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Welcome to our eNews

This fortnightly email is to keep you updated on the work of Women with Disabilities Victoria, and updated on news related to our priority areas. Contributions to this eNews are welcome, email

In this Issue:
WDV congratulate the Victorian Government on handing down the budget with a commitment to community services and prevention of violence against women. We look forward to hearing announcements of funded initiatives.

Congratulations also to DVVic on the launch of the  Framework for Working with News and Social Media to Prevent Violence against Women and Their Children. The Framework was launched by Minister Fiona Richardson who stressed the importance stopping the inequality that women experience daily in order to put a stop to violence against women.

Our Healthy Services, Healthy Women training program pilot has just concluded at the Royal Women's Hospital. Read on for more details. We are excited about how the pilot ran and how it will grow into in coming years to develop access for women with disabilities in health services. It was terrific to work with the Women's on this.

PHOTO: Keran Howe, Executive Director

WDV's Health Education Training kit piloted at the Royal Women's Hospital
During April we piloted the 'Healthy Services: Healthy Women: Making Health Services Relevant to Women with Disabilities' training program at the Royal Women’s Hospital, a culmination of 2 years collaborative work.

In 2012, a DVD was produced by women with disabilities to educate health workers about the needs of women with disabilities. While the DVD is an excellent resource, more detailed information to address the poor practices highlighted in the DVD was required and the best way to provide this information is through face-to-face training.
With seed funding from the Ian Potter Foundation we employed Jackie Moden Consulting to develop and deliver the pilot training package. The project involved:
- Establishing a Project Advisory Group
- Researching current trends
- Meeting with a range of stakeholders including women with disabilities. G.P.’s hospital staff, and staff from community health centres
- A trialling the package
The training package consists of 4 workshops:
1. The Medical and Social Model of Disability
2. Gender and Disability Awareness
3. Gender and Disability Awareness
4. Ways to improve your practice.

The 45 minute workshops were delivered to clinical staff from various units at the Royal Women’s Hospital. Case studies, group work, and the DVD were all used to highlight the challenges faced by women with disabilities and help hospital staff gain a better understanding of their needs and enhance their skills  
There was a high level of interest in this area with more than 80 staff attending the workshops. The feedback received has been very positive. A more formal evaluation process is currently underway with the final report and evaluation being tabled at a Project Advisory Group meeting in early June.
The next steps will be to update the course, secure further funding to roll out the package to a wider audience within the health sector and to recruit women with disabilities to deliver the course.  

Contact - If you want to know more about this exciting project please contact:
Sharon Granek, Program Manager
Phone: 9286 7803
Consumer collaboration in the Southern Melbourne Primary Care Partnership
Southern Melbourne Primary Care Partnership is seeking up to 15 members for the Community, Consumer Collaboration Group applications close 15 May 2015.

Applicants who live, work or study in Bayside, Glen Eira, Kingston, Port Phillip or Stonnington are invited to apply. Women with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For more information visit:

Contact: Southern Melbourne Primary Care Partnership
335 Nepean Highway,Parkdale, Vic. 3195
Phone: (03) 8587 0134

Vacancy at WDV: Administrative Officer

WDV is advertising for an Administrative Officer part time. Women with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applications close on the 18th of May. More details are at
Field Scholarships in Certificate IV Training and Assessment

Field is inviting applications for two scholarships:
  • A study grant of up to $6000 to provide financial assistance to undertake the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment through a Registered Training Organisation. People who complete the Certificate IV can go on to train in their chosen area.
  • A practice grant of up to $2500 in value which provides access to one-on-one coaching and practical training experience within training programs run by Field.
The scholarship is open to people with disabilities over 18 years of age and living in Victoria.

Before completing the application form, you are encouraged to read the scholarship terms and conditions.
Applications close 5pm Wednesday 17 June 2015.
Contact the Field scholarship team:
T: 1300 360 185

Women's Health Goulburn North East celebrate the talent of women and young people with a disability

Women's Health Goulburn North East is showcasing the creative talents, skills and work of women and young people with a disability.
You are invited to attend to enjoy lunch and display your Art, Photography, Ceramics, Jewellery and Multimedia.

Jax-Jacki Brown, performer, activist & theatre producer will present an interactive, entertaining and informative presentation which will stimulate engaging discussions and ramp up your mind!
Tuesday 16 June - Benalla - Register
or 17 June - Wodonga - Register
Contact for more Information & how to get involved, Women's Health Goulburn North East        
Phone:  03 5722 3009

The Victorian Disability State Plan Questionnaire is open
The Department of Human Services is asking people with a disability in Victoria who are over 18 to measure how the Victorian state disability plan 2013 - 2016 is working. There is an online survey about of access to services.

Please contact the Office for Disability if you:
  • ·        need to do the questionnaire over the phone
  • ·        would like a paper version of the questionnaire
  • ·        have any questions about the questionnaire
Contact the Office for Disability:
Phone: 1300 880 043
Consultations on Victoria's Charter of Human Rights review
There is an eight year review of Victoria's Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. Submissions to the review are due by 4 June 2015. For more information about the review and to access a range of Charter resources visit the Commission's website

Human Rights Watch call to break the shackles of stigma on mental health care in Indonesia

During late April Human Rights Watch Australia hosted researcher, Kriti Sharma, to present her report, Break the shackles of mental health care in Indonesia. Kritii found there are high numbers of people shackled due to stigma and a lack of mental health services. Women and men shared their experiences of being restrained for the report.

“My parents thought I was possessed — they used to put garlic and salt on my body to rid me of evil spirits,” Erifah, 49, who lives in Jakarta, told me. Erifah started having symptoms of schizophrenia affective disorder when she was in the sixth grade, but her mother told her: “You’re just a child, don’t act crazy.”

Human Rights Watch work worldwide to defend human rights through on-the-ground research, the media and advocacy. WDV's former Chair, Wendy Brooks, is the Co-Chair of Human Rights Watch Australia.

IMAGE: Jen Hargrave (WDV), Wendy Brooks (Co-Chair, Human Rights Watch Australia, former Co-Chair, WDV), Kriti (Human Rights Watch)

Law Week discussion on the NDIS - come and ask your questions
The Disability Discrimination Legal Service (DDLS) is excited to announce that it will be hosting a FREE discussion on the National Disability Insurance Scheme for Law Week 2015.
The topics that will be covered are:
  • What is the NDIS?
  • Laws, guidelines and agreements – what’s the difference?
  • What does the law say about how the NDIS works?
  • Complaints and the NDIS – how does it work?
  • Questions from the audience
The two expert speakers are:
Catherine McAlpine - Senior Manager of the NDIS Information Loop Project, and former CEO of Down Syndrome Victoria.
Leah van Poppel - Manager of the NDIS Information Loop, and former policy development and project work in numerous disability advocacy organisations.
Thursday 14 May 2014
2 – 3 pm
Venue: Room 1.3, Level 1, Ross House
247-251 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

RSVP: call (03) 9654 8644 or email
NDIS housing trial
A trial of new housing options for people with a disability has been given the go-ahead amid calls for the government to tackle an accommodation "crisis". Read The Australian report from 24th April, 2015.

Royal Commission into Family Violence - ways to have input
Victoria has a Royal Commission into Family Violence underway. The Royal Commission is holding a consultation for women with disabilities. Please see details below, along with information about other ways to have input directly to the Royal Commission.

Please consider having input to the Royal Commission if:
  • you would like to share your experiences of family violence
  • you would like to share what you have seen happen to people experiencing family violence
  • or if you have ideas about how to improve the family violence system.

1. Consultation for women with disabilities
The Royal Commission into Family Violence will hold a consultation for women with disabilities.
When: 10am - 1pm, Friday 22nd May
Where: In the city of Melbourne, close to public transport - building to be confirmed
Require support? The Royal Commission can organise disability and transport support for women who make the request when they RSVP before Monday the 18th of May.
RSVP: When you RSVP say if you are interested in consultation for women with disabilities
Phone 1800 365 100  -  or through the National Relay Service
2. Community consultations
The Royal Commission has commenced its community consultations around Victoria. Consultation locations have not been publicised, but interested people can call the Royal Commission to register their interest in attending.
3. Written submissions
You can make a written submission to the Royal commission.

There are terms of reference for the Royal Commission available on their website. One of the Terms of Reference specifically mentions disability: it asks about  "the needs and experiences of people affected by family violence with particular regard to children, seniors, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities, regional and rural communities and people with a disability and complex needs.

If your submission addresses the experiences or rights of women with disabilities, please feel free to send a copy to WDV for our information. This can be sent to

4. Assistance to write a submission
Women seeking assistance writing submissions are invited to contact the Royal Commission. They can help over the phone, via email, or meet you somewhere to help with your written submission.
5. Contact the Royal Commission
Hours: Monday to Friday Between 9am and 5pm
Phone: 1800 365 100 - or through the National Relay Service
Write to: PO Box 535, Flinders Lane, VIC., 8009.

Living with disability: what makes the world right for you? Sonia Marcon writes for ABC Open

Congratulations to WDV member, Sonia Marcon, who has been published by ABC Open. Extract: "As I was venturing home from yet another time wasting exercise at yet another job network agency, I realised that I shouldn't be listening to someone who was trying to convince me that my disability could be ignored. I should be focusing on my own thoughts of disability ownership." She the full piece, Living with disability: what makes the world right for you? 

IMAGE: Sonia Marcon, photo from ABC Open.

WIN FREE TICKETS: Circus Oz new show - Auslan Interpreted, disability accessible
Circus Oz rockets back under the heated Big Top in Birrarung Marr this June and July with the red-hot return season of But Wait…There’s More! Circus Oz believes in a good time for all, and as such they like making their shows available and enjoyable for as many people as possible. Companion cards are accepted at all performances, and wheelchair seats are available at all performances. Both the 1.30pm and the 7.30pm shows on Saturday 4 July will be Auslan interpreted, and there is also special mobility access available at the Big Top. For more info, visit
For your chance to WIN one of two A-Reserve double passes, simply email with the name of a current Circus Oz performer. Entries close Wednesday 13 May, 5.00pm.

PHOTO: Circus Oz performers swinging on the trapeze (photo by Circus Oz)
Premiere documentary '10 Stories of Single Mothers’
10 mothers candidly speak about the reality of Newstart. They share their struggle to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. They highlight the punishing effects of the allowable earnings which slashed their wage. It gives voice to the impacts on their children. Newstart is not a new start for families. There will be commentary from Adam Bandt MP, Emma King (CEO of VCOSS), Terese Edwards (CEO NCSMC) plus more. At the screening, mingle & meet with the film producers, mums featured in the documentary. Nibbles provided and drinks available for purchase

Date: Thursday 11 June 2015
Time: 5.30 pm - 6.30pm
Where: Kino Cinemas – 45 Collins Street, Melbourne
RSVP for 10 Stories of Single Mothers

Phone: 08 835 43856

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