A new name for Victoria's 24 hour family violence crisis service
The Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service has changed names. It is now called Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre
. The service still provides a free, confidential 24 hour phone line and the same range of services:
- 24-hour family violence response
- Safety planning
- Safe house accommodation
- Refuge accommodation
- Outreach services
Contact Safe Steps Family Violence Response 1800 015 188 24 hours 7 days per week
Phone: (03) 9928 9600
Excluding disability workers who are a proven risk to clients
The Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme is a new Government system for keeping a record of workers who are a proven risk to people living in group homes. Some things to know about the scheme are that:
Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme Unit website
- government and non-government disability service providers will be covered by the scheme.
- people who pose a proven risk to the health, safety or welfare of people with a disability living in group homes will be listed on the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme.
- it is managed by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Telephone: 03 9096 3203
Disability and family violence crisis fund update
The Victorian Government's Disability Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative
began funding disability supports for women and children in family violence crisis in 2010 following sustained advocacy from WDV and the family violence sector. Over the years knowledge of the program has grown in both the family violence and the disability sector.
This last financial year the Initiative has supported 30 women or families from across Victoria. To be eligible for the fund, women and children nrrf to have disabilities covered under the DHHS Disability Act
To access the Initiative you need to be receiving support from a Family Violence Service. You can contact the Initiative's worker yourself, or you can ask for your family violence worker to refer you.
*The Act states that people who have a physical, sensory or neurological impairment, an acquired brain injury, intellectual disability or developmental delay may be able to access disability services.
Referrals and inquiries
Disability & Family Violence Initiative
Client Support Services, Client Outcomes and Service Improvement
Department of Health and Human Services
p. 9843 6304 / m. 0437 741920
w. Disability Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative
Invitation for survivors of family violence to participate in research with Deakin University
Deakin University is investigating the experience of domestic and family violence. This project is driven by a belief that hearing the stories of family and domestic violence survivors is an integral, yet underrepresented, part of understanding such an important issue within Australian communities.
There are two ways to be involved. Either through an anonymous online survey
, or through a 1 hour face-to-face interview which can be held in Melbourne or Geelong. Women who participate in face-to-face interviews are renumerated with a $50 Coles Myer voucher.
If you are interested in learning more, contact:
School of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Locked Bag 20000, Geelong, VIC 3220
Victoria police force must rid itself of predatory men says commissioner The Age & The Guardian
Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay, a vocal opponent of violence against women, has called in the state's human rights commissioner to run a statewide taskforce into abusive and sexist behaviour among his officers, reported The Age
In a press conference
prior to announcing his resignation, the Commissioner said at least 20 internal sexual harassment investigations over the past three years have revealed "grubby" and "shameless conduct", but the widened taskforce will now handle any and all sexual harassment complaints between officers to ensure the force is a safe place to work.
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission will also conduct an independent review, he said, spending its first of three years determining the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment before coming up with a plan to promote equality and publicly reporting on any progress.
"I want to get in front of this. I want to understand the problem. I need help in resolving the problem," Mr Lay said at a press conference with Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins. Content by The Age and The Guardian.
PHOTO: Ken Lay announcing a review of sex discrimination in the force. Video available to view via the Guardian
HEALTH & ACCESS TO HEALTH SERVICES
The Jean Hailes Foundation wants to hear about your health needs
PARENTING & REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health is conducting a national women’s health survey asking women about their health needs.
The important information you provide will be used to assist health professionals and health organizations to better cater to the needs of women.
While there are not any specific questions on disability, there is room to write what you feel is important for women with disabilities.
All responses are anonymous. A summary of the research results will be available at jeanhailes.org.au following completion of this project.
IMAGE: Poster for the Jean Hailes research project. Text: 'It's your health... what do you need?'
Parents with a disability Peer Support Group Meeting
Yooralla’s Parents With A Disability Community Network
meets to share experiences and ideas with other parents with a disability and potential parents with a disability. Refreshments will be provided!
Jeanette Lee on (03) 9916 5800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Once a month on Wednesdays, 10:30am—12:30pm
Ground Floor, 244 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Support for women with a disability through pregnancy at the Women's Hospital
The Royal Women's Hospital has an Individual Needs Clinic
which welcomes women with disabilities to their service. The service provides a mid wife and a social worker experienced working with women with disabilities. You can self refer to the service, or ask your doctor for a referral.
Address: 20 Flemington Road, Parkville
Phone: The Women's Hospital and ask to get put through to the Women with Individual Needs Clinic on (03) 8345 2000
ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT
Disability advocates say Federal Government employment policies not working ABC News
ABC News reports
, the number of people living with a disability working for the Australian Public Service fell from 5 per cent in 1999 to just 3 per cent last year.
The latest figure puts Australia behind countries such as Canada, with 5.8 per cent of its public service identifying as living with a disability, and the UK, where the figure is 8.8 per cent.
Both countries have strong employment equity laws which have the effect of encouraging employers to take active steps to hire more people with a disability, and there have been calls from some advocates for Australia to consider similar legislation.
Riki Domagalski, a woman with a disability, says the ongoing search for employment is "demoralising, it really, really is," she said. "I've had roughly 6 months paid work in my entire life."
She said that brief period of employment only made her realise what she was missing.
"To have the taster, it was so liberating. I felt so empowered having that job."
She said the current measures to promote disability employment were not working.
"What employers and the public in general need to realise is that people with a disability are people first," she said.
"We want the same quality of life anybody else not just wants, but is entitled to."
PHOTO from ABC Online: Riki Domagalski searches the internet for work opportunites.
Disability Employment Services to help find and keep work
The Disability Employment Services assist people with disabilities to secure and maintain work with real wages alongside people who do not have disability.
They find employers, create and shape jobs and prepare workers and the workplace culturally as well as physically if need be.
Disability Employment Australia members also maintain a long-term relationship with both employees and employers to help meet any challenges that might arise down the track.
Work can be part-time or full-time and is suited to your skills and abilities - just as it should be.
Disability Employment Australia members don't charge for their services.
If you're investigating work options, your local Disability Employment Service provider is the a place to start. Search for your local Disability Employment Service provider or phone 9012 6000 to find your local service.
Victorian Government guide to equitable recruitment
In 2014 the Victorian Public Service Commission released a guide called Recruiting people with a disability - getting recruitment right. This document is a guide to assist managers with recruiting to ensure equal:
- employment opportunity for people with disability,
- that the Victorian Public Service employs the best person for each role
- and to provide the most appropriate service to the Victorian community.
This guide aims to promote best practice in employing people with a disability throughout the attraction, marketing, recruitment and selection process.
Canadian group take disability-based harassment to the Human Rights Tribunal CBC news
CBC News Toronto reports, a group of residents at a housing co-op say the building's board did not act quickly enough after they were harassed for living with disabilities, and they are now taking their case to a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
The harassment began in April 2012, when some residents started finding offensive and demeaning posters plastered on walls throughout the building.
Deborah Crew and her partner Bill Bowerman were frequent targets of the posters.
"It's beyond words how degraded, humiliated, unworthy and unwanted it made me feel. I know a piece of paper shouldn't make you feel like that," says Crew.
Theresa Savoie, the mother of Zachary, the nine-year-old boy living with Cerebral palsy, said the messages became increasingly vulgar over about a six-month period.
Savoie and a group of tenants went to the building's volunteer board of directors, demanding that something be done to end the hateful messaging. The board says they did everything in their power to stop the harassment, including installing additional security cameras and hiring community police.
But the targeted tenants say the harassment went on for months despite the board's efforts, and three years later, it's still unknown who was responsible.
The victims would like the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to lay out the responsibilities of a co-op board in such instances. Savoie says a ruling is necessary to prevent others from dealing with the same demeaning circumstances that her son Zachary faced.
The tribunal will hear the case on Monday and could potentially award the residents compensation and order the building to implement new policies.
ADVOCACY, LEADERSHIP & REPRESENTATION
Support to make a complaint to the National Disability Insurance Scheme
The Regional Information and Advocacy Council
(RIAC) is able to assist people make complaints to the National Disability Insurance Agency. If those complaints reach an unsatisfactory outcome, RIAC is also managing the external complaints process - this is the newly implemented External Merits Review Support Service. The service is available to Victorians who live Barwon.
The service offers specific support for people with disability seeking an external review of a decision made under the National Disability Insurance Scheme. All people with disability will be offered a support person when seeking external merits review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
Phone: p.5245 7986
Funding cuts to ten national disability advocacy services
The Australian Federal Government has made concerning funding cuts to some of the country's best known advocacy services.
In a media release
the Australian Federation of Disability Organisatations (AFDO) wrote,
"We believe that this decision, which reflects a misunderstanding of people with disability, will have significant ramifications on the ability of the Government to successfully implement reform for people with disability, including changes to income support and real efforts to increase economic participation."
Consumer organisations that have been defunded or not funded to represent the specialist voice of people with disability under Department of Social Services contracts include:
- Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
- Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia
- Blind Citizens Australia
- Brain Injury Australia
- Deaf Australia
- Deafness Forum of Australia
- Down Syndrome Australia
- National Council on Intellectual Disability
- Physical Disability Australia
- Short Statured People of Australia
AFDO will continue to advocate on this issue. They are running a Save Our Peaks campaign. To get involved visit the Save Our Peaks webpage
which suggests doing the following:
- Tweet #everydisabilitycounts @scottmorrisonMP @SenatorFifield funding cuts threaten the voice of people with disability.
- Write to Minister Scott Morrison through Facebook messages and use #everydisabilitycounts in your message.
- Check the Save Our Peaks page regularly to see what else you can do to help!
She speaks Report: surveying young Australian women on leadership and gender issues
The She Speaks Report
(2014) surveyed young Australian women (15-30 year olds) to learn about their views on gender as it relates to their experiences and views of leadership, relationships, health and opportunities.
Key findings related to leadership:
• 7% or 113 respondents identified as living with a disability
• 23% saw effective leadership by women in public life and asked for more energy and funds to be put into leadership programs for women
• 71% wanted to be leaders
• 58% considered themselves leaders at home, school, community &/or workplace.
• Over 80% felt that Australia had not achieved gender equality.
The report was conduced by YWCA and the University of Queensland
ACCESSIBILITY & CULTURE
Quippings: Deaf and disability performances
Melbourne’s bentest Deaf and disability performance troupe are back with Quippings.
Quippings is a Disability & Deaf performance night. So come out, you know you want to, and get ready to get all hot under your collar (and hopefully in other places too) as the Quippings crew does Midsumma! Midsumma is Melbourne’s annual Queer Festival and we with our beautifully diverse and subversive bodies and minds will queer this night with all our might!
Doors open at 730 pm and the show starts at 8 pm sharp! This event is fully wheelchair accessible AND Auslan interpreted.
Produced by Jax Jacki Brown. More details soon.
- See more at: http://wordisout.com.au/event/quippings-freaktastic-midsumma#sthash.pIiZGddw.dpuf
Quippings is a group of emerging and established artists who identify as having a Disability and have been staging shows in Melbourne since 2011.
In January the Quippings crew will do a Midsumma show. Midsumma is Melbourne’s annual Queer Festival.
January 31st in Fitzroy.
Tickets $12 / $10 concession.
Doors open at 730 pm and the show starts at 8 pm sharp!
This event is fully wheelchair accessible AND Auslan interpreted.
Produced by Jax Jacki Brown.
See more and at the Hares and Hyennas website
or at http://www.trybooking.com/GSND
Quippings have a Facebook group which is a space to discuss all things related to Quippings performances and disability issues/experiences generally. If you are not an artist with a disability but would like like to follow Quippings you can go to the Quippings general Facebook Page.
Alternatively, email email@example.com or Twitter Quippingsgroup.
PHOTO: Image for the Quippings Midsumma show.