability to participate and it can still get things done, writes Jodie van de Wetering.
The internet has trickled into every corner of our lives, influencing everything from how we shop and play and chat with friends, to how we earn a living. It’s also potentially opening up a rich, new avenue for public awareness and activism work. Or is it? Can we change the world with a click and a share, or is online activism but a fleeting shadow of work done in the physical world?
Online activism can come in many guises. On one hand, old-school tools like letter writing and petitions have been given a new way to circulate and gain momentum, and there are fresh digital canvases for political satire. On the other, new means of voicing an opinion have developed, from advice animals to “like/share/re-pin if you support…” memes designed to show solidarity and spread awareness.

Through blogs and forums, the internet also gives people with disability and other minority groups a way to find each other and build a support network that’s not always possible in real life. With Autism Spectrum Disorder affecting one Aussie in a hundred, for instance, there are potentially more than 600 other people in my hometown who are somewhere on the autism spectrum. There might even be a few of similar age and situation and outlook to me.

Jodie van de Wetering is a writer, Aspie (person with Aspergers) and massive nerd based in Central Queensland.


Out and About - Accessible Events

Accessibility and Circus Oz!

 image of Spenser Inwood

Circus Oz return to Melbourne with the premiere of their spanking brand new show But  Wait...There’s More.

With an astonishing mix of stunt-jumping acrobatics, cutting-edge juggling, virtuosic unicycling, elegant trapeze flying, cheeky impersonations, ridiculous knockabout and multi-skilled human physical exuberance, But Wait...There’s More uses circus to satirise the rising pace of today’s information fuelled, fast-paced lifestyles.

Circus Oz believe in a good time for all, so under the heated Big Top at Birrarung Marr:

• Both the 1.30pm and 7.30pm performances on Saturday 5 July, will feature an Auslan interpreter.

Tickets for special viewing areas are offered at B-Reserve prices, starting at $24 and can be booked via Ticketmaster Groups on or by calling 1300 889 278.

• Wheelchair accessible seats available for All performances and Circus Oz offer a range of service to help people with mobility difficulties.

Find out more at

• Companion Cards are accepted at all performances. Book through Ticketmaster Groups on or by calling 1300 889 278.
One of the performers, Spenser Inwood, is a woman living with CFS.
She was recently interviewed for the Weekly Review:

 For this year’s show, she has the strongwoman role – but in typical Circus Oz style, it’s an atypical take.

“My solo act is a look at the showgirl in her downtime and how life can sometimes overtake us and be so full on and stressful that it becomes fatiguing,” she says.

“It’s looking at that over-manic, fast-paced world where there’s no time to relax.”

Inwood wrote her role based on her real-life struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome. For someone so used to being active, being reduced to 5 per cent of her normal activity was as heartbreaking as it was frustrating.

It took years for her to recover physically and mentally enough to train properly. Even now she must manage the condition, sleeping between nine and 12 hours a night to recover from and prepare for exertions under the big top. It’s testament to an unusual strength.

“Being a strongwoman for me isn’t necessarily about being a six-foot, Amazonian kind of woman the way they used to be,” she says. “I think a strongwoman is someone who’s actually emotionally and physically capable.”

Inwood says the six-men, six-women policy underlines the cross-societal appeal of Circus Oz. “It means people from different demographics … come to a show where there are six very different-looking women on stage, who are all incredibly strong and capable in multiple areas rather than just being physically brawny,” she says.

“No matter who you are, or what size and shape you are, you’re going to recognise someone on stage and have an affiliation with what they’re performing. I think that’s really important for audience connection as well as getting the message across that no matter who you are, you can do whatever you want to do.”

To read the full article, visit:

You can also listen to Spenser’s interview on Radio National here:

Circus Oz "But Wait...There's More" is on now until July 13th.

All shows are wheelchair accessible.
Auslan interpreted: Saturday 5 July 1.30pm and Saturday 5 July 7.30pm.

Details: or 

image of Melbourne WebFest logo

Discount tickets to Melb WebFest for WDV subscribers!

Melbourne WebFest is Australia's international web series festival.

The festival works to acknowledge and promote the work of established and emerging screen producers in the online space, both domestic and international, and to provide a space that facilitates dialogue, professional development and networking.

Melbourne WebFest is the hub for web-based content creators to come together to share their experience, network, be acknowledged, and learn about the emerging trends in digital entertainment and the emerging web series industry.

The festival includes an opening night gala, professional workshops, screenings and Q&As with creators, a live show with special guests, which culminates in an awards ceremony — and, of course, an after-party.

32 series from 12 countries are represented in our 2014 Official Selection. These series are automatically be nominated for our awards.

Melbourne WebFest  is committed to providing access so everyone can enjoy the festival. 

All sessions are wheelchair accessible.
Opening night will be Auslan interpreted.
(One additional screening session will be Auslan interpreted, but which one will be confirmed closer to the event)
Please advise them of any access requirements at the time of booking and every effort will be made to provide these. If you have accessibility requirements that are not listed here please contact them.

Melbourne WebFest would like to offer WDV subscribers a 10% discount on tickets to any session during the festival.

To take up this offer, or for more information about the festival email

When: 18-20 July 2014
Where: Federation Square, Kindred Studios and Loop Bar.


Just for fun

In case you missed our last edition's just for fun, they can be found below: (they were particularly good ones!) 

Is language ableist? Sex and women with disability 3CR podcast with WDV member Jax Brown 

Melbourne paralympic athlete Sarah Calati shares her journey as she trains for Rio.

Six emerging writers with a disability showcased their work at the Write-ability Salon at Emerging Writers Festival on Sunday 1 June, 2014. Following a series of advocacy and life-writing workshops for writers with disability, the Write-ability Salon unearthed the sort of unique and powerful stories that usually go untold. 

Read three of the presenters work below:
WDV member Leisa Prowd interviews Hollywood actor Peter Dinklage
Leisa interviews Peter on the red carpet at the Melbourne premiere of the new X Men movie.

Stella Young's TedX Sydney talk
Stella's talk was so good it's gone viral. This week it was featured on both Amy Poehler's Smart Girls and Upworthy.

Cherchez la Femme Podcast Feminism and Disability
Cherchez la Femme is a monthly feminist discussion curated by Karen Pickering, this month featured three women with a disability.

FHS Fightback: A feminist resource kit designed by students
Fitzroy High School has a feminist collective, if that wasn't already amazing, they have a crowd-funding campaign to develop resources to fight sexism!


Get involved, become a member!

“I'm on this path but I've been a bit lost. I felt like I was a solo singer but now I feel like I've got a choir.”  WDV member

What does it mean to become a member of WDV?

Members can contribute to Women with Disabilities Victoria in the following ways:
  • Become involved in one of our leadership programs designed to promote sharing leadership skills.
  • Sharing information with other women through our e-newsletter and email bulletins.
  • Representing women with disabilities on Boards, Committees and forums. These opportunities are circulated to members who have an interest in a particular field.
  • Contributing to government submissions, representations to government and organisations and presentation of conference papers.

There are two types of membership:

Full membership is available to women with disabilities in Victoria. Full membership is free.

Associate membership is open to individuals and/or organisations supportive of the aims of Women with Disabilities Victoria and enables exchange of knowledge, and participation with Women with Disabilities Victoria and its members. Associate membership is $20 for individuals and $50 for organisations (this includes GST).
For more information about membership, visit our website or email
The purpose of this e-News is to inform our members, staff and associates about opportunities to advance Women with Disabilities Victoria’s goals. Women with Disabilities Victoria works to address priority issues for women with disabilities in Victoria. These issues include violence; access to health services; reproductive rights and parenting, and; access to employment. We welcome and encourage your feedback and contributions to
Copyright © 2014 Women with Disabilities Victoria, All rights reserved.

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