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Welcome to our eNews

This fortnightly email is to keep you updated on the work of Women with Disabilities Victoria, and news on our priority areas. Contributions to this eNews are welcome, email

In this Issue:  
WDV news
WDV's Leading By Example workshop report

In late September WDV ran a 2 day workshop for new and emerging leaders with a disability. The Women Leading By Example workshop provided an opportunity for women to come together to explore what leadership meant to them and hear from a range of female leaders with and without disabilities about their leadership journeys. 

Karen McKenzie was employed as the project officer and an advisory group was established to oversee the project.

Workshops and presentations included

  • Hearing from Rowena Allen the first Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality
  • A panel session of women with and without disabilities from the community and corporate sector
  • Using  social media
  • A look at local government and why more women should get involved as councillors 
  • The f(ailure) word and why this is not necessarily a bad thing 
  • Understanding our own skills and knowledge bring value
  • The importance of Nothing About Us without Us

A speed mentoring session allowed participants to hear from and ask questions of a number of leaders. The common ‘complaint’ was that we just didn’t allow enough time for this popular session!

Participants completed a pre and post survey to learn if the workshop was useful in their leadership journey. The outcome was a definite yes. 

PHOTO: Suzanne Julie and Melanie identify their strengths in the Powerful Women delivering Powerful Change workshop.

What participants said:

“I learnt so much from the workshops and feel much more confident about my leadership skills and ability to lead in advocacy and disability rights as well as my day to day life.”

“I've really gained a sense of empowerment from the workshop and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to attend.”

“The best sign was the high level of energy still evident in the very last session of the 2 days.”

What next? - We will set up a group shortly so that all the participants can stay in touch with each other and Women with Disabilities Victoria 

The project was funded by the Melbourne City Council and the Melbourne Women’s Fund, a giving account of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

PHOTO: Leadership Panel session – left to right – Jody Barney, Dur-e Dara, Maryanne Diamond, Sally Freeman and Keran Howe

HESTA awards

WDV was wrapped to be announced as a finalist in the 2016 HESTA Community Sector Awards. Keran is looking forward to attending the awards ceremony in November.


Employment and opportunities

Consultations and research
  • The Royal Women's Hospital invites you to 'Hearing the voices of our patients and consumers', 3:45pm Thursday 10 November 2016
    RSVP - E: / T: Andrea Baranski on (03) 8345 2232. Please advise of access requirements.
  • Victorian Legal Aid is consulting on the child protection system.
  • Young Women and Pornography Research: Pornography is widely available and most young people have accessed it. Sexual images, advertisements, and music videos are part of our culture. It is important to understand what pornography means to young women. If you are a woman aged from 18 to 30 years, living in Australia, we would like to hear your story. This might include: your thoughts and opinions about your own use, your partner’s use, or how you feel pornography has influenced you through friends or culture. We can have a conversation face to face, on the phone or via Skype. There are no set questions, and you can share as little or as much as you like. See the Young women and pornography research facebook page.

Health services
New LGBTI clinic to support mental health 

Mind Australia has a new clinic for specialist therapeutic support for sexually and gender diverse people at two sites in Melbourne's inner northern suburbs.
Services include psychological therapy, including individual, couples and relationship counselling and sex therapy.Other services with an educative and social inclusion focus will become available over the next six months, including linkages to legal and employment services.  

NDIS & Disability Services
Proposed Changes to the mobility allowance

From 1 January 2017 the eligibility criteria for new Mobility Allowance claims will be changed to reflect the eligibility criteria for the NDIS:
• From 1 January 2017 people who are receiving the Mobility Allowance who become ineligible (for example if they cease working, volunteering, studying or looking for work) will be able to access the payment for an additional four weeks. This has been reduced from the previous 12-week ‘grace period.'
• The Mobility Allowance will cease from 2020.
Important considerations about the proposed legislation:
• People who are eligible for the NDIS will be able to access transport support through their individual funding package. If a NDIS participant exits the Scheme, they will not be able to access the Mobility Allowance again.
• People who currently receive the Mobility Allowance but are not eligible for the NDIS will continue to access a payment for travel costs. This is referred to as ‘continuity of support arrangements.’
• New Mobility Allowance claimants in 2017 must have a “significant or permanent disability which prevents them from using public transport without substantial assistance.” People who do not currently receive the Mobility Allowance and do not meet this new criteria will not be able to access the Mobility Allowance from 1 January 2017.
Further Information:

Seeking Feedback from young people:
Children and Young People with Disabilities Australia (CYDA) is consulting young people to write a submission to the inquiry.  Please provide information for this consultation to Winnie Bridie by email at or phone.
Please do not hesitate to contact CYDA if you have any questions. PLEASE PROVIDE FEEDBACK BY MONDAY 31 OCTOBER.

Southern Melbourne respite information

Respite South is a website that provides information about disability and respite and recreation options in the southern region of Melbourne. It has a running list of events and news which includes things like exhibitions, informative seminars, programs, festivals and more. 

Accessibility resources and news

  • You are invited to the Brain Injury Matters AGM, 10:30am November 8th, Hayden Raysmith Room in Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane Melbourne. Lunch at 12.30pm.
    Guest Speaker: Simon Warlond is an artist in sculpture who has an ABI. RSVP -, Ph: 0400814116.
  • Melbourne rally to demand action to support paid leave from work for experiencing domestic violence, 14 November.
  • University of Melbourne seminar: cure or accommodate - where should scarce governmental resources be channelled: toward finding cures or making reasonable accommodations? November 8 we're bringing Graeme Innes AM, Rosemary Kayess, Jody Barney and more together to debate this question under the careful moderation of Jon Faine. 6.00pm, 8 November.
  • University of Melbourne seminar: seminar: The call for female-only mental health wards with Tricia Malowney and Sabin Fernbacher. 6:00pm 2 November.
  • Melbourne Walk against family violence, 1:00pm, Federation Square, 25 November - see the Walk against family violence Facebook page.
  • Keran Howe is looking forward to being one of the 100 women speaking at Breakthrough hosted by The Victorian Women's Trust. Melbourne. Big ideas for gender equality. 25 & 26 November.
  • Weave Movement Theatre’s next premiere season, White Day Dream, is on in November, Melbourne. It's audio desrbied on 6 November. Wheelchair bookings by phone.
  • WIRE Seminars for Women: International Panel Discussion on Financial Abuse & Women’s Economic Empowerment. Melbourne, 2:00pm 10 November.

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