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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 updated on news related to our priority areas. Contributions to this eNews are welcome, email

In this Issue:
It's all action across our priority areas. We are getting ready to roll out the Gender and Disability Workforce Development Program and the Enabling Women Program. We will be making submissions to the Gender Equality consultation and the Information Linkages and Capacity Building Consultation. We are hoping for funding to create NDIS readiness for women with disabilities. This week I had the opportunity to provide training the Magistrate's who were interested in how to make the courts more accessible and how to work with disability services.

WDV is proud to have a Board of Directors who are primarily Women with Disabilities. Over coming eNews editions we will be profiling Board Members' diversities, talents and interests. Our Board Directors are: Marija Groen (Co-Chair), Ann-Marie Baker (Co-Chair), Esperanza Torres (Co-Vice Chair), Saphron Hastie (Co-Vice Chair), Binda Gokhale (Treasurer), Sonja Illievska, Trudy Ryall, Valerie Jonhstone, Angela Fitzpatrick and Catherine Reidy, Binda has been co-opted as a Director for to her financial management expertise, Binda does not have a disability. In this issue we profile Catheriine Reidy as our newest member.
Catherine Reidy is a social worker and community activist with a background in LGBTQI advocacy. She is currently working for the youth mental health service eheadspace and for the Centre Against Sexual Assault.
We asked Catherine a few questions about her skills and interests: 

What made you interested in joining the WDV board? I have always been interested in the intersections between disability, gender, sexuality and advocacy; and  wanted to use my experiences in these areas to contribute to the ongoing development of WDV. 

Is there a leader or role model that you admire? So many - I could list one for every day of the year and keep on going after that! Donna Jackson, founder of the Women's Circus, is somebody I particularly admire for her commitment to creating a space where all women could be safe to tell their stories and use their bodies in a creative and empowering way. 

What would you most like to change for women with disabilities? I'd like us continue to claim space in the world as active, self-determining women who are not inherently vulnerable - but who are at increased risk due to the structures and barriers around us. So, I'd like the narrative to change, and for our voices and experiences to be prioritised in conversations at every level- something that doesn't always happen now! 

What does the ideal day involve for you? Having access to good coffee, good food, good company and some time outside. Lucky for me, that happens most days! 

Increasing access to cancer screening - event Feb 24

For the first time, online modules will enable disability workers from across the state to have ready access to information to promote bowel, cervical and breast screening with their clients. 'Overcoming the Barriers' is designed for people who care for and support people with disabilities.

See the interactive learning modules and meet the team responsible for the resource, together with the case studies featured in the modules.

Where: Level 3, Meeting Room 312, Cancer Council Victoria, 615 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
When: 10.00 - 11.30am Wednesday 24 February 2016. Morning tea provided
RSVP: Email Parking provided on request.

Contact for more information:

Lucy Forwood, PapScreen Victoria or call 03 9514 6427.

IMAGE: BreasScreen Logo.
Bringing taboo women's health topics into The Conversation

The Conversation has been running a series on women's health topics that are often treated as taboos. The series is a chance to bust myths, feel less alone and share information. Topics include Thrush, Menopause, Bacterial Vaginosis, pelvic pain, incontinence and infertility.

NDIS information sessions coming to a town near you

NDIS information sessions are running around Victoria. The details are listed on the Victorian Government webpage.

Free computer use and training at WIRE


WIRE Women’s Information Centre offers free computer and internet access for women of all ages. They are located near Southern Cross Station and have 7 public access computers, free wifi, printing and scanning facilities.

They also offer basic computer/internet classes on Tuesdays. You can set the pace and focus on your individual interests and needs, including covering the basics such as learning how to use a mouse, setting up an email account, using social media, and creating and saving documents.

Bookings & information: call 9348 9416 (Option 2) or email

Easy tips for creating accessible Word documents

It doesn't have to be hard to make your Word documents accessible to people with print disabilities. Some easy tips are available via Media Access.

Career Mentoring
The Australian Network on Disability are seeking mentees to participate in the spring 2016 cohort of our innovative PACE Mentoring program.
Mentees are matched up with experienced mentors from AND's member organisations, with sessions covering topics ranging from resume preparation and interview techniques, to workplace etiquette and networking strategies.
Students, recent graduates and jobseekers with disability are encouraged to apply via the PACE Mentoring page on the AND website.
Contact Stephanie Littlewood on 02 8270 9200 or
Disability & Indigenous Peoples' Education Fund open for applications

The Australian Disability and Indigenous Peoples’ Education Fund is open for applications. Application close on March 31st, 2016.

Gender Equality consultation

The Victorian Government is running a consultation on Gender Equality. They want to hear the community's ideas on how we can improve gender equality. This is an important time to say that women with disabilities have a right to gender equality too. As such, WDV are writing a submission. We understand that after written consultation, the Government is planning to run face to face consultations. We will keep you posted with news as it comes. In the mean time, you might like to share your own ideas. See the Victorian Government's website for contact information, and if you like you can read the short discussion paper. Submissions close March 18th.
Opportunity for a new Australian Disability Commissioner

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Tim Wilson is leaving his role as Freedom Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission. So disability advocates are calling for this position to be transformed into a full time Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

If you are looking to celebrate International Women's Day, here are some of the great things that might be happening near you:
  • Women's Health in the South East awards afternoon with guest speaker, humanist and author, Mariam Issa. Tuesday 8 March, 1:30-3:00pm Bentleigh Secondary College.
  • The IWD Braybook youth event has live music, visual and performing art, guest speakers, top grade tea and coffee and a free BBQ. Tuesday 8 March, 3:00-6.30pm, Braybrook Hub / Library.
  • Positive Women Victoria is holding a morning tea to share their work and their efforts towards gender equality. Friday 11 March, 10:00am, Southbank at Positive Women. Reserve your ticket to Positive Women's event.
  • A lunch in Horsham will feature local women's stories, hosted by Women's Health Grampians, Horsham Rural City Council and Horsham East Rotary Club. Tuesday March 8, Noon-1.15pm, Horsham Town Hall (fully accessible venue). Tickets $5.
  • Gippsland Women's Health is featuring Clementine Ford speaking on empowering women and girls at the West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul. Noon, 13 March. No bookings required.
  • The Queen Victoria Women's Centre in Melbourne has a series of free events around International Women's Day.
  • Keran Howe will join Joanna Hayter, Tanja Kovac and Karen Pickering to debate what the Internet has done for women. Thursday 10 March, 6:00-7:00pm, Queen Victoria Women's Centre, Melbourne. Reserve free tickets online. IMAGE: Speakers are pictured below.

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