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A Message from WDV CEO Leah van Poppel
Although things in Victoria are slowly beginning to look up as far as the pandemic goes, we've been busy making sure we adjust all of the ways we gather to an online environment. We know that for many of you, leaving your homes and stepping back out into the community won't happen in line with a government road map - it will happen when you're confident you can go out without the risk of COVID.

This edition of eNews gives you lots of opportunities to connect with us online. Want to upskill for work? We have two training opportunities available. Want to connect with us? Join our member event on access to health services for women with disabilities later this month. Want to find out what we've been up to this year? Come along to our first ever virtual only AGM on November 17th. 

If you are heading out, please stay safe. And if you have a medical condition or disability which makes it hard for you to wear a mask, check out the ready to print badges from the Victorian government so you can let other people know. 

Here's hoping we'll all be moving a little more freely next time I write. Take care everyone.
Welcome Soizic
Soizic Brohan joined the WDV Workforce Development team in September. French by origin, she has an international development and research background. Soizic holds a Master of International Cooperation and Development, and she recently completed a Ph.D. in Political Science, studying women’s political representation in Caribbean societies. Soizic also worked in environmental, medical and cultural NGOs in Jamaica and in France before settling in Melbourne in 2017, where she volunteered for disability and gender-focussed NGOs (CBM Australia and the International Women’s Development Agency). Soizic is passionate about gender equality and disability inclusion.
PHOTO: Soizic Brohan
WDV event: WDV Annual General Meeting

Our 2020 Annual General Meeting is approaching.

Date: Tuesday 17 November 2020

Time: 12noon–1:30pm

For more information: contact or (03) 9286 7800.

You will receive an invitation closer to the date. 

Due to Coronavirus, the meeting will be WDV’s first online only AGM.

We are working hard to make sure the event is as accessible as possible, and you will be invited to give us your feedback after the event.

Nominations for the Board are opening soon.

If you are a Full Member of WDV (a Victorian woman with disability) you will soon receive an information package so that you can vote for new members of the WDV Board.

View the Save The Date Notice (Microsoft Word version)
Feedback from the Prevention of Violence against Women with Disabilities online training

On the 8th, 15th, and 22nd of September, Olivia Franklin and Tess Karambelas from the Gender and Disability workforce development program co-facilitated the Prevention of Violence against Women with Disabilities online training. Each session had 13 participants from a range of disability and social service workforces, with a particularly large cohort of disability advocacy workers from regional Victoria.

This program has been split to be delivered over three sessions to allow for an in-depth focus on the prevention of violence against women with disabilities on an online platform, in this case Zoom. The first session was an introduction to the prevention of violence against women with disabilities, the second session focused on the gender and disability drivers of violence and the third session was centered around putting those drivers into action.

Some powerful quotes from participants on this training included: “I think everyone could benefit from this training no matter the sector to make sure you have the awareness to assist with prevention” - Participant from session one.

Another participant commented that the training “makes important links between gender inequality, ableism and discrimination and violence against women and violence against women with disabilities” - Participant from session two.

The feedback for each session was overwhelmingly positive with participants rating all sessions above 4.5 out of 5. The participants reported that the training sessions were a great success and that they would share the content covered in the training within their networks to educate and affect real, long-term change.

The Gender and Disability workforce development team will be running another calendar training session from late October into November. Information and sign-up details are below.

WDV training: A Right to Respect: Preventing Violence Against Women with Disabilities

Women and girls with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violence as those without disabilities.

This online workshop, aimed towards disability and social services workforces, will show how gender and disability inequality drives violence, and how you can prevent it.

The training will be delivered over three sessions:

· Session 1: Introduction to Prevention of Violence against Women with Disabilities

· Session 2: Drivers of Violence and Essential Actions

· Session 3: Managing Disclosures in a Prevention Context


Session 1: Thursday 29th October 2020

Session 2: Thursday 5th November 2020

Session 3: Thursday 12th November 2020

Time: 10:00am–1:00pm

Location: Online via Zoom (details will be provided upon registration)

Register: by Friday 30th October 2020

For more information: contact Olivia Franklin on or 0433 691 548

What you will learn

Session 1: Introduction to Prevention of Violence against Women with Disabilities

· How gender and disability inequality intersect to create disadvantage for women with disability

· Impacts of violence against women with disability

· Why gender inequity is a key driver of violence against women with disability

Session 2: Drivers of Violence and Essential Actions

· How our everyday actions and practice can contribute to violence against women with disability

· How gender and disability equitable practice can create change to end violence

· Strategies and tools to prevent violence against women with disability

Session 3: Managing Disclosures in a Prevention Context

· How primary prevention can inform the safe management of disclosures of violence against women with disability

· Referral services which can assist in responding to women with disability who experience violence.

The training is co-facilitated with an expert in violence prevention and a woman with a lived experience of disabilities. It is evidence-based, aligning with the latest research on disability, Our Watch’s Change the Story, and the Preventing Family Violence & Violence against Women Capability Framework.

Pricing (per participant, including GST)

Organisation (cost per person)

· $50 per session, or;

· 3 x session delivery $120

Individual/sole trader

· $25 per session, or;

· 3 x session delivery $65

View the Training Flyer (Microsoft Word version)

WDV training: AcceSex webinar

AcceSex (sexual and reproductive health & disability) is now going to be a live webinar for community and health workers across Victoria. In response to demand from around the state, we are thrilled to be able to open up this exciting and valuable training to more people.

Participants will learn how to create more inclusive, accessible reproductive and sexual healthcare services and community programs for women with disabilities.

More information and tickets via Eventbrite.

Day: Tuesday 27th October 2020

Time: 10:00 AM – 12 PM

Cost: $25

Register for AcceSex webinar
WDV event: Register for our Member Event

WDV is hosting an online member event and you are invited!

View the invitation in Microsoft Word.

The third session is about accessing health services as a woman with disability.

Date: Thursday 22 October 2020
Time: 1pm – 2:30pm

Register via EventBrite or by emailing, or by phoning 9286 7800. You will receive a Zoom link upon registration.

We hope to see you there!

Register for Member Event
Rural Women and COVID 19 Webinar
WWDA have joined forces with the National Rural Women’s Coalition (NRWC) to bring you: The Rural Women with Disability COVID-19 Webinar. 

The Zoom webinar will include a discussion with three women with disability living in rural areas during the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a Q&A with the audience.

The discussion will cover some of the challenges facing women with disability living in rural Australia and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The webinar will officially start at 1pm AEST on Wednesday 14 October but please feel free join from 12:45pm onwards to ensure you are set up correctly. 

Register for the Rural Women with Disability COVID-19 Webinar
Badges for Victorians unable to wear facemasks

DHHS have created badges that individuals can download on smartphones or print to keep in a wallet or lanyard holder for when they need to let others know they are unable to wear a face mask for a valid reason. It is a person’s choice to use the badges.

Smart phone badge

For anyone who is exempt and has a valid reason for not wearing a face mask.

For persons who are Deaf or hard of hearing who need the person they are communicating with to remove their face mask.

Print-ready badge

More information is available from the DHHS website
First Royal Commission Report

The first research report written for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has been published today. The report is called Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Shining a light on Social Transformation. The report investigated the early rights movement of people with disability from the 1960s and 1970s through to the present day, which “exposed the power relations inherent to the medical model of disability, and which is commonly referred to as ‘ableism’”. The report was written by Rosemary Kayess and Therese Sands.

View the Auslan summary on YouTube
Read the report on the Disability Royal Commission website
Australian Council for the Arts Discussion Series
The Australian Council for the Arts are hosting a series of targeted consultation sessions over the coming weeks. 

Each session will run for two hours and will be facilitated by an independent facilitator. Australia Council staff will join each session. You are invited to share your audio and video during the session to contribute to the discussion.

Each session will be limited to between 10-20 participants. There will be 38 sessions, including 18 general sessions and 20 sessions for participants who would like to be in groups with people who identify in a similar way, including:

  • First Nations
  • Culturally and/or linguistically diverse (CALD)
  • Disabled
  • d/Deaf
  • Gender diverse.

Some of the sessions indicated will include an Auslan interpreter and live captioning. Please contact if you have specific access needs.

Find out more about these consultation sessions

News and Comments

If you have any questions, comments or items to submit to the E-News, please contact
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