WDV eNewsletter
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WDV Updates

Last Friday the Graduates from the Enabling Women Program in the south east met to share some food and discuss what has been happening since they last saw each other. Stories included joining an adult ballet class for the vision impaired, learning massage, and participating in a Jamie Oliver cooking class. The group  are currently organising themselves to speak on Women of Today a program on Casey Community Radio and hope to continue catching up.

Applications close for the Barwon Enabling Women Program this Monday the 22nd of September. This program has been especially designed for women with a disability and run by women with a disability. For more information visit our website.

Applications for the Gippsland Enabling Women program have now closed with 20 women applying. The program will be run in Sale and we have plans for future programs to run in other parts of Gippsland next year. The Enabling Women reference group for Gippsland have taken the lead in securing funding to run this program multiple times over the next few years and have played a strong part in encouraging local women to apply. For more information visit our website.

Brenda Gabe Update:
Applications have now closed. Thank you to all those who took the time to nominate, we're now busy assessing the applications and are thrilled with the caliber of nominees.The winner will be announced at our AGM on Friday the 7th of November. All involved in the application process are very welcome to attend. (Further details about our AGM will be available in a few weeks)

On August 26th our Executive Director Keran Howe spoke at Building leadership from where I stand : preventing violence against women 

The forum provided a platform for women’s health services, local government, service providers, businesses and other partner organisations to explore opportunities for coordination, leadership and promising practice in the prevention of violence against women.

Election Forum and Statement

In the lead up to the Victorian election we are holding an election forum to enable our members to be better informed about each party’s policies regarding women with disabilities.

We are interested in any questions our members may have about the policies of the major parties - regarding health, violence prevention and the social participation of women with disabilities.

A representative from each major political party will respond to our questions.

Andrea Coote Parliamentary Secretary for Families & Community Services
Danielle Green Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Women
and Health Promotion

Colleen Hartland Victorian Greens’ spokesperson for Health, Community  Services, Women’s and Multicultural Affairs.

Date: Tuesday 30 September 2014  
Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm
Venue: Level 8/255 Bourke St Melbourne

You can also view our 2014 State Election Statement

Please send us any questions you may have and we will select three questions to present to the politicians to answer.

Please RSVP letting us know of any access requirements by September 22nd via

Building Leadership From Where I Stand: Preventing Violence Against Women.

Women’s Health Victoria (WHV) and Women’s Health Association of Victoria hosted an August forum, Building Leadership From Where I Stand: Preventing Violence Against Women. WDV’s Executive Officer, Keran Howe, made a presentation on intersectionality (the layers of discrimination experienced by people because of qualities like their gender, disability, race, sexuality and location). 

Keran’s address can be seen on WHV’s website along with some fabulous other presentations, including Dr Adele Murdolo Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, speaking about intersectionality from a cultural perspective. Keran and Adele’s presentation created enthusiastic discussion about how Women’s Health Services can bring inclusive thinking to the centre of their work.  




Published on 3 September 2014 at

Women with disabilities experience higher rates of violence against them than women in the general community, but are often too scared to report it.

To help raise awareness of this and to help women with disabilities who have experienced violence to tell their stories, several organisations have joined together in the Voices Against Violence research project.

Funded by the Legal Services Board and carried out by Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV), the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV), researchers listened to the experiences of women with disabilities (including physical, sensory and cognitive impairments, and mental ill-health) who had also experienced violence, to help them tell their stories.

VCOSS Link Coordinator Amy Webster interviewed Dr Delanie Woodlock, DVRCV lead researcher forVoices Against Violence about the project.

Q: How did the project come about?

Voices Against Violence builds on previous research undertaken separately by the three partner organisations (WDV, OPA and DVRCV) on different aspects of violence against women, and disability.

From this earlier research we know that women with disabilities experience higher rates of violence than women in the general community. We also know that they can encounter significant barriers to accessing appropriate support services and justice outcomes.

By bringing DVRCV, OPA and WDV together, we hoped to provide a more comprehensive analysis of the intersection between gender, disability and the experience of violence.

Q: What was your methodology?

Going into the project it was important to all of us to make sure the voices of women with disabilities who had experienced violence were central to the research.

To engage these women we held a number of forums about the project, which also provided information about violence, safety and respect. The forums were a good way to build trust and rapport with the women and to enable them to make an informed choice about being part of the research. We then conducted in-depth interviews with individual women whose stories provided the many case studies in the research.

Q: What were some of the findings that came out of the research?

The most overwhelming finding was the extent of the violence experienced by the women. The women we spoke to experienced high levels of violence throughout their lives and typically experienced many forms of violence, from a number of different perpetrators over many years. The kinds of violence that women experienced included intimate partner violence (physical, emotional and sexual abuse, childhood sexual abuse), institutional violence, disability-based violence and sexual assault from strangers and acquaintances.

Distressingly, perpetrators often deliberately exploited women’s disabilities. For instance, women’s physical disabilities were used by perpetrators to limit their means of escape, and to humiliate and manipulate them.

Women’s mental ill-health was exploited by perpetrators to discredit them and create fear that no one would believe them if they sought help. Women with cognitive disabilities experienced high levels of violence, particularly in institutional care.

Understandably, these life experiences contributed to women with disabilities being afraid to seek help.

These women were afraid of a number of different things, that their children would be removed from their care, that they would have nowhere to live, that they would not be believed, that they would be institutionalised, and that they would be killed.

As a result a number of the women decided not to report the violence, particularly Aboriginal women with disabilities.

For some, a lifetime of cumulative discrimination made them feel that the violence they were experiencing was normal and that they simply had to live with it.

Prior to conducting the research, we already had a lot of knowledge about violence against women generally. We knew that it is most often perpetrated by male intimate partners, or ex-partners. We knew that violence can include emotional, psychological and physical abuse and that, at their core, all these forms of violence are about power and control and take place in a broader culture of gender inequality.Voices Against Violence enabled us to integrate the experience of disability into what we know about violence against women generally.

Q: Given these additional barriers women with disabilities face in accessing support, what did your research find about the way services responded when women did seek help?

When women did come forward and seek support, the difficulty of navigating a complicated and sometimes siloed support system presented another barrier. As the complexity of the women’s situations increased, their access to services, information and support became more problematic and less obtainable.

Finding suitable housing was difficult for some women, particularly if a woman’s disability did not exactly fit into service criteria and requirements.

The combination of disability and cultural background also often compounded the experience of violence for Aboriginal women. Support for Aboriginal women was not always available due to inadequate resourcing, particularly in rural areas.

Finding someone to speak with and trust was a most valuable support for women to help them understand that the violence was not their fault and that they did not have to continue to accept it or live with it. Women’s families and friends were the main supports, as were support workers from both women’s and disability services. Women’s support groups were particularly identified as a key source of support for many of the women.

Q: What recommendations or plans for future work have come out of the research?

We have been really pleased by the interest shown by government and the broader sector since the launch of Voices Against Violence. We hope that the research findings will be used to improve and inform policy development and service responses.

Our specific recommendations include that education on the nature of violence, rights in relationships, and respectful and safe relationships, be provided to women with disabilities and integrated as part of the Victorian Government’s initiatives to prevent violence against women.

It’s really important that this information is communicated in a range of accessible formats and made available through disability organisations, violence response services and community organisations. Information needs to be provided in fact sheets and also face-to-face, to meet the varying needs of women with disabilities.

Most importantly, we hope that future work recognises that women with disabilities who have experienced violence are experts on their own lives and experiences, and as such their voices must be sought out, listened to and respected.

This means that women with disabilities need to be resourced to be advocates and provided with the means to actively participate in and be represented on decision-making, advisory and planning bodies relating to violence against women.

Access the Voices Against Violence research report here



The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, established by the Australian Government in January 2013, is an important step towards addressing the responses of Australian institutions to child sexual abuse.
Children and young people are vulnerable to those in positions of power. Research has found that children with disability are 3.4 times more likely to be abused than other children. Children with communication difficulties and high behavioural support needs have a further heightened risk of abuse. Society’s attitudes and assumptions, inadequate services and factors associated with impairment have been shown to make children with disability more vulnerable to abuse.
Children with Disability Australia has received funding from the Department of Social Services to enable us to contribute to the work of the Royal Commission and to progress the inclusion of the experiences of children with disability.

CDA is providing information and referral support to its members and other individuals or organisations.
CDA plans to increase awareness and understanding of the work of the Royal Commission among children with disability and their families through provision of information to members, social media networks, relevant established contacts and networks and other key stakeholders. These activities will enable increased participation in and contribution to the Royal Commission of relevant experiences of children with disability.
CDA will ensure that children with disability and their families are supported, through information and referral, if they are considering making a submission to the Royal Commission.
Through this work, CDA aims to achieve greater awareness in Children and Family Services and the broader community regarding specific considerations relevant to abuse and children and young people with disability.
It is also an important goal to increase both identification and implementation of preventive and protective strategies which will reduce the risk of child sexual abuse in institutions in the future.
Further information and referral to relevant support services can be obtained by contacting the CDA office on 03 9482 1130 or 1800 222 660 (regional and interstate callers) or by email at
Information about CDA’S work regarding the Royal Commission into Institutio
nal Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is available at:



The findings of the recently released National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS) are disturbing and suggest there has been minimal progress over the past 5 years in addressing gender inequality and violence against women in Australia. Just some of the key findings include:

• Most Australians see violence against women as being primarily due to some men being unable to manage their anger.

• 4 in 10 Australians believe that rape results from men not being able to control their need for sex.

• Substantial numbers of Australians believe that the victim can be blamed for violence in certain circumstances. One in five (19%) believe that the woman bears some responsibility if raped while she is affected by alcohol and drugs, while 16% agree that women often say ‘no’ when they mean ‘yes’. 12% believe that if a woman goes into a room alone with a man at a party, it is her fault if she is raped. 

• 2 in 5 Australians believe that ‘a lot of times, women who say they were raped had led the man on and then had regrets’.

• 1 in 10 (10%) Australians agree that ‘if a woman doesn’t physically resist – even if protesting verbally – then it isn’t really rape’.

• Only 4 in 10 Australians are aware of the greater risk of violence experienced by women with disabilities.

• Up to 28% of Australians endorse attitudes supportive of male dominance of decision-making in relationships.

• More than 50% of Australians believe that women often fabricate cases of domestic violence in order to improve their prospects in family law cases.

• Sizeable proportions of Australians believe there are circumstances in which violence against women can be excused. 

• Fewer than half of Australians (42%) are aware that women with disabilities reporting sexual assault are less likely than other women to be believed. 

• Men with disabilities are more likely than those without disabilities and women with disabilities to endorse violence-supportive attitudes.

• Most Australians have a poor understanding of the barriers women experience to seeking safety from violence.

• Many Australians say that they would not know where to go for help about a domestic violence problem.

• 1 in 10 Australians agree that ‘when jobs are scarce men have more right to a job than women’ (12%) and that ‘discrimination against women is no longer a problem in the workplace in Australia’ (13%).

The Report: ‘Australians' attitudes to violence against women: Findings from the 2013 National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS)’ is available for download from the VicHealth website at: 


B a r w o n CASA 2014 Annual General Meeting

When: Thursday 2 October 2014
Where: The Royal Geelong Yacht Club 25 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong

Guest Speaker: Jerril Rechter Chief Executive Officer Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth)

RSVP by 23 September 2014 (03) 5222 4318 

Our Watch

The Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and Children have launched their new name, Our Watch. Their mandate is to stop violence before it occurs. For more information, refer to their website or their strategic plan.
Board chair, Natasha Stott Despoja announced a high profile line-up of Our Watch supporters, including inaugural Patron-in-Chief, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC, Governor-General of Australia, and Patron, Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO.
“Violence against women is a national emergency - one woman is killed almost every week by a current or former partner in Australia,” said Ms Stott Despoja.
“Our Watch has a mandate to stop this violence before it occurs. We are calling on all Australians to speak out and take action to prevent violence against women and their children on our watch.”
Joining Our Watch to advocate for an Australia free from domestic, family and sexual violence is an impressive list of ambassadors, including comedian and television presenter, Charlie Pickering, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, human rights advocate, Khadija Gbla, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, Chief of the Australian Army, comedian and journalist, Stella Young, actor and director, Damian Walshe-Howling and actor, Miranda Tapsell.
To coincide with the launch, Our Watch released a video featuring two very different futures for Australia’s children; the first showing a future where negative attitudes and behaviour towards women are not changed and the second, showing a future where women and men are afforded equal respect and positive treatment.
The video, available online features many well-known Australians as well as domestic and family violence survivors, who passionately support the end of violence against women and their children, such as Shane Jacobson, Tara Moss, Kelton Pell and Rosie Batty.
CEO Paul Linossier said that the organisation aims to deliver tangible change in preventing violence against women and their children in the Australian community.
“Primary prevention is at the heart of our strategy. Our Watch will focus on four key areas; maintaining constructive public conversations, delivering evidence-based prevention programs, working with existing organisations, networks and communities to embed prevention practises, and influencing public policy and institutions,” he said.
Ms Stott Despoja launched Our Watch, along with its five year plan and strategic priorities to prevent violence against women and their children, with Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women; The Hon. Bess Nungarrayi Price MLA, Minister for Community Services and Women’s Policy (NT), The Hon Jay Weatherill MP, Premier of South Australia, and The Hon. Mary Wooldridge, Minister for Community Services (VIC).
To view the Our Watch strategic plan, priorities and launch video go to
Media contact:Hannah Grant, Media Relations Officer, Our Watch | 0448 844 930 |




Enabling Health: Taking Action to Improve the Health of People with a Disability 

This evidence-based health promotion resource provides information and guidance on action to improve the health of Australians with a disability. It brings together the findings of a scientific literature review with stories of promising health promotion practice from across Australia and internationally.

Designed for people who work across the disability sector, Enabling Health is significant because while we know that the overall health of people with a disability is much worse than that of the general population; people with a disability have not been prioritised in the same way as other population groups experiencing inequity.
Download Enabling Health Report (PDF)

Disability and Sexuality: Supporting the Sexual Expression of People with Disability

People with a disability can have the full range of sexuality and relationship experiences; however research shows that currently people with a disability have less experience and often more negative experiences than others. This short forum explores some of the barriers that exist for people with disabilities as well as how we can encourage and support intimate connections with others. We will also explore the sex industry as an option for sexual expression. About the guest speakers:
  • Sex worker – To clarify the expectations and supports required when accessing a sex worker (for both males and females).  The sex worker will discuss personal experience of servicing people with a disability.
  • Jax Jacki Brown – Advocate, freelance writer and performer.  Jax has both personal and academic knowledge of disability and sexuality.  Her presentation explores a strength based approach to disability and sexuality as she responds to a range of challenging questions.
  • Dr George Taleporos – An academic and consultant who has a PhD in Sexuality.
  • Dr George will provide an interactive presentation on the commonly overlooked and misunderstood practice of sexual facilitation. This seemingly confronting aspect of disability support will be openly explored and all questions will be answered with practical solutions.
A representative from Sexyland will demonstrate a range of sex toys that have been adapted for people with disabilities.
Afternoon tea is provided.
Thu 9th Oct, 2014: 1:00pm - 4:00pm, Preston
Cost: $110.00 per person (incl. GST)
Register online


Training and Research

Business Basics For Women

Business Basics for Women is a supportive and friendly pre-accredited program that will help give you the confidence and skills to take the first steps in creating a business. CAE’s pre-accredited programs are funded by the Victorian government to offer basic or introductory training to help develop the skills and confidence to move into formal education or work.

10 sessions from Tuesday 7 Oct 10am – 2:30 pm to 9 Dec

You will:
•    Create a business, marketing and promotion plan
•    Build confidence and support networks
•    Make a business presentation
•    Learn to manage money
•    Increase your computer skills

Venue: CAE College, Level 3 / 21 Degraves St, Melbourne (near Flinders St Station)
Program Cost: Concession: $20 | Full Fee: $102
To enrol or for more information, call 9652 0719 or email or visit website


 Young People with Intellectual Disability Called to Assist Research

Are you a young person aged 12 -25 and have an intellectual disability living in Victoria?

Are you interested in participating in a peer support group and meet with other people with disabilities? 

If you answered yes, then this opportunity could be for you!

University of New South Wales is doing research to learn more about how young people with intellectual disability manage their own supports. To help with this research, YDAS is putting together a group of six people with intellectual disability and their families who want to learn and share their experiences about their life. The group will meet roughly six times between now and February 2015. In return, each participant will receive a $250 prepaid visa debit card to cover their costs.

If you are interested in being part of the group, please contact Madeleine Sobb, YDAS Project Officer: E: T: (03) 9267 3712

Please respond no later than 22nd September 2014 by 5pm.


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.

They are 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 we gain from this project can be used to improve health care for people with intellectual disability and their carers. This project has been approved by the Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee (2014-127).

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 us.

If you would like to take part or would like to know more about what they are doing, please ring the project Research Assistant, Ms Jeretine Tan on (03) 9251 7292 or send her an email at:

Exploring the sexual and reproductive health care experiences of young people with a physical disability.
Are you a male or female aged between 16 to 25 years?
Do you have a physical disability?
Have you ever been or are you currently sexually active?
If you answered yes to the all of the above, researchers at the University of Melbourne would like to speak with you.

A team of researchers at the University of Melbourne led by Dr Danielle Newton are conducting a research project about the sexual and reproductive health needs and experiences of Australian young people living with a physical disability.

We would like to invite you to share your experiences of using health care services for your sexual health and reproductive health needs.

Participation will involve taking part in a telephone interview at a time that suits you. The interview will last between 30-60 minutes and will be audio-recorded. You will be given a $20 Coles-Myer gift voucher as a thank you for your participation.

If you would like to know more about what we are doing, please contact Dr Danielle Newton on (03) 9035 6039 or send her an email at:

Human Rights 

Changing Places Project

The Changing Places project is a national program to advocate for public toilets with full sized change tables and hoists in major public spaces across Australia.

Every day thousands of Australians are frustrated by lack of appropriate public toilet facilities. There are around 200,000 Australians with a disability who require assistance to meet their toileting needs. Across the country there are only a small handful of toilets which provide the facilities they need like full sized change tables and hoists. The Changing Places project is advocating for a network of safe and hygienic fully accessible toilet facilities in recreational venues, transport hubs, shopping centres and other convenient locations across the country.

It’s time to have your say:
Changing Places is working with the Victorian Government and they are seeking your views about where Changing Places facilities could be of most benefit in Victoria. They would like to know in which three locations a Changing Places facility would be of greatest use.

You can have your say by completing a short survey online by visiting:



Media Release: New homes for residents of Colanda disability centre

•   Funding of $5.7 million to build four new modern supported accommodation homes for    approximately 20 residents of the Colanda Centre in Colac
•  Consultation with residents, families and staff on the new homes to commence soon
•  Victorian Coalition Government committed to closing outdated congregate care facilities
Approximately 20 residents of Colac’s Colanda Centre are set to move to modern community-based supported accommodation homes as a result of $5.7 million in funding from the Victorian Coalition Government.
Speaking today with parents of residents, Victoria's Public Advocate Colleen Pearce and senior officials from the National Disability Insurance Agency at Colanda, Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community Services Andrea Coote announced the funding on behalf of the Minister for Disability Services and Reform Mary Wooldridge and said work would soon commence with families and residents who want to move to the new accommodation.
“This significant investment means we can now deliver on the personal plans of residents who have said they want to move to new homes in Colac and its surrounding areas,” Ms Coote said.
“We will now start the detailed work of planning where four new homes will be built, how they will operate, who will live in them and when they can move.”
Ms Coote said the new homes would be opened in 2016 and families, residents and staff would play a key role throughout the redevelopment.
“We will work closely with residents, families and staff to carefully manage the move to the new homes as we know Colanda has been home to many people for many years.”
Ms Wooldridge said today’s announcement delivers on the Napthine Government’s commitment to modernise disability supported accommodation and close congregate-care style disability institutions such as the Oakleigh Centre for Intellectually Disabled Citizens, and Bendigo’s Sandhurst Residential Services.
“The Coalition Government has funded the closure of outdated institutional facilities at Sandhurst and Oakleigh and we are working in partnership with the NDIS in Barwon to ensure the best outcome for residents of Colanda,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“The experts and research are very clear that people with disabilities have improved quality of life and outcomes when they are able to live in smaller homes in the community.
“The Napthine Government is investing to ensure the residents of Colanda have options about where they live as the NDIS takes shape.”
Mary Wooldridge MP

Lesley Hall Arts and Disability Scholarship

Image of a young Lesley Hall, a woman with dark hair who wears glasses. Text reads arts and disability advocacy scholarship

The Lesley Hall Arts and Disability Scholarship is an annual scholarship offered by Arts Access Victoria (AAV) which recognises the power of the arts to influence social change. It honours the life and activism of the late Lesley Hall, a tireless advocate for the human rights of people with a disability.

Despite the many advances in community inclusion for people with a disability, significant obstacles to the achievement of full and equal participation remain. This scholarship aims to encourage people with a disability to express the lived experience of disability in a contemporary society through art.

The Lesley Hall Arts and Disability Scholarship wishes to celebrate and nurture advocates with a disability who are passionate about change and whose aspirations align with Lesley Hall’s desire for an egalitarian and inclusive community. The successful applicant will be a person with a disability, with an idea for an artwork or art project that reveals the experience of disability and provokes debate about human rights and disability.

This award will support the successful Scholarship winner to deliver an arts project or artwork that will highlight the experience of disability, promote human rights for people with a disability or advocate for social change. In addition to a $3,000 grant, the Scholarship winner will be offered a 12 month internship at AAV, working with mentors to develop their advocacy skills and networks. This is a rare leadership development opportunity.

Applications close on 26th September.

To find out more about the scholarship please read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact AAV on or 03 96998299.

Out and About - Accessible Events

Image of post it notes with a plant, wheelchair, gender symbol and a book

Three's A Crowd
 is about your regular family. Except the siblings are a queer librarian with a disability and a straight business student with a thing for flowers. What could go wrong? Or... what could go right when the uninvited keep coming? A tale about intimacy and family - everyone just wants a bit of lovin' and to be loved.

Auslan Interpreted Performance, Saturday 20th Sept. 

Written by Jess Kapuscinski-Evans

Directed by Jess Keeffe

Starring Jess Kapuscinski-Evans and Rémy Chadwick

Produced by Matilda Houlihan


Publicity by Harriet Ring

By Jess Kapuscinski-Evans

Warning: Coarse Language and Sexual References


Quippings Freaktastic Fringe

Quipping Freaktastic Fringe showcases established and emerging performers with disability in a line-up of talent not to be missed! 

Freaktastic is an innovative, entertaining, sexy and at times provocative show for the festival goer looking for something unashamedly and delightfully different! 

5 acts per night for 5 nights! 


Crips, beautiful freaks, body revolutionaries, non-normative body activists and those with minds who think and see outside the confines of the expected, the boring and the ‘normal’ take to the stage under the Melba Spiegeltent big top over five nights in October to explore what difference/disability means to them.

Quippings: Freaktastic draws attention loudly, proudly, boldly and unashamedly to the history of ‘freaks’ in carnivals or circus 'freak shows'.

Quippings explores the power play of the pornography of disability and asks: who really has the power and what does it mean to have freak pride?

MC disability and queer activist, writer and controversial spoken word artist Jax Jacki Brown heads freaktastic line up:

-Stella Young: winner of Best Newcomer at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014; 

-Emma J Hawkins: recently seen in Finucane and Smith's Glory Box and undertaking her 1st solo show 'I am not a unicorn' 

-Andy Jackson: award winning writer and poet

-Bearbrass Asylum Orchestra 

-Carly Findlay: writer, blogger, and appearance activist

-Electric Vixen: emerging spoken word artist 

-Jarrod Marrinon: disability comedian will take you to places you didn't expect to go!

-Monika Dryburgh: nerdy linguaphile 

-Erin Kyan: debonair deviant 

Quippings Freaktastic is directed by acclaimed writer, actor and director Kate Hood. 

When: October 1-5 as part of Melbourne Fringe
SHOW TIMES: 8.15pm, (Wed 7.45pm) (60min)

This event is fully wheelchair accessible.

If you are a person with a disability and have a companion card you can book tickets in over phone 12pm-6pm daily at the Fringe office: 9660 9600 to get your support worker in for free and also this will accessibility info of how many people with disabilities we have each night to be passed on to Circus Oz. 

Director: Kate Hood
Producer: Jax-Jacki Brown
Freaktastic band: The Bearbrass Asylum Orchestra



Image of a woman with glasses wearing a helmet, she is looking up at a homemade moon

A Four-Eyed Guide to the Galaxy is a tragi-comic DIY romp through the perils of space flight and our irresistible urge to find our dreams in the stars. 

Drawing on physical comedy, clowning, dance, some sweet DIY skills and encapsulating a life-long love of bad Sci-Fi and the th

rill of space flight, A Four-Eyed Guide to the Galaxy focuses in on how we treat those on the fringes of society, and what we're prepared to sacrifice in the name of zero-gravity love.

From the creator of the critically acclaimed one-woman show The Unstoppable, Unsung Story of Shaky M (Xena Warrior Princess LOVED it) comes a new story of heroism and home-made props.

'A powerhouse of pure joy' - Vibe Wire

Auslan Interpreted Performance, Saturday 4th Oct. 

Created and Performed by Rowena Hutson
For more information visit: 

The Sound of Waves
By Gareth Ellis

Image of a woman who appears sweaty of wet with her hand in the air, looking upwards, against a green and blue background

A story of losing one’s world... and finding it again.

Meet Shelly, a normal girl who unexpectedly finds herself becoming more and more fish-like every day. She takes refuge in a world under the sea only to find that one-day even the sea is not enough, and she must search for a way to walk on land again.

The Sound of Waves is a whimsical tale tracing the emotional landscape of performer Jodie Harris’ journey through losing her hearing, receiving a cochlear implant and finding her way in the world again.
Written by Gareth Ellis and directed by Naomi Edwards, this premiere season brings together a highly respected creative team and promises to be a spellbinding event some six years in the making.
“In 2007 I asked Gareth Ellis to write a script based on my experiences of losing my hearing, and getting a cochlear implant. In response, Gareth gave us The Sound of Waves; a play for a solo performer, with all characters to be portrayed vocally and physically.
My first response was “how on earth am I going to do this?” Me, a deaf actor who has struggled for years to find a voice that could be heard, not only by her audience, but in the everyday world? Then a tiny voice inside me, in the words of the weedy Seahorse in the play, said... “I can do this. I can DO this.”” – Jodie Harris
*75 minutes, no interval
**Auslan Interpreted Shows: 9 October at 8pm and 11 October at 5pm
3 – 12 October, 2014 Tue - Sat 8pm, Sun 5pm
Matinees: 9 and 11 October 5pm, 5 October 12pm Tickets: $30 Full, $25 Concession and Groups 8+ Bookings: 03 9662 9966 or fortyfivedownstairs - 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

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

Just for fun

Everyday Feminism: Why getting laid isn't the answer to ableism

Mrs Sabbadical: Letting Go Doesn't Mean Giving Up

Life at my level: Dance Like Nobody is Watching 

Women's Rights by Country 

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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