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:
The future of disability advocacy funding is currently being negotiated by State and Federal Governments. I reticently presented WDV's views in a submission to the National Disability Advocacy Framework Consultation being run by the Department of Social Services.

Australia has not yet begun to measure, let alone achieve equity for people with disabilities. This is true across all of WDV's priority areas; safety from violence, access to health and mainstream services, and employment. As we know, in all these areas, women are particularly disadvantaged. In this environment, the need for systemic advocacy cannot be stressed enough. Individual support packages alone will not address these inequities.

The future of progressing disability equity lies with independent systemic and individual advocacy organisations. In Victoria advocacy organisations have had a sustained focus on attaining human rights and developed specific skills to achieve these across the diverse disability population. We urge the Victorian and Federal Governments to continue to resource our critical work.

IMAGE: Keran Howe

Goulburn Valley Enabling Women Graduation by Jane Oldfield

Thirteen women graduated from the Goulburn Valley Enabling Women leadership program for women with a disabilities. It was a great event with more than 50 guests. Lauren one of the graduates opened the celebration with a empowering song that she had written herself. She was followed by Jeanette who warmly welcomed all the guests. Wendy Shanks CEO of Shepparton Access facilitated the event.
All graduates were presented with a certificate of completion.  Most graduates also chose to say a few words about their experience of the program at this time.
The graduates have already begun the process of speaking up in their community. Two have stepped forward to join Council disability advisory groups and the another the Goulburn Valley Health Consumer Advisory Committee. Two others are working on forming support groups and another stepping up to be an ambassador for people with Parkinson’s disease. Many of them have also stayed in touch and the group came together for a reunion on Wednesday 2.9.15
PHOTO: Enabling Women Goulburn Valley Graduates
Enabling Women featured in the Wangarrata Chronicle

The Wangaratta Chronicle reports that Tegan and Belinda graduated from 5 weeks WDV leadership training "and came away with a passion to improve access for local people with a disability. The women had not met before they signed up as two of the 12 people in the leadership course, but will now work together to get local organisations on board" and are now keep to run their own leadership training next year. Tegan told the Chronicle that the group learnt a lot about advocacy during the course. Both women have been doing work with Women's Health Goulburn North East, and are looking forward to continuing to promote advocacy and disability access. 

IMAGE: Enabling Women graduates, Tegan and Belinda, as seen in the Wangaratta Chronicle
Enabling Younger Women graduates

Participants of WDV's pilot Enabling Younger Women graduated yesterday, September 2nd at Emerson School. The participants shone with confidence and demonstrated it giving speeches, answering questions and singing as a group to the audience of parents and teachers.

Another highlight was guest speaker, Cashelle Dunn, from Women with disabilities Australia. Cashelle shared her story of being a woman with a disability and her many interests, including advocacy.  

PHOTO: Guest speaker, Cashelle Dunn, with two graduates.

Their next opportunity to speak up has already been organised. The young women have been invited to sing at the Emerson School Graduation. We wish our youngest graduates all the best with their next steps.

PHOTO: Enabling Younger Women Graduates with their program facilitators.

Geelong marks Brain Injury Awareness week

On Monday 17 August as part of Brain Injury Awareness week Geelong held an event on violence against women with disabilities. Presenters included
  • Anj Barker (Victoria's Young Australian of the Year 2011), Brain injury and domestic violence survivor
  • Brain Injury Australia's Nick Rushworth
  • Joy*, brain injury and domestic violence survivor
  • Video Message from Senator Mitch Fifield
  • Welcome to Country by Corrina O Toole
  • Musical Performance by Carol McAlister (Brain Injury survivor) & Gail Lambert of Soul Sister Swing
  • Hosted by Cr Kylie Fisher, Corio Ward
The video of the event is due to be uploaded.

Employment Opportunity @WDV: Training Coordinator

WDV is looking for a Gender Equity Training Co-ordinator to implement our Workforce Development Program on Gender and Disability.

The position is part-time (.7 EFT) and for 18-months. Further information about the position, including how to apply, is contained in the job advertisement and position description. Applications close on Friday 25th September 2015.

Karen Russell
P. 03 9286 7800

International Human Rights Watch Fellowships

Human Rights Watch is advertising fellowships for recent graduates of law schools, journalism, international relations or other relevant disciplines from universities worldwide. Applications to Human Rights Watch close October 8th.
Health Promotion vacancy at Women's Health Victoria 

Women’s Health Victoria is advertising for a highly motivated Health Promotion Officer to join our team on a permanent full-time basis. Applications to WHV close at 12pm on Monday 14th September 2015.
Whittlesea Council offers free seminars on how to start and market your small business   

Stepping Stones To Small Business are free seminars in Whittlesea Council. Seminars are on ‘Starting Your Business’, ‘Marketing Basics’ and ‘Build Your Online Strategy’  and will be run in September and October.

Living Safer Sexual Lives peer program to run in Western Melbourne


Living Safer Sexual Lives: Respectful Relationships is a peer education program being delivered by Deakin University). Adults with intellectual disabilities and workers from community organisations are trained to facilitate a four session program about relationships and sex for people with intellectual disabilities. Co-Health are leading a partnership with Maribyrnong City Council, Brimbank City Council and Hobsons Bay City Council to bring the LSSL: RR to the Western Region of Melbourne.

Contact Heidi Peart
Metro Access Project Officer
P: 03 9243 1647

Hello young people - this is a survey for you

Are you aged between 12 and 24? Victoria's Office for Youth is seeking your views on what is important through a survey. The survey has space to talk about discrimination, disability, gender, housing and anything you think is important. There is the chance to win an iPad. Survey closes October 23.
Royal Women's Hospital Consultations


The Women's is very excited to announce that they have started a ‘Patient Experience’ project and would like to invite women with disabilities to be involved.

They are hosting an upcoming workshop where you can share your thoughts, ideas or even your frustrations, It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been a patient of the Women’s, you may have been a carer or support person or simply have an interest in health innovation, your input will help us to shape our future.

Monday 7th September
12.15pm to register, starts 1230pm – 2.30pm

Be sure to RSVP as there is limited capacity for these workshops. Please advise if you require any support to attend, parking, taxi travel, child-minding or have any specific dietary requirements.

Delicious and nutritious food and drinks provided, along with a gift of appreciation.

Gemma Cooper, The Royal Women’s Hospital
Days working: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday.
P 8345 2045
M 0413 428 424

Have your say on Victoria's Mental Health Strategy

Online consultation for Victoria’s next 10-year mental health strategy is now open. What are your ideas for the future of mental health in Victoria? What does the Government need to know about the mental health, safety and wellbeing of women?

IMAGE: Slide by the State of Victoria video
Help shape the future of Victoria's Public Transport System

Public Transport Victoria is holding a consultation to help shape the future of public transport. It will be on the Regional Network Development Plan.
When:        Thursday 3 September 2015
Time:         9.45am arrival for a 10am start to 1pm
Venue:       Clarendon Room, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre,1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf
Public Transport Victoria is also accepting written submissions by the 11 September.
Research participants sought for study on domestic violence

Researchers from Deakin University in Geelong are conducting a study investigating survivors’ experiences of domestic violence. Participation involves a one-hour qualitative interview with two female interviewers at a Deakin campus located at either the Melbourne CBD or Geelong Waterfront campus. Interviewees are awarded a $50 Coles-Myer gift voucher for their time.

If you are a woman over the age of 18 years who has experienced intimate partner violence, and who has accessed a support service (e.g., shelter, crisis help) in relation to your experience, then we would like to hear your story. For more information about the study please contact either Dr. Shannon Hyder (Ph: 03 52273474 or or Elise Cox (

Accessible Consultation Guide
'Inclusive consultation and communication with people with a disability' is a resource developed by the Victorian Government which covers how to choose a venue, set it up, and have accessible face to face and written communication. While this resource is over 10 years old, it still contains more useful hints than you can poke a stick at.

'Why I Long for Spontaneity as a Young Person With Cerebral Palsy' by

In a must read article for The Mighty, Kathleen Downes writes, "A lot of people wonder what it’s like to have a disability day to day. The truth is that it’s fun, rewarding, stressful, challenging, ordinary and extraordinary all at same time, which sounds very much like a description of life in general — with or without a disability...."

She continues, "If there is one thing I could say to summarize what makes my life unique from that of the average 22-year-old, it would be, “Damn, this ‘existence’ gig takes a lot of planning.” In addition to using a power wheelchair, I also have a team of eight personal care assistants who I must rely on to help me with the activities of daily living that most people do without thinking — bathing, getting dressed, going to the bathroom, getting out of bed. Basically, if it’s a task that you thought was reserved for sacred solitude, I probably have company to accomplish it. When someone you may have interviewed and hired just days before has to put you on the toilet, you develop a talent for awkward ice-breaker conversations that would make your college orientation leader look like a total rookie." Read the full article.

See more of Kathleen's writing.
PHOTO from The Mightly of Kathleen Downes
Hiede's photography recognised by Sharon Granek

Heide Schulz who is one of our Enabling Women graduates who completed the course in 2014. Heide is an experienced art therapist with an education and disability focus. In her spare time Heide goes bike riding and is a wonderful photographer.
Heide was recently shortlisted for the Maggie Diaz Photographic Prize for Women. This prize celebrates the work of long-time Melbourne resident and photographer, Maggie Diaz, a trailblazer for Australian women photographers. Diaz arrived in Melbourne alone on a one-way ticket in 1961 and established herself as one of our leading commercial photographers. Diaz went on to capture the essence of Melbourne's artistic and wider community over four decades. She has been recognised as a national treasure in Victorian parliament. By giving her name to this prize 90 year old Maggie hopes to encourage other women photographers ‘to keep at it!
The exhibition is being held at BRIGHTSPACE 8 Martin Street St.Kilda from the 3rd until the 19th September  with the winner announced on the 3rd.
Heide's photo is the one depicting a girl drinking from a fountain. The images can be seen online. Women with Disabilities Victoria congratulates Heide on being shortlisted for the prestigious award.

Quppings Melbourne Fringe Festival show

Quippings is a cutting edge performance troupe of artists with bodies and minds of intriguing variation. This year they're back in the Fringe Festival, and hitting the Richmond Hall through September. Join them in Crip Nation-the other side of normal. This show is a not suitable for children or do-gooders.

Austan Interpreted show Sat 26th of September. The venue is wheelchair accessible, companion cards accepted. Tickets are $21 and concessions apply.

PHOTO: Quippings stars as seen on the Quippings Fringe Facebook Page. Spot the WDV members! 

Copyright © 2015 Women with Disabilities Victoria, All rights reserved.

All of our contact information can further be found at

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp