PWD E-Bulletin

Issue 58 November 2009 – International Day of People with Disability 2009 - ISSN 2202-0705

Welcome to PWD’s E-Bulletin. The e-bulletin goes out to members and interested others regularly by email. For members who do not have access to email, a printed version of the e-bulletin will be sent by post. To be added to or removed from our mailing list, or to change your email address, please email or contact Ray Dooley on one of the numbers listed at the end of this bulletin.


Interim Acting President’s Message

National News

           2009 National Disability Awards

           Inquiry into a national long-term care and support scheme

           Jetstar in the hot seat in Supreme Court

           Make height adjustable examination tables mandatory for doctor’s surgeries

           Apology to the Forgotten Australians

           Australian Government Electoral Reform Green Paper: Strengthening Australia’s Democracy

           National Disability Parking Permit Scheme Harmonisation

           National Dialogue on Universal Design

           International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women

International News

           World AIDS Day

           Pacific Disabled Persons Organisation Fund (Pacific DPO Fund)

           Pacific Disabled Peoples Organisations Governance Support Program

           PWD hosts Thailand Government officials on study tour

           Disability Clothesline

           United Nations Launches Special Website  for the 30th Anniversary Of CEDAW

The Inside Story

           Individualised Funding – One member’s view

           Annual General Meeting and Members’ Event

           PWD Office Closures over Christmas and New Year


About PWD

·  PWD’s training services

Privacy Statement

Contact Us

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Interim Acting President’s Message

On International Day of People with Disability 2009, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our members, friends and colleagues in working towards the realisation of human rights for people with disability. 

International Day of People with Disability provides an opportunity to reflect on our efforts, to celebrate our gains in achieving inclusion of people with disability and to renew out commitment to act against the human rights’ violations faced by people with disability every day.

This year, we have much to celebrate, including:

           the Australian Government’s accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (see E-Bulletin Issue 55 July 2009);

           the Australian Human Rights Commission has been given specific responsibilities for monitoring Australia’s implementation of the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (see E-Bulletin Issue 54 June 2009);

           the Disability Support Pension has been raised in line with pensioners for older people (see E-Bulletin Issue 53, Special Edition, Australian Government Budget 2009/2010);

           the Australian Government’s announcement of a review into long term care and support for people with disability in Australia, including looking at the feasibility of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (see story in this E-Bulletin below).

We also have many issues that we have taken action on, and need to continue to take action on over the next 12 months including:

           the urgent need to close all institutional residential settings for people with disability;

           the urgent need for a national abuse and neglect prevention strategy to address the significant levels of abuse, neglect and exploitation experienced by people with disability, particularly women and children with disability;

           a need for people with disability to have control over the services and supports they receive by shifting to individualised funding models;

           a commitment to implement methods, including electronic voting to facilitate independent and secret voting for people with disability.

The United Nations has declared the theme for this year’s International Day, Making the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world.  The MDGs are development goals set by the United Nations in 2000 that aim to halve world poverty by 2015.

At the time the MDGs were set, people with disability were not specifically included.  However, there is growing recognition that the MDGs will only be achieved by mainstreaming people with disability into the work undertaken to achieve the goals (see E-Bulletin Issue 54 June 2009).  It is now well-known that poverty is both a cause and a consequence of disability; and that the majority of the world’s poor are people with disability.

While the MDGs are usually viewed as goals to achieve in developing countries, we need to ensure that the poverty experienced by many people with disability in Australia is also recognised and addressed.  In particular, many Indigenous people with disability are living in poverty equivalent to people living in poverty in developing countries.  The Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Irene Khan made the following observation about her recent visit to the Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory in her address to the National Press Club in Canberra on 18 November: “I did not expect to see abject poverty to this degree in the lucky country”.

In keeping with this year’s International Day theme, we must remember that poverty is not just about earning money.  People with disability are poor because we are discriminated against, because we are marginalised and excluded from all aspects of political, economic, social and cultural life and because our voices are not heard.  The realisation of our human rights is the key to ending the poverty we experience.

I wish all of you the best for International Day of People with Disability 2009, and hope you find this E-Bulletin interesting and informative for our ongoing fight for human rights.

Jan Daisley, Interim Acting President

PWD’s media release can be viewed on our website.

For more information about 2009 International Day of People with Disability in Australia, and for events in each State and Territory go to  For more information about United Nations information on International Day of People with Disability go to

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National news

2009 National Disability Awards

Recipients of the 2009 National Disability Awards were announced at the awards ceremony held in the Great Hall of Parliament House on 23 November in Canberra.

One recipient was announced in each of the Business, Social Inclusion, Local Government and Disability Rights Young Leader award categories. Two recipients were awarded the Minister's Lifelong Achievement Award, one of whom was outgoing NSW Council for Intellectual Disability Chairperson, Robert Strike.

Spending most of his young life in an institution has driven Robert Strike's passion for empowering individuals with intellectual disability. Robert, one of the founders of the Self Advocacy movement in Australia, has spent the past 20 years lobbying for systemic change to ensure people with disability are treated equally.

Robert's commitment is evident through his work as co-founder and current President of Self Advocacy Sydney, Chairperson of the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability, educator for the Intellectual Disability Rights Service and former Board Member of Citizens Advocacy Western Sydney.

Robert has educated police, judges and the wider community about the rights of and the discrimination often faced by people with disability, in the justice system. Robert regularly presents at conferences and universities, to support staff and councils on the systemic issues facing people with intellectual disability, and continues to meet with members of parliament to champion for change.

The NSW Council for Intellectual Disability, under Robert's leadership, calls for the breakdown of institutions and believes people with intellectual disability should be living a better life in our communities.

The Minister’s Lifelong Achievement Award recognises the achievement of a person, with or without disability, who has demonstrated a sustained and extraordinary personal commitment to improving or reshaping the lives of people with disability.

PWD congratulates Robert on this well-deserved recognition.

More information about the 2009 National Disability Awards can be found here

Inquiry into a national long-term care and support scheme

At the National Disability Awards Ceremony, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that the Australian Government will engage the Productivity Commission to carry out an Inquiry into a National Long-term Care and Support Scheme.

The Inquiry will start in early 2010, and will look into the costs, benefits and feasibility of approaches which provide essential care and support for people with disability.  The Inquiry will include an investigation of a national disability insurance scheme that would share the costs of care and support for people with disability across the general population, and would entitle people with disability to care and support services.

PWD welcomes this Inquiry. It is based on recognition that people with disability are entitled to essential care and support throughout their lifetime, rather than reliant on a welfare service system that is under-resourced and crisis-driven.  We look forward to providing our views to the Inquiry.

PWD’s media release on the Prime Minister’s announcement is available on our website.

The Prime Minister’s announcement at the National Disability Awards is available at

More information about the Inquiry, including the Terms of Reference is available on the website of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) at

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email

Jetstar in the hot seat in Supreme Court

Jetstar was in the national news on 24 November after the airline had to apologise to Kurt Fearnley, well-known paralympian and wheelchair marathon champion for checking his personal wheelchair in with his luggage.  Mr Fearnley refused to use an unsuitable chair offered by the airline and chose to crawl through Brisbane Airport.  The high profile of Mr Fearnley guaranteed media coverage and a quick response from the airline but as Mr Fearnley pointed out, this treatment is experienced by many people with disability on a daily basis.

In response to this incident, PWD and the Disability Discrimination Legal Centre NSW (DDLC) put out a joint press release to highlight a case that the DDLC has taken to the Supreme Court against Jetstar on behalf of Ms Sheila King, an immediate past PWD Board member. 

In August 2008 Ms King, a resident in Queensland, was a speaker at the Australian Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology’s Creating value through Participation conference in Adelaide. She booked her return flight from Adelaide on Jetstar. After booking and paying for the ticket, Ms King was advised by Jetstar that she would not be able to fly, because Jetstar has a policy of not accepting more than two people requiring wheelchair assistance on any flight. As there was only one flight a day on Jetstar, Ms King was forced to rebook on another airline at a greater cost.

In a claim commenced in the Federal Court, Ms King alleges Jetstar’s policy falls foul of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Disability Standard for Accessible Public Transport.  Ms King is seeking no personal outcome from this case - she simply wants Jetstar to change its policy.

To see the joint press release go to the PWD website.

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director on one of the numbers at the end of this E-Bulletin or email

Make height adjustable examination tables mandatory for doctor’s surgeries

In the last edition of E-Bulletin Issue 57, PWD explained that the Royal College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is currently reviewing its GP Standards, and we asked people who have experienced difficulty or problems when visiting their doctor because there is no height adjustable examination bed, to tell their story.

PWD has been working with Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), Physical Disability Council NSW (PDCN) and Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA) on this campaign.  We have prepared a joint submission, which was released for endorsement and we have now submitted this to RACGP.  Over 100 organisations and individuals endorsed this submission, indicating overwhelming support for the need for height adjustable examination tables in doctor’s surgeries.

Our submission highlights that the ground-breaking national research undertaken in 2003 by the Access for All Alliance underpins the ongoing campaign for RACGP to make height adjustable examination tables mandatory for all GPs.  This research provided evidence that the lack of height adjustable examination tables led to poor health outcomes and undignified and discriminatory services for people with disability.

RACGP is to be commended for recognising the importance and value of GPs having adjustable height examination beds. It has tried to educate its members about this; it has developed technical specifications on suitable beds to guide its members; it has ensured the availability of the most cost effective suppliers and it has made it clear that GPs can use specific funds to assist in the purchase of adjustable-height examination beds.  However, we are now urging RACGP to show strong leadership and make adjustable-height examination beds mandatory in the current review.

The recent survey undertaken in NSW by the Physical Disability Council of NSW (PDCN) indicates that while improvements have occurred since the 2003 research, people who have difficulty accessing fixed height examination beds still face serious problems in accessing equitable health care services from their GPs.

For more information on the 2003 research conducted by the Access for All Alliance, go to

For information on the PDCN survey go to

For information on the background to the campaign from the Australian Human Rights Commission go to

The joint submission is available on the PWD website here.

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director on the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or by email at:

Apology to the Forgotten Australians

On 16 November 2009, the Australian Government formally apologised to people who experienced abuse and neglect in institutional or out-of-home care as children and to former child migrants at a special remembrance event in Canberra.  The apology was long overdue and a significant and emotional experience and PWD congratulates the Government for giving it.

In our last edition of E-Bulletin Issue 57, we highlighted that PWD met with the Australian Government and a member of the advisory group to raise the need for the apology to address the abuse and neglect experienced by people with disability in institutional care, both within the child protection system and the disability service system.  While there was no specific mention of people with disability in the apology, we were pleased that the Prime Minister stated:

“... let us also resolve this day, that this national apology becomes a turning point in our nation’s story. A turning point for shattered lives. A turning point for governments at all levels and of every political colour and hue, to do all in their power to never let this happen again”.

PWD believes that this commitment from the Prime Minister should translate into a national commitment to the closure of institutions for people with disability.

This view was echoed by Senator Sue Boyce, Senator for Queensland, following the apology when she stated in Parliament:

“…even though we can say we will never let this happen again we know it has happened again, we know it will go on happening whilst we have institutions that are not open and easily accountable to the community….Whenever we put people in special places away from the community we accept that those that are vulnerable may be abused and may be exploited….This has got to be where we start to think about institutionalisation across the board, not just to comfortably try and tell ourselves that this is in the past and that this will not happen again, that if a state government builds an institution for children with disabilities or an aged-care home it will be different, that this time these institutions will be good institutions. The only way we can stop this from being an apology that will have to be made again in 50 years or 60 years or to a new group of vulnerable people is to keep reminding ourselves that this can happen, it is happening now and it can continue to happen until we open up the institutions, until we stop assuming that there can ever be good institutions…”

For more information contact Dean Price, Advocacy Projects Manager, on the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or by email at:

Australian Government Electoral Reform Green Paper: Strengthening Australia’s Democracy

The Disability Discrimination Legal Centre NSW (DDLC) and PWD have made a joint submission to the Australian Government’s Electoral Reform Green Paper: Strengthening Australia’s Democracy.

Our submission raised a number of concerns about the conduct of past elections at the local, state and federal levels and made a number of proposals in relation to the conduct of future elections. The issues covered included:

          the failure of the electoral commission to ensure that all polling sites are fully accessible to persons with disability;

          the need to ensure that all polling venues are close to accessible transport modes;

          the need to ensure that information on how to vote etc. is made available in accessible formats well in advance of election day;

          the need to repeal the automatic disqualification of persons of ‘unsound mind’ from voting in elections; and

          the need to move to accessible electronic voting so that persons who are blind can cast a confidential vote independently.

PWD and DDLC will continue to advocate for the improvement of the electoral systems across Australia to ensure compliance with our international and domestic human rights obligations.

For further information contact Dean Price, Advocacy Projects Manager, on the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or by email at

National Disability Parking Permit Scheme Harmonisation

In May 2009 the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, launched a discussion paper on the proposed harmonisation of the disability parking permit schemes that operate in States and Territories (see E-bulletin Issue 57).  PWD consulted with members to prepare its response to the discussion paper.

On November 16, PWD participated in a consultation hosted by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) on issues relating to the national disability parking permit scheme.  The consultation involved other national disability peak organisations and representatives of the states and territory governments.

PWD was pleased that the eligibility criteria will ensure a person who would currently be eligible for the state and territory based schemes will be eligible for the new scheme.  PWD is, however, concerned that people will loose the parking concessions currently available in a number of the state and territory based schemes. PWD will continue to advocate for a scheme that will maintain the concessions currently available in states such as Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT and bring concessions for people living in other states and territories up to these maximum levels.

For further information contact Dean Price, Advocacy Projects Manager, on the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or by email at

National Dialogue on Universal Design

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, the Hon Bill Shorten convened a meeting of the housing industry, government and disability groups to discuss universal housing design. It was hosted by Therese Rein and held at Kirribilli House in Sydney.

PWD is the auspice organisation for the Australian Network for Universal Housing Design (ANUHD) and provides ANUDH with secretariat support.  We were extremely pleased that the ANUHD Convenor, Amelia Starr was able to play a prominent role in the national dialogue.

The meeting agreed on an aspirational target that all new homes will be of agreed universal design standards by 2020. There was also agreement that a number of interim targets would be set and implemented before 2020. The specific targets will be decided through further work of a high level working group, set up by the participants of the Kirribilli House meeting.

PWD will continue to work with the disability sector, industry and government to ensure that universal housing design becomes standard industry practice to maximise the accessibility of people with disability in their own homes, as well as the homes of their friends, family and communities.

For further information contact Dean Price, Advocacy Projects Manager, on the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or by email at

International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and the White Ribbon has become the symbol for the day.

All around the world, governments and non-government organisations and the corporate sector organised activities designed to raise public awareness and generate action against violence against women.  In his message to recognise IDEVAW, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated:

“In the ten years since the General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women…more groups and individuals, including men and boys, are getting involved in efforts to prevent and address this heinous violation of women’s human rights. There has also been significant progress at the national level as many countries have adopted laws and comprehensive action plans.  However, much work lies ahead…Our goal is clear: an end to these inexcusable crimes”.

More information about this day can be found on the United Nations website at

In Australia, White Ribbon Day marked the beginning of a national campaign to get all Australian men and boys to take a positive action and put an end to one of the most widespread human rights abuses taking place in our country.  Men are being asked to swear never to commit, never to excuse, and never to remain silent about violence against women, with the Prime Minister being the first to take this oath.  More information about this campaign can be found on the White Ribbon Day website at

PWD is keen to raise the issue of violence against women with disability and the specific prevention and responses urgently required in this area.  As a result of our Disability and Domestic Violence in Licensed Boarding Houses Project (see E-Bulletin Issue 57) and our awareness raising on the issue of violence experienced by women with disability, PWD has been invited to two key events aimed at improving understanding and building stronger networks and partnerships to end violence against women with disability.

Legal Aid NSW has invited us PWD as its guest speaker on White Ribbon Day to present to its staff. PWD’s presentation will provide Legal Aid staff with an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of the prevalence and impact of violence on women with disability, and the support they require to overcome the many barriers they face.

On December 4, PWD has also been invited to promote its service and the Disability and Domestic Violence in Licensed Boarding Houses Project at the Inner West Domestic Violence Pro-Active Support Service Launch and Domestic Violence Networking Forum being conducted by Leichhardt Marrickville Domestic Violence Liaison Committee at Marrickville Town hall. This networking forum is aimed at those working with people whose lives are impacted by domestic violence and will be a great opportunity to establish networks and partnerships beneficial to our Disability and Domestic Violence in Licensed Boarding Houses Project.

For further information contact Sonya Price-Kelly, Advocacy Projects Manager, on the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or by email at

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International News

World AIDS Day

On 1 December every year, World AIDS Day is held to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and strengthen support for HIV positive people and those who are affected by AIDS.

The Red Ribbon has become the symbol of commitment to challenge the stigma and prejudice surrounding HIV/AIDS.

The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is Universal Access and Human Rights.  The slogans used in World AIDS Day materials were designed to show the relationship between human rights and universal access and to demonstrate what human rights mean in reality for people living with HIV/AIDS.  These slogans include:

I am accepted.

I am safe.

I am getting treatment.

I am well.

I am living my rights.

Everyone deserves to live their rights

Right to Live

Right to Health

Access for all to HIV prevention treatment care and support is a critical part of human rights.

In Australia, the logo for World AIDS Day is Take Action. No Discrimination.

More information about World AIDS Day can be found at

More information about events held in Australia can be found at

Pacific Disabled Persons Organisation Fund (Pacific DPO Fund)

On 20 November 2009, the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) announced the opening of the first round of the Pacific Disabled Persons Organisation Fund (Pacific DPO Fund). The Pacific DPO Fund has been established by the PDF with funding from the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID).

The purpose of the Pacific DPO Fund) is to improve the lives of persons with disabilities by supporting the organisational development and project work of Pacific DPOs.

The Pacific DPO Fund and the organisational development activities and projects funded from it are guided by a set of principles.  All organisations receiving funding from the Pacific DPO Fund are expected to commit to the following principles:

          the self-reliance of persons with disability;

          focus on injustices to or poverty of persons with disability;

          the active participation and development of all persons with disability throughout Pacific countries;

          a partnership approach, working with, rather than for, persons with disability;

          the sustainability of organisational development activities and projects funded;

          the full and equal participation of women as well as men with disability.

All organisations applying for funds from the Pacific DPO Fund must be non-governmental, non-profit and a DPO and they must be based in and the activity takes place in an eligible Pacific country (or across eligible Pacific countries) which include Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

DPOs can apply for up to Fiji $10,000 per application. Interested organisations are urged to review the full Guidelines, application details and forms posted at the PDF's website,  and click on the DPO Fund page.

Any questions on the proposal process should be directed to Ms Angeline Chand on

The deadline for applications is Friday, 18 December 2009.

Pacific Disabled Peoples Organisations Governance Support Program

In the last edition of E-Bulletin Issue 57, we provided information on the Governance Support Program being delivered by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) to 9 countries in the Pacific.  The training aims to build the capacity of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to work with Government to progress the rights of people with disability in their countries.

Vanuatu was the first country to receive the program in September.  The second country, the Solomon Islands received the program from 25 – 27 November.  Again, this program was supported by training from PWD Australia, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT).

On 30 November, the national newspaper in the Solomon Islands, the Solomon Star reported the following:

“Savina Nongebatu of the People With Disabilities Solomon Islands (PWDSI) said the training brought distinguished advocators from the Australian Human Rights Commission, Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, Pacific Disability Forum, People With Disability Australia and RRRT.

The training was funded by AUSAID and officially opened by the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr Cedric Alependava.  Speaking at the opening, he confirmed the government’s commitment to addressing disability in the country and the reviewing of the National Disability Policy.

This training included sessions on the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, Human Rights, Advocacy and partnerships.  Sessions also included Disability Policy and Development, Governance of DPOs and Rights of Women and Girls With Disabilities.  The training looked at the important role that people with disabilities must play to advocate for their rights. There is a great need for partnerships in addressing disability in our communities. 

Women with disabilities were particularly encouraged to speak up on their issues by the Program Officer of PDF, Ms Angeline Chand.  Ms Chand also encouraged PWDSI to get more women in their executive. 

Ruby Awa presented sessions on Good Governance from RRRT. This session was particularly important for all participants from the provinces the opportunity to share their stories and what they would like PWDSI to be able to do in the future.”

For more information contact Maria Attard, Advocacy Projects Manager, on the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or by email at:

PWD hosts Thailand Government officials on study tour

On 18 November, PWD hosted representatives from the National Office for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and representatives from a number of Thai Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) to exchange information on advocacy, DPOs and disability service systems aimed at empowering people with disability. 

The day’s program included presentations on Individualised Funding, advocacy, the role of DPOs and formal mechanisms for decision-making (delivered by the NSW Office of the Public Guardian).

For more information contact Maria Attard, Advocacy Projects Manager, on the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or by email at:

Disability Clothesline

On 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, a project called Disability Clothesline was launched in New Zealand.  The project encourages people with disability to tell their story of abuse and violence by painting a t-shirt and hanging it on a clothesline, a symbol of hanging out their dirty laundry as part of their process of healing.

The Disability Clothesline Project is a way of breaking the silence about domestic and all forms of violence and abuse experienced by people with disability, enabling victims to give creative expression to their experiences as they use clothing as a canvas.

Clotheslines began in Hyannis MA in the USA in 1990, when women who had experienced abuse and violence got together to help to transform the experience into something positive and to educate people about abuse and violence.  Like these women, people with disability need to break from invisibility and silence, having their experiences publicly acknowledged.

The symbol of the project is the black triangle, which Hitler used to mark disabled people for extermination in the concentration camps.  The colours of the shirts also represent a particular kind of abuse.  The colours are:

white = death from violence

yellow/beige = assault

red/pink = sexual assault and incest - adults

blue = sexual assault and incest - children

green = psychological abuse

purple/lavender = hate violence, bullying

grey = financial abuse

orange = institutional abuse

The Disability Clothesline is a project run by DCAV, the Disability Coalition against Violence. The coalition began with Disabled People’s Association New Zealand and the National Network of Stopping Violence Services representing people with disability and organisations working to prevent violence. Since then other organisations have joined the informal coalition from both sectors.

More information is available on the project website at:

United Nations Launches Special Website for the 30th Anniversary Of CEDAW

On 18 December 2009, marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).  A working group of the United Nations' Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) has come together to plan a number of activities in 2009 to celebrate this important anniversary, including a special anniversary website, which they invite you to visit:

The website contains:

           Examples of CEDAW's successful implementation from around the world, which serve to illustrate how national partners and the global community can work together to ensure gender equality is a reality for all women and girls.

           A calendar of regional and country level events being organized by the UN and its partners to celebrate the Convention's 30th anniversary.

           Information on the global anniversary celebration at UN headquarters in New York on 3rd December, 2009.

           Electronically available publications and resources on CEDAW.

           Background information on the Convention and its Optional Protocol.

The working group is composed of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNIFEM (co-chairs), UNICEF, UN Division for the Advancement of Women, UNDP and UNFPA.

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The Inside Story

Individualised Funding – One member’s view

Our E-Bulletin Issue 57 was a Special Edition on Individualised Funding.  A number of contributors outlined views, models and information on the growing movement for individualised funding options in Australia.  A long-time PWD member and previous member of the Board, Tom Ferguson has provided us with his personal experiences of individualised funding in NSW:

I have been a member of PWD for a number of years, and at the present time I am a client of Attendant Care.  I have been part of the Attendant Care Pilot Project, so do not receive my assistance through a designated home care service.  As far as Attendant Care goes I think it’s the best program I have ever had.  I am in control of who I get – I hire and fire the staff, although I don’t look after the financial aspects of the arrangement.  There’s a lot more flexibility in what you do.  The client is in a lot more control.

It’s clear to me that receiving Attendant Care through this pilot project, where I am in control of all the support arrangements, is a form of individualised funding.  This is a good example of the same funded program, providing the same amount of resources to individuals, but having vastly superior results for the service recipient.

Some critics of individualised funding arrangements, point to the complexity of managing financial, administrative as well as employment issues, not to mention the legal aspects of having people with disability in charge of their own support arrangements.  Whilst I don’t actually manage the finances - that is done by an external service provider - I am in charge completely of the management of the staff that provide me with assistance, including hiring and firing, and training.  Training is a critical aspect of support, but staff need to understand that, regardless of their qualifications and experience, they need to approach each different support arrangement with an open mind, and the capacity to address each person as having unique and individual requirements.

I believe that individualised funding should be available to all people with disability who are eligible for disability support.  If individualised funding was to be made more widely available I would really like to be involved in setting up initiatives, and assisting people with disability to manage their own supports.  It is crucial that governments include people with disability like myself in planning for the rollout of new initiatives such as individualised funding.

Annual General Meeting and Members’ Event

PWD’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place on Saturday 28 November 2009.  The AGM was followed by a members’ Cocktail Party, which was an enjoyable way for members to celebrate another year of PWD activity.

Constitutional changes: during the meeting a number of motions proposing constitutional changes were discussed and voted on with the following results:

           Motion 10: That the current Term provisions relating to members of the Board contained in the Constitution be amended from two to three years.

This motion was defeated.

           Motion 11: That the current Clause 46 of the Constitution (Authorisation of Accounts) be deleted and replaced with:

“The Board shall approve the annual budget which is reviewed six-monthly and management will be responsible for ensuring payments are made within budget. The Financial Management policy will detail the delegations which shall guide how particular office bearers and staff within the organisation will authorise payments and how payments shall be made in accordance with current financial accounting standards.”

This motion was passed.

           Motion 12: That Clause 9, point (d) of the Constitution (Cessation of Membership) be deleted.

This motion was passed.

           Motion 13:  That paragraph 12.1 of the Constitution (Fees, subscriptions etc.) be amended to read:

 “Each members of the Association shall pay to the Association an annual fee set by the Board appropriate to their class of membership and payable annually on a date set by the Board.”

This motion was passed.

           Motion 14:  That Clause 16 of the Constitution (Membership of the Board) be amended to include an additional paragraph inserted at 16.2 that reads:

“At least two (2) members of the Board are to be from outside of the state of New South Wales.”

This motion was passed with an amendment:

“At least two (2) members of the board are to be from Australian states or territories other than New South Wales.”

2010 Board members: The Returning Officer delivered her report to PWD and confirmed that the following members were successful in their nomination for the PWD Board for a two year term:

·        Samantha French (second 2 year term)

·        Jan Daisley (returning for second 2 year term)

·        Joe Mannix (returning for second 2 year term)

·        Peter Cassar

·        Mary Anne Bath

Congratulations to these nominees, who commenced their two year term following the AGM.

Interim Executive members: The new Board met immediately after the AGM to elect its Interim Executive.  The Interim Executive members are:

·        Jan Daisley (Interim Vice-President)

·        Timothy Hart (Interim Treasurer)

·        Peter Cassar (Interim Secretary)

As the PWD President, Robert Farley, remains on leave, Jan Daisley will assume the role of Acting President.  Samantha French was elected as Interim Acting Vice-President while Jan acts as President.

The members of the Interim Executive serve until the first Board meeting is convened in January 2010 when a vote for the 2010 Executive is conducted.

PWD Office Closures over Christmas and New Year

All PWD Offices will be closed from midday 24 December 2009 till Monday 4 January 2010.

Our Disability Rights Information Service is closed from midday 24 December 2009 until 11 January 2010.  Messages can be left for our Individual Advocacy Service during this time.

The National Abuse and Neglect Hotline and the Complaints Resolution and Referral services will operate as usual throughout the Christmas and New Year period – 8am till 8pm every day in all States and Territories, except WA, which will operate from 8am till 7pm every day.

PWD wishes you all a very happy and peaceful festive season and a human rights-filled New Year!

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  • This is My Home: Belonging, Disability and Diversity. Disability Studies and Research Centre (UNSW): public seminar presented by Dinesh Wadiwel and Carrie Hayter: 20 December, 12.30 pm-1.30 pm.  For further information contact Brooke Dinning, or phone: 9385-9908.


  • Present Difference: The Cultural Production of Disability. Manchester Metropolitan University in conjunction with BBC Northwest and the Cultural Disability Studies Research Network: 6 to 8 January 2010; Manchester, United Kingdom. For further information contact Dr Lucy Burke email:


  • Dare to be Different: National Disability Services NSW State Conference. 15-16 February 2010; Sydney. For further information contact Emily Caska, or phone 02 9256 3102



  • 2010 Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities. Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaii: 12 and 13 April 2010. For more information go to:


·        Think Globally, Act Locally. 2010 Annual Conference, Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc, Auckland, New Zealand: 23 – 25 May 2010; for further information go to:


  • Women’s Worlds 2011: Inclusions, Exclusions and Seclusions. Living in a Globalised World: 3 to 7 July 2009: Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada: for further information go to


  • Implementing Disability Inclusive Development in the Pacific and Asia: Reviewing progress, planning the future. Australian Disability and Development Consortium, Darwin Convention Centre: 15 – 16 September, 2010.  For more information go to


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About PWD

People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWD) is a national disability rights and advocacy organisation. Its primary membership is people with disability and organisations primarily made up of people with disability. PWD also has a large associate membership of other individuals and organisations committed to the disability rights movement. PWD was founded in 1981, the International Year of Disabled People, to provide people with disability with a voice of our own. We have a cross-disability focus; we represent the interest of people with all kinds of disability. PWD is a non-profit, non-government organisation.

For information about membership, contact Ray Dooley by email or on one of the numbers below.

PWD’s training services

PWD has extensive experience in the development and delivery of professional training across a wide range of disability areas, including:

  • Disability awareness;
  • Communication with people with disability;
  • Developing information in alternative formats;
  • Human rights and disability;
  • Effective consultation with people with disability;
  • Anti-discrimination;
  • Disability, development and capacity-building;
  • Diversity in the workplace and employment of people with disability;
  • Creating flexible and accessible services for people with disability.

Training packages developed are flexible and tailor-made to meet the needs of the particular organisation. To find out more about PWD's training services or to discuss your specific training needs, contact Fiona Godfrey, Manager, Training.

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Privacy statement

We are committed to protecting your privacy. In doing so, we commit ourselves to conforming to the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Bill 2000, which came into effect in December 2001 and the National Privacy Principles issued by the Australian Privacy Commissioner. This newsletter is distributed by email. You have provided us with an email address. This email address will be used only for the purpose for which you have provided it and you will not be added to any other mailing lists unless you specifically request that this be done. Your email address will not be disclosed without your consent. You can have your email address removed from the mailing list for this newsletter by sending an email to This newsletter contains links to websites. We cannot be held responsible for the privacy practices (or lack thereof) or the content of such websites.

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Contact us

Please note that PWD publishes items contributed by other organisations at our discretion. While we will assist where possible in the dissemination of information, we do not take responsibility for the promotion or advertisement of events organised by other organisations.

If you would like to receive PWD E-Bulletin in an alternative format or have an enquiry, contact PWD by email or by one of the means below.

People with Disability Australia Incorporated
PO Box 666 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Phone 02 9319 6622, toll-free 1800 422 015
TTY 02 9318 2138, toll-free 1800 422 016

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