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Welcome to our eNews

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

In this Issue:


A Message from our Executive Director

Photo of Keran Howe, Executive Director
Keran Howe
Executive Director

Dear Members,

Women with Disabilities Victoria is delighted to invite you to our Annual General Meeting 2013. The AGM will be held on Thursday 28th November at 10.00am at the Exhibition Room, Marriott Hotel, Lonsdale St (cnr Exhibition St), Melbourne. 
Following the official proceedings the inaugural Brenda Gabe Leadership Award will be presented by Dr Helen Sykes AM, Director, Future Leaders, and the Keynote Speech will be delivered by Stella Young, comedian, disability advocate and editor of the ABC’s Ramp Up website
Attached is:

Please RSVP by Friday 22nd November to or by phoning 9286 7800. 
Nomination Forms for WDV Board Director are required to be delivered to the Executive Director no later than 10.00am on Thursday 21st November
Proxy Forms must be received by 10.00am on Wednesday 27th November (or be given to the chair at or prior to commencement of the Annual General Meeting). 
Forms can be:

  • delivered in person to WDV, Level 9, 255 Bourke St, Melbourne;
  • sent by post to GPO Box 1160, Melbourne VIC 3001;
  • faxed to (03) 9663 7955, or


Media Releases

Wednesday 23 October 2013
New initiative to address violence against women with disability
Disability sector workers will receive specialist training to help them prevent and deal with violence against women with disability through an innovative project funded by the Victorian Coalition Government, Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge announced today.
Ms Wooldridge said that $400,000 will be provided to Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) to deliver a training and education program on gender and disability for professionals.
“Family violence can affect all women, however evidence suggests that women and children with disability are particularly at risk of becoming victims of violence,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“This training program will give disability service workers a better understanding of issues facing women with disability in order to deliver gender-sensitive and equitable services.
“Disability service workers will be better equipped to identify when violence is occurring and appropriately respond. They will also learn strategies to promote respectful relationships in disability services between workers, managers and people with disability.”
WDV will partner with Yooralla to deliver training to their direct service workers and managers. Training will also be delivered at a second trial site in the Barwon area – the Victorian launch site of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The pilots will:
     - identify trainers, both women with disability and professional
     trainers (with or without disability), to deliver gender and
     disability training;
     - resource, trial and evaluate the Delivering gender sensitive
     disability services training package; and
     - implement peer education with people with disability within the trial
     site services, based on the successful gender sensitive Living Safer
     Sexual Lives program.
Women with Disabilities Victoria Executive Director Keran Howe said she was excited to be working with disability organisations in the campaign to eradicate violence against women.
“Improving a disability organisation’s understanding of the issues facing women with disabilities, and inequalities produced by gender bias, is a really important part of the fight to eliminate violence against women with disabilities,”  Ms Howe said.
The funding for this project is made available through Victoria’s Action Plan to Address Violence against Women and Children 2012-2015, available
Upon successful completion of the project it is anticipated the training package will be submitted for accreditation with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA), or the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and considered for further roll-out.

Mary Wooldridge MP
State Member for Doncaster
Minister for Mental Health
Minister for Community Services
Minister for Disability Services and Reform



WDV to participate in Walk Against Family Violence

Please join us on the Monday 25th November to Walk Against Family Violence and to remember those women and children who have experienced family violence.
Join support services, sport stars, celebrities and Victoria Police in their annual Walk Against Family Violence.
Women with disabilities experience high rates of family violence. Come along and represent the voices of women with disabilities.
WHEN: Monday 25th November 2013
TIME: 1.30pm – 2:00pm
WHERE: Leaving from Federation Square and returning to Federation Square.
Entertainment at Federation Square from 12.00pm and after the walk until 3:00pm, including the Women’s Circus and Bollywood dancers.

The walk starts and finishes at Fed Square, and covers approximately two blocks (see attached map for walk route). The walk is expected to take about half an hour. If you want to support the event, but don’t want to do the walk, you are welcome to remain at Fed Square, enjoy the entertainment, and meet up afterwards.
One of our members, Tricia Malowney will be speaking at the event. (approx 2:50pm)
Tricia is proud to be an Australian with a disability.  She is a systemic advocate who uses her disability as a tool to bring about better outcomes for Australians with disabilities - she is committed to social justice through better access to services for all marginalised Australians, and to ending violence perpetrated against women with disabilities.  She ensures that a gender lens is applied to the disability sector and that a disability lens is applied to mainstream policy development and service provision
For information about Fed Square’s accessibility: 
You can also view this map of Fed Square to see their accessibility path to the stage.
View the event flyer.
Visit the Walk Against Family Violence social media, share and like at:
http// Twitter:  

Research Project

Alison Elder is currently working on a research project at the University of South Australia  which investigates the long term and complex effects of domestic violence on women’s mental health, housing and employment.
She has contacted WDV to ask for help with her research. They have developed a survey for victims (past or present) of domestic violence, and are hoping that some women in our networks would be able to participate.  Their goal is to obtain responses from women living in the major cities and also regional and rural areas.

Below is a link to the webpage which includes the online survey and background to the project  - and I have attached a short 1 page document as well.
This research has been approved by the University of South Australia Ethics Committee.
They hope this research will lead to greater recognition of the long term and persistent effects of domestic violence on mental health, housing and employment and will be very grateful to any women who participate.
If you would like any more information regarding this project please contact Alison via email or call  (08)  8302 4268.

Women with disability who live in institutions are often victims of violence and sexual abuse. Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes says we must work hard to stop the violence against all women.

Below is an excerpt from a recent article on ABC's Ramp Up. To read the full article, click here.

According to recent research by Women With Disabilities Australia, the University of New South Wales and People with Disabilities Australia, Australian women and girls with disabilities are twice as likely as women and girls without disabilities to experience violence throughout their lives. Women with disabilities are 20% of the female population, and over one-third experience some form of intimate partner violence.

Despite this evidence, women and girls with disabilities are often not included in consultation on this issue, or on structural changes in service systems to stop this violence.

A NEW PUBLICATION for new media reporting on violence against women.

What:  A new publication for the direct reporting of violence against women, without the gendered lens of current media (print, broadcast).

It is an online publication, called “Violence and women; telling it like it is”.

The publication comprises a linked Facebook, twitter and blog, and allows conversations to flow. The aim of the publication is for people to tell and share their stories anonymously, and let issues be unfolded by the conversations ensuing. Mediation prevents abuse and ‘hate’ groups from posting. Links for support will be on the site, and we are inviting the entire sector to take part.

Who: University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism, and their online publication The Citizen.

Specifically, Director Margaret Simons, Senior Lecturer Gael Jennings, The Citizen editor Simon Mann, Senior Lecturer Tim Dunlop, and Masters of Journalism graduate students.

Why:  University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism is exploring the link between gender power in news media and its impact on the reporting of violence against women.
Violence against women in Australia, particularly intimate partner violence, is under-reported by the mainstream media. International research consistently finds that the most important causal factor in family violence is gender power inequality and sexist attitudes to women. The research also shows that media plays a key role in forming societal attitudes to gender and gender roles. These gender issues in the newsroom appear to be reflected in news values and decisions, and are stubbornly resistant to change.

They are offering a new media fulcrum to allow direct reporting of violence against women; one not mediated by ‘blokey’ newsroom cultures, and sexist reporting.
We hope that the “Violence and women; telling it like it is” will not only provide a safe outlet for stories that need to be told by the people involved, instead of through a sexist prism, but will also prove to widely read and highly influential.
This publication is the first part of a project by the Centre aimed at examining and changing the coverage by gendered newsrooms of violence against women.
The impact of this project will be evaluated for attitudinal/behavioural change, and its methodologies applied in further multi-centre intervention projects funded by ARC Linkage grant.

The invitation: They are inviting you and your networks to use these sites to tell your stories, to raise issues and discuss what’s going on in the media about these issues. Please join us and invite all your networks and associates to do so too!
These are the sites:
They are linked to the Centre’s publication The Citizen,

Health & Access to Health Services

Women's Health Victoria's annual report is now available to view or download online. You can view it here.

Parents & Reproductive Rights

Deciding on Motherhood:  Developing a Decision Aid for Women with Epilepsy.

Are you a woman with epilepsy, aged 18-45 years?
Are you unsure about whether or not to start (or enlarge) a family?
If you answered yes to the above two questions, then  University of Sydney need your help for an important study to develop a decision-making tool (called a “Decision Aid”) to help women with
epilepsy consider whether or not to have children.
Please contact the researcher, Amanda McGrath to discuss any aspect of the study and answer any questions that you may have. Ph: 0410 477 935 or email:

Or visit their website

Pregnancy Discrimination National Review

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick is currently conducting a National Review on the prevalence, nature, and consequences of discrimination experienced by pregnant women in the workplace, and men and women who have been on or are returning to work after taking parental leave. As part of this, the Australian Human Rights Commission is hosting a series of consultation sessions around Australia.

The Commission is interested in hearing about:
•             The challenges faced by women in the workplace while pregnant, and by women and men on parental leave or upon returning to work
•             The challenges faced by employers in managing pregnancy, parental leave and return to work
•             Examples of leading practices and strategies in the workplace that can address these challenges
•             Relevant data, case studies and trends
•             Gaps and practical challenges in implementing relevant legislative and policy frameworks.

As part of this National Review they are hosting a consultation session in Melbourne on Friday 29th November, 9:30am – 11:00am with women (and men) who have been affected by discrimination in the workplace related to pregnancy, parental leave and return to work following parental leave.

To register for this session, please contact Lynette Garrick (
Individuals and organisations can also make written submissions if they are unable to attend a consultation session. To make an online submission to the National Review, please see

Research Participants Wanted:

Are you a women aged 40-64?
Are you a carer of an adult with an intellectual disability?

Women's Health East are seeking to recruit women aged 40-64 years old who are the primary carer of an adult with an intellectual disability for research.
If you would be willing to discuss your experiences, please contact Kristine Olaris:
p: 98513715
m: 0407445255

My disabled body, my choice. 

Below is an excerpt from an article published on ABC's Ramp Up website written by Veronica Foale. You can read the full article here.

Although eugenics is widely condemned today, the practice of shaming disabled women for having babies continues.

Recently I was the victim of a comment implying that because I am disabled, I should not have had children. I'll leave aside arguments like the fact that I also pay taxes, and instead focus on the implication that I should not have had children because I have a genetic mutation that causes issues with mobility.

Some people would have you think that the responsible thing to do if you're a disabled woman is put a giant 'Out Of Order' sign over your reproductive organs. To them, not being able to work in a full time job means that I am of no use to the human race and should therefore curl up into a ball and wait to die.

Access to Employment

Employment Survey

NEDA is currently conducting a national online survey on the delivery of Disability Employment Services (DES) and the needs of individuals from NESB and/or CaLD backgrounds with a disability.  
The aim of the survey is to collate the experiences and opinions of people from NESB and/or CaLD backgrounds who have or have not used DES, to identify the barriers they face, as well as the effectiveness and accessibility of DES providers for people from NESB and/or CaLD backgrounds with a disability.  

The aim of the survey is to collate the experiences and opinions of people from NESB and/or CaLD backgrounds who have or have not used DES, to identify the barriers they face, as well as the effectiveness and accessibility of DES providers for people from NESB and/or CaLD backgrounds with a disability.

Please go to the following link for the survey:
For more info please contact Norhawa Bee Mohamed Ismail:
Ph: 0447 724 001

Human Rights

Can you vote independently?
We are looking for women (and men) who are unable to vote independently and therefore without privacy, to share their voting stories in 200 words or less.

A small group of women that have recently completed WDV's Enabling Women Leadership Program, are advocating for a system that allows us to exercise our human right to vote independently and confidentially.

If you can write a story or want to know more, please contact Jacqui at . We’d love to hear from you.



I AM A GIRL is an inspirational feature-length documentary that paints a clear picture of the reality of what it means to be a girl in the 21st century.

As a day on earth transpires from dawn to dusk and into the night, we meet Katie, Habiba, Manu, Aziza, Breani and Kimsey - each on the brink of womanhood and dealing with the realities of what it means to grow up female in their world today.

Filmaker Rebecca Barry takes the audience on a journey through diverse cultures and societies around the globe including Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon, Afghanistan, USA and Australia.

Juelz Sanders, WRISC Project Worker who recently saw the film in Melbourne and spoke with the Director, says It's a great documentary.

“It gives you some insight into what life is really like for some girls. It is challenging to watch too though. It makes you laugh at times, but you also feel the plight of some of these girls."

Prompting WRISC's decision to bring the film to Ballarat is to help raise awareness in our own community of the issues faced by girls....just because they are girls. Juelz says “We strongly believe in our vision of 'safety, equality and opportunity for all' and it takes people to genuinely step up to help make this a reality."

The film will be shown at the Mechanics Institute on Tuesday 26th November at 7:00pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online via our website
We are also excited to have the Producer and Director of I AM A GIRL, Rebecca Barry, attending the event. WRISC will facilitate a Question & Answer session with Rebecca, following the screening.
The event is also a fundraiser for the work of WRISC Family Violence Support.
Click here to view a trailer of the film.

This screening is wheelchair accessible.

Advocacy, Leadership & Representation
Speakout Advocacy Tasmania.

Speakout Advocacy Tasmania have recently released a 4 minute film about making choices and decisions.
Designed to teach young people with intellectual disability about choice and decision making, this film features Casey and Reece talking about the process of decision making.
To view, go to: http:// 


If you are a woman with a disability, or an individual or organisation who supports their aims and objectives, you can now become a member of WWDA for free.

If you would like to join, please complete the membership form available on WWDA's website at:  and return to WWDA via email or post. Memberships can also be organised over the phone. Contact WWDA on 03 62448288.
Although memberships are free, WWDA does accept donations via direct deposit, credit card, cheque and/or money order. WWDA's preferred method of payment of any donations is via direct debit.  Details are provided on the membership form.

Try Walking in My Shoes: Empathy and portrayals of mental illness on screen
February 13, 2014 - February 14, 2014

How is mental illness represented in film and television?
What emotions are elicited from the viewer?
How have these portrayals changed over time?

And what are the implications of these portrayals for mental health awareness in the community?

This symposium is supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, in collaboration with the Dax Centre. The symposium is convened by Fincina Hopgood, Patricia Di Risio and Victoria Duckett, from the University of Melbourne. Confirmed speakers include Professor Raimond Gaita (University of Melbourne), Professor Barbara Creed (University of Melbourne), Associate Professor Jane Stadler (University of Queensland), Associate Professor Stephen Macfarlane (Caulfield Hospital), Dr Pia Brous (The Dax Centre), Dr Samuel Margis (NEST Clinic) and Dr Mark Nicholls (University of Melbourne).

If you would like more information about the symposium, contact Dr Fincina Hopgood: For more information about the Dax Centre, please visit

The Queen Victoria Women's Centre and JDI Research would like to invite you to participate in a paid research discussion next week.

They are looking for people who have been involved in the centre's past programs, events and activities.

Your responses will be used by the Trust as a guide for the strategic planning direction of the Queen Victoria Women's Centre.

If you are interested in taking part in the survey, fill in the surveymonkey form below.  Please note, this does not automatically qualify you for the group.

You will be contacted by phone from a Team member at JDI Research to confirm your participation.

Click here to participate:

All information collected is used solely by the QVWC and JDI Research for the purposes of this activity and will not be rented, sold or given away.

Accessibility & Social Inclusion

New iPhone APP

Aged and disability services Not for Profit, Villa Maria are to launch what it describes as a ground-breaking iPhone app to help people with disability or mobility issues and their carers access Melbourne venues and events.

The free Out & About - Accessing Your Community app will be released for download at a community event on December 1.

Villa Maria Executive Manager of Marketing, Rebecca Ryan, said the Out & About app would fill what had been labelled a “glaring gap” in the local market for app initiatives to assist people with disability or mobility issues.

The app will be launched at Villa Maria's Out & About Family Day

See more at:


Having A Say Conference 2014 Preliminary Program released!

The 2014 Having A Say Conference includes a broad range of activities, performances, presentations, information workshops, skill development opportunities and a lot of fun!!
Come & Try Activities bookings are now OPEN
Attached is the Come & Try booking sheet for HaS:2014.
Please read the instructions carefully as some activities have special requirements.
Sponsorship Closes in 3 weeks
A reminder that sponsorship applications will CLOSE on the 22nd of November 2013 and no late sponsorship applications will be considered (unlike other years!!).
Sponsorship for people with disability who live in Victoria is available through a grant from DHS.
Sponsorship is also available due to a Federal government (FaCHSIA) grant to assist people with disabilities and their families from interstate with subsidised registration fees and other support to attend the conference.

The conference is also looking for volunteers, if you're interested in being involved, please email

Early Bird Registration close in 4 weeks   
A Registration Form can be downloaded here.

If you have questions or need other information please contact 
the VALID office - 03 9416 4003  (metro callers & services)
- rural families or participants Freecall 1800 655 570
or email

Awards, Funding & Grants

Disability Self-Help Grants

The Victorian Government’s commitment to supporting people with a disability and their families is reflected in the provision of non-recurrent operating grants of up to $10,000 over two years for disability self help groups.

Disability Self-Help Grants are available to assist disability self help groups in financing general expenses and minor works and equipment.

Disability Self-Help Grants provide grants of up to $10,000 to assist self-help groups to:

  • strengthen the capacity of people with a disability to live independently in their own community and actively participate in community activities
  • support members to make informed decisions about their own lives
  • encourage a network of community peer support and information exchange for people with a disability and their families/carers
  • increase opportunities for self help groups to provide information and education on the experiences of people with a disability.

Disability Self-Help Grants are allocated for a two-year period – 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Applications for the 2013-15 grant round close Friday 13 December 2013.

The Disability Self-Help Grant guidelines and application form are  available on their website.

If you would like to receive their publication in an accessible format, such as large print, or if you have any queries about these grants, please telephone (03) 1300 880 043.

Victorian Women's Governance Scholarship program 2014

The Victorian Women's Governance Scholarships are a joint initiative of the Victorian Government and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The program is aimed at increasing the knowledge, skills and confidence of Victorian women to enable them to join private, public and community sector boards and to effectively contribute as a Director. It is anticipated that benefits may also flow to participating community and not-for-profit organisations through better governance practices.

What is the scholarship program?

This program will award 34 full fee scholarships (not including accommodation and travel costs) to high-calibre women to undertake the Company Directors Course.
The scholarship recipients will also receive 12 months membership of the Australian Insitute of Company Directors.

Who should apply?
Only women who are current board members of not-for-profit organisations which are in receipt of Victorian state government funding will be considered. Additionally, it is expected that candidates have a basic level of financial literacy to undertake the program.
All applicants must be a resident of Victoria at the time of application and have the right to live and work in Australia for a period of at least five years, and not be previously disqualified as a company director.
Please review the program guidelines and frequently asked questions for further information.
How do I apply?
Applications for the Victorian Women's Governance Scholarships are now open.
Applications will close at 5pm AEST Monday 16th December 2013.
For more information go to


Just for fun!
Dr Danielle Sheypuk - expert on sex, dating and relationships for people with disabilities

Swedish Cinema takes aim at gender bias with Bechdel test rating

New Internationalist interview with Francesca Martinez "Nobody is Normal"

Jody Mcintyre takes the notion of disability to task with a personal exploration of difference and defiance.

ABC Ramp Up editor and uber activist Stella Young's letter to her 16 year old self.

Vote for the ever awesome Stella Young in the Daily Life's list of Women of the Year! Stella is a tireless social agitator for the rights of women, and people with a disability as well as being one of the best feminist writers in Australia.


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