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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:
Hello everybody

Yesterday 3 WDV representatives appeared at Victoria's Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services. We drew on our research and shared personal experiences to explain why we need disability services who know how to listen to women with disabilities. It is important to hear what makes us feel safe and what makes us feel unsafe. It is important to hear what support we choose.

So much has been achieved through Victoria's work to prevent and respond to violence against women. Victoria needs a strategy to address violence against people with disabilities. It is critical that the disability strategy is coordinated with violence against women strategies, such as recommendations from the Family Violence Royal Commission. We are hopeful that this inquiry will have lasting impact in stopping abuse in disability services.


PHOTO: Keran and WDV representatives heading to present to the Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services. 

Employment opportunity at WDV: Gender Equity Training Coordinator

We are seeking a Gender Equity Training Coordinator (part time). Could it be you? Women with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For the position description, selection criteria and contact details visit our employment page.

Now open: Sunrise Women’s Group in Wyndham and Sunrise Women's Carers Group in Melton

Sunrise women’s groups are for women with disabilities who want to feel more connected. Groups run Groups get together fortnightly in Laverton, Melton, Sunshine and Wyndham.
A new Sunrise Women's Carers Group is beginning in Melton, for women who care for someone with a disability and/or mental illness.
These groups are run by Women's Health West. The aim of these groups is for women to make new friends, support each other, learn about staying healthy, try new things and have fun. Check out the webpage for activities, venues are wheelchair accessible public transport nearby.

Contact Lauren, the Sunrise project worker, on 9689 9588 or send her an email
Layne Beachley Foundation Scholarships are now open for girls and women

The Layne Beachley Foundation Aim For The Stars’ 2016 scholarship program is now open  to girls and women striving to fulfill their potential in a chosen field. Grants range from $4,000 for individuals to $6,000 for teams. The closing date for scholarship applications is 13 November 2015.

Contact Kelly Holcroft, Layne Beachley Foundation - Aim For The Stars
P: 0422 600 733
Become a volunteer at Office of the Public Advocate

OPA’s 900 volunteers are from a variety of backgrounds, age groups, and communities. They work across three programs: Community Visitor Program, Independent Third Persons Program and the Community Guardianship Program. Volunteering for OPA could be right for you if you if you are seeking a challenge and want to stand up for the rights of people with disabilities. See the OPA webpage for more information.
Events at WIRE women's information

A range of upcoming events are available through WIRE Women's Information:
  • Forums on women’s economic empowerment – Thu 15/10, Mon 19/10, Mon 26/10
  • Living with a Gambler - Mon 19/10
  • Resumé Writing - Fri 23/10
  • Rights & Options around Children after Separation - Fri 23/10
  • Dealing with Challenging Phone Calls (PD) –Thu 29/10 
  • Comfortable Networking - Fri 6/11
See the WIRE Events Page for details.
Williamson Community Leadership Program Scholarship

2016 Williamson Community Leadership Program scholarship applications for individuals with a disability are currently open, closing Wednesday 4 November. 

Enabling younger women: WDV program report, by Sharon Granek

Making the transition from secondary education can be difficult for any student. Research shows that young people with disabilities often experience more difficulty in making this transition successfully often facing additional challenges because of their life experiences. Women with Disabilities Victoria saw the need to address this imbalance. 
We have adapted our existing Leadership program to meet the needs of female students with disabilities existing secondary school which begins the process of building a bridge between the student  the school and the wider community.
With a grant from the Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation Youth in Philanthropy arm we engaged a consultant to adapt our existing Enabling Women course to make it relevant to a younger audience, develop the required resources and pilot the program with senior students from Emerson School
With the assistance of a young woman with a disability in the co-facilitator’s role, the Enabling Young Women course was delivered one morning per week during term 3 of the school year at the City of Greater Dandenong Council offices and SELLEN - South East Learning and Living Employment Network.
The student, teachers and facilitators  reported  the program was a great success and the feedback from participants was very positive. “I can speak up for myself no matter what happens.”
A graduation ceremony was held in Noble Park  with parents, siblings and friends all attending to see the girls celebrate their achievements.

PHOTO: Enabling Younger Women graduates
Interested in being part of Local Government?

Go Women LG 2016 aims to support more women to get into the places where decisions are made.  The campaign made progress 2012 elections, and in 2016 they aim make that work stronger.  The campaign will launch resources for women candidates at an event on Thursday 19 No vember 2015 at Melbourne Town Hall 4-6pm.

An important part of the event will be an opportunity to focus on diversity. If you personally know any women who might be seen as “less likely” for council but will make great candidates and councillors, or just want to learn more, bring them along! RSVPs are required for Go Women LG 2016.

New mental health advocacy to support compulsory patients

"Compulsory treatment can be an isolating, lonely and often frightening experience," says Helen Makregiorgos, the head of a new Independent Mental Health Advocacy service in The Age.

Ms Daya is an mental health advocate who has used the service system. She told by Miki Perkins of The Age, "The service that was supposed to be there to help me was recreating my worst horrors. It breaks my heart." Ms Daya says having her own advocate would have helped her clarify her options around treatment, particularly medication." Advocates based in Melbourne, Bendigo and Geelong will provide a free visiting service to hospitals and clinics throughout the state. The service is the first of its kind in Australia, and is run by Victoria Legal Aid.

Legal help lines for family law and family violence

For advice on legal matters related to Family Law or Family Violence there are two help lines which are good to know.
Victoria Legal Aid’s Legal Help Line
Monday to Friday - 8.45am to 5.15pm,
T: 1300 792 387

Women's Legal Service's night advice service
Tuesday and Thursday nights - 6.30pm to 8.30pm
T: 03 8622 0600 (for metropolitan callers)
or 1800 133 302 (for country callers)

Survey on street harassment in Melbourne

Are you aged 18 or over and currently live in Melbourne? Have you ever experienced street harassment in Melbourne? Would you like to share your views on how street harassment could be responded to? Take part in the ‘Shouting back: street harassment & justice’ survey. People with disabilities of all genders and sexual orientations are welcome to take part in this study.
Month of action to end men's violence against women: 24 Oct - 25 Nov

Around Victoria there are many ways to be involved in the Month of Action. If you live in Barwon it's worth seeing the huge choice of activities happening there for the Barwon Month of action. While in their program, Dandenong is running an interfaith workshop on Public Violence Against Women In The Community - speakers include Susan Carland (Australian Muslim of the Year 2004), Crystal Bruton (woman with a disability), Helen Bnads (Aboriginal/Indigenous) and Deputy Police Commissioner Wendy Steendam (Victoria Police).
IMAGE: Barwon's month of activism logo.

Gippsland Women's Health AGM - 5th November

You are cordially invited to attend the Gippsland Women’s Health Inc. Annual General Meeting which is to be held on Thursday 5th November at Traralgon Vineyard. Clare Bowditch will be the guest speaker this year. To register please visit Eventbrite.

PHOTO: Clare Bowditch (image from AGM invitation)

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