For more information about Women with Disabilities Victoria please visit our website at
Women with Disabilities Victoria logo
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 Board Member profile: Sonja Ilievska


Sonja Iliveska is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). She has experience in risk management, policy development and governance, with specialist areas including auditing and development of risk management frameworks. She is a managing partner in a risk management and consulting firm and is an active member of Hobson’s Bay Women’s Advisory Committee and Vice President of Williamstown Community and Education Centre. We asked Sonja a few questions.
What made you interested in joining the WDV board? My first impression and official meeting with the other members of WDV was an inspiring one, the rapport, the welcoming and real community feel of the group made me want to be a part of this inspiring group of women. Being able to assist in the strategic direction and governance of the organisation was a key factor in motivating me to become part of the Board.
Is there a leader or role model that you admire? In no particular order, I have three role models I admire Her Excellency the Hon Linda Dessau Victoria’s first female Governor, who at her appointment said that she hoped that in the future, appointments such as this will “‘become less remarkable as more women assume public office”. Joan Kirner for all she accomplished for women in the West and women in general and also Tricia Malowney who welcomed me, encouraged me to join the Board and continues to inspire me.
What would you most like to change for women with disabilities? Raising the status of Women with Disabilities, improving women’s choices and inclusion as we have a long way to go.
What does the ideal day involve for you? Ideally waking up pain free....simple, everything else I think I can handle as it comes. I love my life, where I am and what I do, surrounded by people who continue to inspire me.

PHOTO: Sonja Iliveska

Support women to tell their own stories about safety in mental health services through film

The film, 'IMPATIENT,' follows artist and activist Sue Armstrong’s efforts to make the Victorian mental health system safer for women. A philanthropic project is happening to get 'IMPATIENT' seen around Australia. You can donate to this important film through Documentary Australia. To find out more about Sue's campaign contact Sue.

IMAGE: Sue Armstrong
Signs for Health

The Victorian human rights Commission will soon be launching its Signs for Health website, which will include information to educate Victorian hospital staff on providing Auslan interpreters and other communication supports to patients who are Deaf and hard of hearing.

It will also publish information for patients who are Deaf and hard of hearing, detailing their rights to communication access when they go to public hospitals.

Signs for Health is led by the Commission and forms part of a broader project to improve the provision of Auslan interpreters in public hospitals. The project is supported by a reference group including representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services, Deaf Victoria, Vicdeaf, Royal Women's Hospital and Bendigo Health.
The Commission would like to thank everyone who generously gave of their time during consultations, interviews and research for the Signs for Health project.

More information on the launch of Signs for Health will be released in the coming weeks or contact Bridie Hudson, Policy and Project Officer, ph: 03 9032 3491.

National Disability Insurance Agency wants more power over NDIS costs: ABC news

ABC News report the agency overseeing the $22-billion National Disability Insurance Scheme has indicated it wants greater powers to control costs.

Royal Commission sends NDIS a message on family violence: WDV write in Croakey

What makes the Family Violence Royal Commission report a breakthrough is the attention to developing the disability sector's responses to family violence. We write about the strong message the Commissioners have sent the NDIS and disability services in Croakey. While some of Commission's recommendations have been recommended in previous reports, this time it is significant because the Victorian Government has committed to implementing all of the Commission's recommendations.

Anger, frustration over government silence on disability abuse royal commission

The Sydney Morning Herald report, Disability advocates have slammed the federal government's "astounding silence" over a landmark Senate report, which called for a royal commission into disability abuse more than four months ago. 

Info sessions: WIRE phone support volunteer training

WIRE Women's Information Referral Exchange has phone support worker training running in late May. The training is for women who are:
  • at least 21 years old with good spoken and written English communication skills
  • open to diversity and other peoples’ values, and willing to be challenged
  • willing to commit to volunteering with WIRE fortnightly for at least 12 months.

Community Visitors Scheme 'Out and About' seeks volunteers

Switchboard Victoria runs a Community Visitors Scheme called 'Out and About'. It is a volunteer-based home visiting program for older people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or Queer, who may be lonely or socially isolated and whose quality of life may be improved by friendship and companionship.

Volunteers visit older LGBTIQ people regularly to talk and share life stories, read, watch TV or a movie or go for a walk. If you are looking for a visitor or want to join the volunteer team, call 0466 218 921 or email. For details visit

Women's Rights at Work: consultation by We Are Union Women
We Are Union Women has launched a consultation on Women’s Rights at Work. It is is all about talking to women about their experiences of work, the challenges they face and their ideas for change. We Are Union Women are committed to ensuring that the diverse voices of women from across all sections of society are represented in the consultation process. To be involved fill in the online survey or see the project's webpage to run a consultation in your group or workplace.


Medical Abortion in Australia: current research collated by Women's Health Victoria 

Women's Health Victoria report, 'Safe access to abortion is good public health practice and plays an important role in supporting women’s health, agency and wellbeing.' WHV's publish a monthly Connector, each edition covers a specific topic and contains a selection of up-to-date resources. The April Connector focuses on the introduction of medical abortion in Australia.
The Connector reads, 'Available internationally since the late 1980s, medical (non-surgical) abortions have become available in Victoria since mifepristone was added to the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in 2013. Medical abortion offers an alternative to surgery for women in the early weeks of pregnancy... Access to medical abortion is associated with numerous potential benefits, including greater choice and access for women as well as lower costs. Registered GPs are able to provide medical abortions potentially improving access for women in regional and remote areas in particular.

Research is currently underway in Victoria to examine the extent to which the provision of medical abortion has really increased access to abortion for women. Ongoing barriers affecting women’s access to abortion may include stigmatisation (of patients and health professionals providing medical abortions), high costs and the multiple appointments required.' To see the resources available, go to the April Connector.


A conversation with Şafak Pavey on representing marginalised voices and the arts: Arts Centre Melbourne

Şafak is a Turkish diplomat, columnist and politician. She is the first disabled woman ever elected to the Turkish parliament, and is a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Her Melbourne event is a must for all of us who are passionate about representation of marginalised voices in places of power. She will also speak on the role the arts and creativity can play in addressing the challenging issues of our time. Book your free ticket for Friday 29th April, 6pm.

IMAGE: Safak Pavey

Copyright © 2016 Women with Disabilities Victoria, All rights reserved.

All of our contact information can further be found at

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp