WDV eNewsletter
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WDV Updates

AIDS Conference Disability Networking Zone.

: left to right: Muriel Mac-Seing (HIV and AIDS Advisor, Handicap International), Jen Hargrave (WDV Policy Officer) and Suzanne Lau Gooey (Disability Networking Zone Coordinator and WDV Board Member) meeting at the AIDS Conference Disability Networking Zone

This year Melbourne hosted the 20th International AIDS Conference bringing over 14,000 delegates from 200 countries. WDV Board Member, Suzanne Lau Gooey, did outstanding work to see the rights of women with disabilities highlighted at the conference – and WDV were thrilled to be invited to participate.
WDV Policy Officer, Jen, delivered a conference presentation on “Violence against women with disabilities: strategies for safety” in a session chaired by Tanya Plibersek MP and Carol Kidu, prominent former Papua New Guinea parliamentarian. Many delegates were surprised (and some shocked) to hear the rates of violence against women with disabilities in Victoria.
One delegate noted, “It goes to show, violence against women with disabilities goes beyond poverty and war. Gender and disability discrimination are global problems.” 

Speakers in a panel discussion on violence against women at the 2014 AIDS Conference, Melbourne.
Suzanne helped coordinate the Conference Disability Networking Zone  with a 4 day program of fascinating speakers sharing projects from around the globe.
Bringing attention to disability at this conference is important. As UNAIDS reported, (“The Gap Report” July 2014) people with disabilities are commonly left out of sexual and reproductive health programs – despite people with disabilities, particularly women, in fact having a greater need for them.  Suzanne discusses this topic in an article written with Dr Paul Chappell, “HIV and sexuality: why are people with disabilities left behind.” 
 â€œPeople living with HIV and people with disabilities share similar experiences of stigma, discrimination, devaluation and exclusion. Neither people living with HIV nor people living with disabilities are regarded as ‘normal’ sexual beings. Considered unworthy of motherhood, women with disabilities and HIV-positive women still routinely undergo forced sterilisations and abortions in many parts of the world. “ Suzanne Lau Gooey and Dr Paul Chappell



Reminder: Brenda Gabe Award - Nominations now open.

Do you know a woman with a disability (or a group of women with disabilities) who have inspired you, or provided and enhanced opportunities for women with disabilities to participate in a safer and more inclusive community in some way?

Women with Disabilities Victoria is proud to offer the Brenda Gabe Leadership Award again this year.

This award recognises and celebrates the contribution that women with disabilities make to improve the status of women with disabilities.

A secondary focus is their contribution to their local and/or wider community.

  • Individual women being nominated for this award must have a disability and be a resident of Victoria.
  • Groups nominated for this award must have a majority membership of women with disabilities and be residents of Victoria. 
Selection Criteria:
The winner will be selected based on the following criteria;
  • Key selection criterion The contribution the woman with a disability or group has made to improve the individual or group status of women with disabilities.
  • Secondary selection criterion The contribution the woman with a disability or group has made to their local and/or the wider community.
Nominators are welcome to represent their nominees from last year. Their nominations will be viewed favourably.

We encourage women from diverse backgrounds and/or life experiences to be nominated.

The winner of the award receives $2000 toward a capacity building project or professional development. 
This award would not be possible without the generous support of Dr Helen Sykes the Director of Future Leaders.
For a nomination form or details on the selection process please download the forms below
or contact:
Jane Oldfield 
Partnership and Leadership Development
Women with Disabilities Victoria  
9286 7807 or
Brenda Gabe Award - Nomination Form 2014
Brenda Gabe Brochure 2014

Enabling Women Leadership Program

                                       Image of previous enabling women graduation ceremony

WDV is offering a 4 day leadership program to women who wish to lead in their own communities, Enabling Women.

The Enabling Women program aims to deepen women’s understanding of issues affecting women with disabilities, to empower women to lead and advocate in their own community, and to empower women to advocate as members of Women with Disabilities Victoria.

The leadership program is offered in easy English for those who have difficulty reading or remembering written information.
This program recognizes that women learn in different ways and in different places. As such a variety of learning styles are offered with a key focus being on learning from each other.

Topics covered include
  • Getting to know you,
  • The Social Model of Disability
  • Self-Identity                                   
  • Human Rights
  • Communication
  • Advocacy (speaking up for your rights)
  • Leadership                                          
The program provides opportunity for women from diverse backgrounds with disabilities to come together.  Woman will share their mutual experience of disability and find solutions together to the problems of social disadvantage.  
Join the program and rise to your true leadership potential!

Where: Surf Coast Shire Council Offices – 1 Merrijig Dve Torquay
When:   Wednesdays from Oct 22nd – November 19th
Time:    10:00am -3:00pm 
Your contribution: Just your time and your commitment. The program is free!
To apply, please download the Application Form and return to Jane Oldfield
Jane Oldfield | Ph. 9286 7807 | Email jane.oldfield





Victims Support Agency Survey

The Victims Support Agency is conducting a survey of the ‘Support Needs of Victims and Witnesses in the Magistrates' Court’
        To participate you need to be:      

  •               18 years or over    
  •               A resident of Victoria

          AND one of the following:       

  • A victim or witness of a personal crime (for example assault, threatened assault, stalking, robbery, and sex offences)
  • A victim or witness who has attended the Magistrates' Court of Victoria during 2012, 2013 or 2014.
  • You have attended court for an Intervention Order or Safety Notice

The survey is voluntary and confidential and will be used to develop policies and programs for victims and witnesses of crime. Deciding to participate or not will not affect any services you may currently be receiving from victims’ services, police or the court.  
The survey will take around 20 minutes to complete.
 If you would like to find out more or you would like to complete the survey, please go to:

Your decision to participate or not in the survey, will have no effect on the services you may currently be receiving from this agency, the court or other justice agenies.

If you have any questions about the research or survey, please contact Margaret Camilleri at the Victims Support Agency on 8684 6716 or by email on

If you have any concerns about the conduct of this research, please contact the Secretary of the Department of Justice Ethics Committee on or on 8684 1514.

Reminder: Everybody’s Business: Taking action to prevent and respond to violence against women with disabilities

An important free forum for all staff and management of South West Carer and Respite Services Network member organisations, carers, people with disability and organisations interested in taking collaborative action.
Time: 10am – 4.30pm
When: Thursday 14 August 2014
Where: The Quality Suites Deep Blue Warrnambool
‘The Ball Room’
16 Pertobe Road, Warrnambool
Key Note Speaker Stella Young
Panel discussion including  Keran Howe Executive Director of Women with Disabilities Vic, Disabilities Services Commissioner, Office of the Public Advocate, Victoria Police, SW Centre Against Sexual Assault, Emma House Domestic Violence Services Inc.

The panel will be followed by workshops to develop action.
RSVP: by Monday 11 August 2014
To book contact Mpower 5561 8111
For further information contact:
Wendy Jones - Phone 5561 8127 Email:


Health Care Experiences of People with Intellectual Disability: Research Project

Are you a person with an intellectual disability or a primary caregiver to someone with an intellectual disability?

Dr Danielle Newton and other researchers at Deakin University would like to invite you to take part in a project about the health care experiences of people with intellectual disability and their caregivers.

This research project is interested in finding out about your experiences of using health services and your experiences of understanding and using health care information. It is hoped that the information gathered from this project can be used to improve health care for people with intellectual disability and their carers.

Taking part in the project involves a telephone or face-to-face interview at time that suits you. The interview would take between 30 minutes to 1 hour. You will be given a $30 Coles-Myer gift card as a thank you for talking to them.

This project has been approved by the Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee (2014-127).
If you would like to take part or would like to know more, contact the project Research Assistant, Ms Jeretine Tan:
T: (03) 9251 7292

Human Rights 

Reminder: Survey, Disability Discrimination in the field of Employment

Australian National University, Dale Reardon, College of Law

This Research Project asks the question â€Can Australian disability anti-discrimination laws in the area of employment be made more effective through the creation of an enforcement body and more effective remedies?”

Part of the research involves a detailed survey focusing on the experiences of disabled Australians in their use of the Australian anti-discrimination law (ADL) system in the field of employment. 

Optional subsequent in depth interviews of both disabled people and relevant experts in the field will also be conducted.

You are invited to participate in the research by undertaking this survey that should take about 20 minutes to complete. You are not required to reveal your identity.

Go to Survey

The online survey has been designed to be fully accessible but if you encounter any problems using the online survey, or would prefer to complete the survey by phone or hardcopy, contact Dale Reardon:
T: 03 6286 7105

Employment, Training & Conferences

Reminder: Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference 


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


Employ Outside the Box: The Business Case for Employing People with a Disability 

Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Eastern Metro Councils and keynote speaker Simon McKeon present a business breakfast for employers exploring the opportunities of employing people with a disability. This event will outline the available financial and operational supports, bust some myths and answer your questions. A must for CEOs, HR managers and anyone wanting to improve how they do business.

When: 14 August
Time: 7.30am to 10.30am
Cost: $40 incl. full breakfast
Bookings and info: 9879 2933 or here.

Career Workshops for Women over 45

Are you over 45?
Thinking of returning to work or not hearing back from job applications?
Lost confidence? Overwhelmed?
Need to update your skills and resumé?

WIRE in conjunction with New Career Services and Career: Take 2 is delighted to offer this series of free Career Workshops for Women over 45. These workshops and group support sessions are specifically designed to support mature women with navigating their way towards new and rewarding careers, and will be facilitated by Raelene Campbell (Career: Take 2) and Ros Cathro and Nicole Seurat-Batterham (New Career Services).
Session Dates & Times
Workshop dates: 10am – 2pm Thursdays 31 July, 14 & 28 August 2014
1-hour group support sessions: Thursdays 7 & 21 August 2014 (time to be confirmed)

Venue: WIRE  372 Spencer St, West Melbourne Map

During these workshops, you will:

  • Build awareness of your abilities, interests and work possibilities
  • Effectively present your employability skills
  • Understand effective job search strategies and varying approaches
  • Know how to access the hidden 80% of jobs
  • Create a resumé that showcases your expertise
  • Build confidence to master interviews
  • Take control and book now!
Put yourself first and avoid common pitfalls that other women over 45 are experiencing. Limited free places so don’t miss out. Book online. For enquiries please call 9348 9416 (Option 2) or email

Advocacy, Leadership and Representation

2015 Victorian Women’s Governance Scholarship program now open

Applications close Monday 18 August

Women serving on boards of Victorian Government funded not-for-profit organisations can now apply for the 2015 Victorian Women’s Governance Scholarship program.

The program offers 34 Victorian women the opportunity to hone their leadership and decision-making skills by undertaking training with the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Successful applicants also receive a year’s free membership to the institute.

This initiative is a partnership between the Victorian Government and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Applications close Monday 18 August 2014.

For details please visit Department of Human Services website

Out and About - Accessible Events

Image of a man and a woman embracing with the text "intimacy"

Brought to you by Torque Show

Intimacy is presented as part of Helium, an initiative of Malthouse Theatre

Michelle Ryan started dancing when she was four years old, and went on to become one of the most celebrated dancers in the country. At 30, at the peak of her career, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Although MS has irreparably damaged Michelle’s physical prowess, it cannot undermine a lifetime of physical artistry and creative expression. In Intimacy, Michelle shares her most private thoughts and feelings in a very public way. As Michelle becomes increasingly vulnerable, she is both more isolated and more in need of the help of others. Who will take this dance with her?

Performed with a live score by Lavender Vs Rose, Intimacy is a fictional stage for Michelle’s real-life daily experiences; a world where highly awkward, absurdly humorous and deeply moving moments manifest in unexpected ways. And where other people aren’t sure where to look, and how to help.

Devised and created by Torque Show in collaboration with Michelle Ryan and Lavender vs Rose ~ Directed by Ingrid Weisfelt and Ross Ganf ~ Performed by Michelle Ryan, Vincent Crowley, Emma Bathgate and Simon Eszeky ~ Lighting Design John Ford ~ Set and Costume Design Adrienne Chisholm ~ Production and Stage Man-ager Halley Jean Buckham.

13 – 23 August, 2014
Wed – Sat 7pm ~ Tickets: $25

Bookings: 03 9685 5111 or online at
Venue: Malthouse Tower Theatre - 113 Sturt Street, Southbank

60 minutes, no interval

There will be AUSLAN Interpreter and Q&A with Michelle Ryan after the show on Wednesday the 13th of August.
Torque Show would like to present you with a special TWO for ONE ticket offer for the shows on Wednesday the 13th of August and Friday the 15th of August at 7pm.

To take advantage, just book online here and enter the CODEWORD “Torquetime”.


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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