PWD E-Bulletin

 

Issue 68 May 2011 - 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.

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Contents

New South Wales News

Other State and Territory News

National News

International News

The Inside Story

PWD Media Releases

Job/Volunteer Opportunities

Upcoming Events

About PWD

Privacy Statement

Contact Us

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New South Wales News

Reforms to the NSW Victims’ Rights Act 1996

In December 2010, amendments were made to the Victims’ Rights Act 1996 to implement recommendations arising from a review of the Charter of Victims’ Rights (the Charter).  The Charter now expresses victim’s rights more assertively and includes an additional right to ensure that people are informed about making complaints under the Charter.

A further significant amendment increases those groups that are responsible for the Charter.  The Charter used to apply only to people who worked for government departments, but it now also applies to non-government agencies funded by the NSW Government that provide support to victims.

The Victims’ Rights Act 1996 states that a victim of crime is a person who suffers harm as a direct result of an act committed, or apparently committed, by another person in the course of a criminal offence.  If a person dies because of a crime, then a member of the person’s immediate family can nominate to be a representative as a victim of crime for the purposes of the Charter.

Under the Act, harm is described as physical, psychological or psychiatric harm.  Harm also includes when property is deliberately taken, destroyed or damaged.

A Guide to the changes to the victims’ rights legislation is located at Amendments to the Victims’ Rights Act 1996
Guide to changes | Victims Rights | Legislation

Over the coming months, the Victims’ Services branch of the Department of Justice & Attorney General will be developing and implementing a training plan and developing resources to assist government and non-government agencies in their understanding of the Charter and their obligations under it.

PWD is participating on the Strengthening Victims’ Rights Non-Government Implementation Group which will be involved in ensuring victims of crime in NSW can better access their rights and the effective implementation of the Charter.

For further information, contact Sonya Price-Kelly on one of the contact numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email sonyapk@pwd.org.au

NSW Police Force Victims Policy consultation

The NSW Police Force (NSWPF) is reviewing its current Victims Support Policy and Procedures document. As part of the review, a consultation with external stakeholders will be held on Tuesday 21 June 2011.  Questions that will be discussed on the day will include:

1.     What are your expectations of police officers in responding to victims of crime?

2.     What challenges do you face in providing support to victims of crime?

3.     In your opinion, how can this document best be structured to meet your needs?

The details of the consultation are:

 Date: Tuesday 21June 2011

 Time: 9.30am-12.30pm

 Location: Sydney West Trial Courts, 6 George Street, Parramatta

 

Morning tea will be provided. Any questions about the consultation can be emailed to victims@police.nsw.gov.au

 

If you wish to attend this consultation, please register by emailing your name, organisation and contact details to victims@police.nsw.gov.au by Tuesday 14 June 2011

Ageing, Disability and Home Care’s (ADHC) Licensed Residential Centres Licensing and Monitoring Policy

ADHC has recently released a revised and updated Licensed Residential Centres Licensing and Monitoring Policy Manual which is available on their website.

 

To download the PDF Version of the Manual, please click here  (PDF is the only version available on the ADHC website)

This document provides policy and practice advice to ADHC’s Regional and other staff on the regulation and monitoring of Licensed Residential Centres (LRCs - also commonly referred to as Licensed Boarding Houses).  LRCs are licensed under the Youth and Community Services Act 1973 to accommodate people with a disability who require supervision and support.  The Act also sets out responsibilities for monitoring, responding to complaints or referrals about people with disability living in unlicensed boarding houses.

 

The policy document aims to set out the principles to maintain the health, safety and welfare of residents; encourage service development by supporting LRCs to provide accommodation of a high standard in compliance with the Act; build partnerships by working co-operatively with Licensees and Licensed Managers in order to facilitate productive and effective industry and ADHC relationships; ensure accountability in decision-making and management of LRC issues including complaints; and ensure transparency in the operation of ADHC’s licensing and monitoring obligations.

 

This document is a useful reference point to ADHC’s procedures and how it should go about its work relating to boarding houses.

 

PWD is pleased that ADHC has released this policy document, but argues that it is an interim improvement measure only until genuine reform of the licensed residential sector is implemented.

 

For more information contact Sonya Price-Kelly on one of the contact numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email sonyapk@pwd.org.au

Meeting with NSW Minister for Disability Services

On 6 May, PWD met with the new NSW Minister for Disability Services, the Hon. Andrew Constance.  While PWD has met with Mr Constance on numerous occasions in his role as Shadow Minister, this was the first opportunity to meet with him in his new ministerial role.

 

The meeting covered a range of issues that are of importance to PWD, and that were outlined in our NSW Election Platform.  We welcomed Mr Constance’s enthusiasm for individualised funding and boarding house reform, and for his willingness to engage in human rights issues affecting people with disability.

 

PWD expects to meet with Mr Constance on a regular basis.  PWD President, Jan Daisley also provides comment on this meeting in the Inside Story section below.

Protecting Human Rights for the Disability Sector Training

PWD will be assisting with the delivery of a one-day workshop on Tuesday 28 June, as part of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)’s public training course program.

 

The workshop aims to equip people working in the disability sector with the knowledge and skills to recognise and respond when the rights and interests of people with a disability are not being protected.

 

This course covers:

  • Taking a rights based approach to your work
  • Case studies of breaches of rights in the disability sector
  • Legal options – discrimination and privacy protections
  • Complaints – where and how can you complain
  • Understanding human rights and human rights protections in Australia

 

For more information about the course and registration, please visit www.piac.asn.au/trainingevent/protecting-human-rights-disability-sector

HIV, Human Rights and Law roundtable

On 11 May PWD participated in a roundtable, HIV, Human rights and the Law hosted by Positive Life NSW.  The aim of the workshop was to identify key issues for people living with HIV and to look at how these issues relate to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and human rights in general.

 

The workshop enabled key agencies to build networks and create linkages to support our work for people living with HIV.  Aside from Positive Life NSW and PWD, participating agencies included:

  • HIV AIDS Legal Centre (HALC)
  • Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO)
  • Inner City Legal Centre
  • Legal Aid NSW
  • AIDS Council of NSW
  • NSW Health

 

Key issues that arose during the day included:

  • Discrimination in migration
  • Privacy protections and E-Health
  • Criminal prosecution associated with HIV transmission
  • Discrimination in service provision
  • Regulations under the NSW Public Health Act
  • Harmonisation of anti-discrimination laws

 

The outcome of the meeting was the establishment of an informal network that would share information, support respective work where appropriate and that would engage with each other on key issues.

 

For more information contact Therese Sands on one of the contact numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email thereses@pwd.org.au

 

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Other State and Territory News

Victoria: Friend revisits battleground of “Annie's Coming Out”

PWD is extremely concerned about the situation experienced by Leonie McFarlane, a person with disability who was refused the opportunity to participate in the May AGOSCI conference, Taking it to the Streets.  AGOSCI is a group representing people with complex communication needs, as well as those who live, know or work with people with complex communication needs.

Ms McFarlane was expected to present at the conference with Dr Rosemary Crossley.  Both Ms McFarlane and Dr Crossley had longstanding friendships with Annie McDonald, a disability activist who re-enacted her life story in the well-known film Annie’s Coming Out – the conference was, in part, a tribute to Annie McDonald.

 

PWD understands that Ms McFarlane is able to communicate non-verbally and that she expressed her wish to participate in the conference.  However, Ms McFarlane’s parents did not agree and despite not being her guardian, the parent’s decision was upheld in the Supreme Court.

 

Despite numerous efforts by advocates, the Victorian Department of Human Services, the body that funds the residential facility where Ms McFarlane resides, were unwilling to intervene or overrule the decision as they believed it was made in Ms McFarlane’s best interests.

 

This situation raises key human rights concerns in relation to the rights of people with disability to communicate and express views, including through augmentative and alternative communications; to be provided with appropriate assistance and support to make our own decisions; and to maintain important relationships, including friendships.

 

For more information about Ms McFarlane’s situation, including to view the report in the newspaper, The Age (Carer revisits battleground of “Annie's Coming Out” 10/05/2011) visit the Disability Advocacy Resource Centre website at www.daru.org.au/publications/items/369796-upload-00001.doc

Victoria: Assault of children with disability a growing concern

PWD was shocked and concerned to hear the recent story on ABC’s 7:30 Report which showed Victorian teachers and aides using physical assault in response to children with disability.

 

The program aired a video showing a schoolboy with autism being restrained face down and prone on the ground four years ago, a manoeuvre that amounts to physical assault.

 

PWD has a long-standing concern about the use of ‘restrictive practices’ – a term used by service systems to manage ‘challenging behaviours’ of people with disability – that amount to violence, abuse, punishment and harm.  In many instances, including this example, they constitute assaults but often go unreported as they are viewed as necessary when dealing with ‘challenging behaviour’.

 

PWD‘s experience is that these incidences are not uncommon for children with disability in schools.  This is also the view of Children with Disability Australia, who have told PWD that this is often reported to them by parents of children with disability throughout Australia. Click here to read the full transcript from the 7:30 Report

Western Australia:  Historic Budget boosts social services

PWD was pleased to see the WA State budget include an additional $600 million in funding for community services.

WA Premier Colin Barnett, in announcing the budget, said more than 300 organisations - including the Salvation Army, Anglicare and the Autism Association of WA - would receive an unprecedented boost of $604 million over four years.

 

The first payments would be made on July 1 and the new money would take total funding for the sector to more than $1 billion.

It would help organisations offering services in the areas of mental health, suicide prevention, disability and aged care.

 

The WA Council of Social Services (WACOSS) commented: “The Government has invested an additional $604million into the not for profit sector over the next four years – it’s a major commitment and demonstrates how serious Premier Barnett is about re-building the Government’s relationship with the not-for-profit sector so we can deliver better outcomes for those most disadvantaged in our community,” said WACOSS Chief Executive Officer, Irina Cattalini.

 

For more information, visit the WACOSS website to read these articles:

Tasmania: No money for independence

Advocacy Tasmania says the Government needs to provide more disability money in next month's state budget.

The Human Services Minister has admitted that the money to help Tasmanians living with a disability to remain independent has run out.

Cassy O'Connor has confirmed about 285 people living with disability are waiting for "individual support packages" which provide help to allow them remain in their own homes and communities.

Ms O'Connor says all the funds within the budget have been spent.  She says despite increased funding, demand continues to grow.

"We had a finite set of money, that money has all been allocated but I'm trying to do what I can to find some money to try and help priority cases," the Minister said.

The size of support packages range in cost, depending on an individual's circumstances.

Advocacy Tasmania wants the Government to prioritise the issue in next month's state budget and allocate additional funding to end the current waiting list.  AdvocacyTasmania's Ken Hardaker says it is crucial more money is found.

"We're talking about basic essential services to enable people to live," he said. "It means that those people who are not able to access those packages really have a very poor quality of life. So it's an essential."

(From ABC News Online, Friday 27 May 2011)

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National news

2011 Federal Budget

PWD welcomed the announcement of the Federal Budget on 10 May and applauded the commitment of $200 million in support services for students with disability.  This was a positive move by the Federal Government to assist mainstream inclusive education.

 

PWD also cautiously welcomed the Government’s initiatives to encourage workplace participation for people with disability, but expressed concern with the announcement of changes to Disability Support Pension (DSP) eligibility requirements and assessment processes.

 

PWD welcomed the announcement of the National Mental Health Reform package.  However, PWD urges the governments to ensure that mental health consumers and people with psychosocial disability are integral to the decisions about how this money is invested in social and community supports, and are represented as key partners in the new proposal for a National Mental Health Commission.

Click here to read the full PWD Media Release

 

As part of our budget response, PWD appeared on the ABC Radio National show “Australia Talks”. PWD formed part of a panel of experts discussing the budget and how it may affect people on welfare accessing work.

 

For more details, and to listen to the podcast, please click on the link below:

Federal budget 2011 – ABC Radio Online (Australia Talks)

 

For more information on the budget announcement of $200 million to provide extra support for students with disability in Australian schools, click here to read the Press Release from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Productivity Commission Inquiry and the NDIS

In our Productivity Commission Inquiry into Disability Care and Support E-bulletin, in April 2011, we provided information on the Interim Report provided by the Productivity Commission for its Inquiry into Lifetime Care and Support for people with disability, the campaign for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, how members can become involved and what PWD is saying.

 

We can now provide a further update:

  • We have provided our submission on the Interim Report to the Productivity Commission highlighting many of the views expressed in our April E-bulletin.
  • We have worked with the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) to provide a joint submission to the Productivity Commission on our concerns about recommendations limiting the proposed new support scheme to permanent residents and Australian citizens.
  • We have worked collaboratively with a number of disability representative organisations to prepare a human rights analysis of the recommendations made in the Interim Report of the Productivity Commission.
  • We have assisted members develop their own submissions and appear before public hearings conducted by the Productivity Commission.

 

Click here to read our submission, the joint submission with NEDA and the human rights analysis of the Interim Report recommendations on our website

 

PWD has also officially endorsed the Campaign for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, Every Australian Counts and is encouraging PWD members and others to also sign up to the campaign at www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au

 

For more information contact Michael Bleasdale on one of the contact numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email michaelb@pwd.org.au

The In Control BiG Event!

On 10 and 11 May, over 260 people gathered at the Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club for the In Control Australia BiG Event which was presented by the NSW Chapter of In Control Australia.

 

The BiG Event sold out in the week leading up to the conference and the venue was bursting at the seams with people eager to discuss how to make self-directed funding happen in Australia.  The conference attracted an inspiring and diverse group of people from all corners of Australia and included people with disability, family members, service providers, professionals, academics and government officials, all of whom were eager to know how this new way of delivering support could actually happen in practice.

 

The theme of this year’s BiG Event was Self-directed Support: Making it Happen, and the NSW Chapter of In Control Australia group brought together an exciting range of speakers from all over Australia and internationally, including Steve Dowson and Alison Short (UK), Robbi Williams (Julie Farr Association ), Patricia O’Brien (Centre for Disability Studies), Kirsten Deane (National Disability and Carer Alliance), Dougie Herd (National Disability Services) and Lesley Hall (Australian Federation of Disability Organisations).

 

In all, the BiG Event delivered 18 sessions over the two days and provided people with the opportunity to explore and discuss three key themes around Self-directed Support:

  • Making it work for me - the nuts and bolts of Individual Support: choice, voice and control;
  • Supporting people to lead inclusive and ordinary lives; and
  • Managing a diverse, national system.

 

Feedback on the day indicates the event was an enormous success and that people in Australia are ‘hungry’ for further opportunities to come together and continue discussions about making self-directed funding happen.

 

Highlights from the event will be available on the In Control Website at www.incontrol.org.au or sign up as a fan on In Control’s new Facebook page to see photos from the BIG Event.

 

PWD is producing a DVD of the event which includes keynote speeches and presentation material.  More information about obtaining a copy of the DVD will be available on our website once it is complete.

 

For more information contact Michael Bleasdale on one of the contact numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email michaelb@pwd.org.au

PWD Member perspective

PWD Member, Tom Ferguson, made a presentation at the In Control BiG Event about his views on individualised funding and how such an initiative could support people with disability.

Click here to read Tom’s presentation

Individualised Funding and the Limits of Choice

At the In Control BiG Event, a session led by Steve Dowson and Mark Pattison (National Council on Intellectual Disability) addressed the “Limits of Choice” which may be needed under a new NDIS, especially in the area of accommodation and support for people with disability.

 

There has been nothing officially written to date that actively prohibits the development of congregate care accommodation under individualised funding, despite the evidence available as to its deleterious effects upon people living in institutions and Australia’s obligation under CRPD that such facilities are a breach of human rights.

 

A view about limiting choice in this area was put forward by Professor Chris Bigby from La Trobe University recently in an online article, which can be read at www.abc.net.au/rampup/articles/2011/04/18/3194483.htm

 

Given the direction toward choice and individualised funding options that arise from the recommendations from the Productivity Commission Interim Report into lifetime care and support for people with disability, it is important that “choice” is understood from a human rights perspective.

 

PWD has articulated our views in this regard in our position paper, Accommodating Human Rights: a human rights perspective on housing and support for persons with disability.  This position clearly articulates the rights outlined in Article 19 of the CRPD, the right to live independently and be included in the community:

  • Article 19 guarantees the rights to liberty and freedom of movement of people with disability by requiring housing and support services to be structured and provided in ways that enable independence, autonomy, participation and inclusion in the community.
  • As a civil and political right, Article 19 must be complied with immediately – governments cannot transition or progress towards ensuring people with disability live and participate in community life; they must take immediate action to remedy and prevent the segregation, isolation and congregation of people with disability.
  • ‘Choice’ and ‘personal autonomy’ are often seen to override all other human rights values, so there is often a misunderstanding that if a person with disability or their family chooses a congregate care or institutional environment than this is their right.
  • However, human dignity is the ultimate source of all human rights, and the end goal of all human rights.  People with disability, their families as well as governments have a fundamental responsibility to act in ways that respect, protect and fulfil human dignity.
  • CRPD makes it clear that segregated, institutional models of housing and support is offensive to human dignity.  Governments are under a clear obligation to protect and preserve human dignity and must ensure that accommodation models achieve human dignity.
  • This means that ‘choices’ related to accommodation options or housing and support for people with disability must be made within a human rights framework, which respects, protects and fulfils human dignity.

 

PWD is keen to present this view at the upcoming forum on options for supported accommodation models that is being held by the Fighting Chance and the Mad As Hell campaign at the NSW Parliament Theatrette on Wednesday 3 August 2011 from 10am until 4pm. Chris Bigby has been invited to keynote the event, and there are a number of other speakers. 

 

For more information about this event contact Sue O’Reilly directly on sor.111@hotmail.com or fightingchancefund@gmail.com

 

Click here to read PWD’s Policy Paper on CRPD Article 19 on our website

Migration and people with disability

PWD supports the concerns held by the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) over the Federal Government’s stance on skilled migrants with disability, and agrees with their assertion that it is time for the Government to demonstrate its acceptance of human rights for people with disability and to get rid of barriers that prevent the skills shortage from being addressed.

In a press release issued on 23 May 2011, NEDA drew attention to the ongoing Federal Government policy preventing people with disability from migrating to Australia.

 

“Amidst an ever increasing polarisation on the Government’s handling of the global refugee situation, the Gillard Government is losing sight of its own migration policies”, said Sibylle Kaczorek, Executive Officer of NEDA.

 

“Despite this very clear message of a need for skilled labour, the Government rejects families able to fill the skills shortage only because a member of these families lives with disability.  Apart from these rejections being discriminatory and contrary to human rights approaches, they are entirely counterproductive when considering Australia’s labour needs”, said Juan de la Torre, NEDA President.

 

“The National Ethnic Disability Alliance regularly receives pleas for support from families wanting to permanently settle in Australia and support this country with their skills, these families are left in disbelief when they are told that their skills are welcome but not the person with disability in their household.”

 

Click here to read the full NEDA press release

“Everybody’s Business: Stopping the abuse and neglect of people with intellectual disability”

On 12 and 13 April, PWD participated in the two day International Symposium and Roundtable: “Everybody’s Business: Stopping the abuse and neglect of people with intellectual disability”, which was held in Brisbane, QLD.

 

Responding to the violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability is a primary focus of PWD’s individual and systemic advocacy work and reporting on this is critical to the work of the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline, which is operated by PWD.

 

PWD was able to benefit from the combined experience of international researchers in the field who presented at the Symposium.  We also provided our expertise in developing strategies to prevent and respond to abuse and neglect in Australia.

 

If you are interested in finding out more, the presentations are available on the Griffith University website: www.griffith.edu.au/health/school-human-services-social-work/news-events/international-symposium

Tell Someone – Resource to combat violence against people with disability

The ‘Tell Someone’ website is aimed at educating people with intellectual disability and their family and community about family violence.

 

This excellent resource clearly articulates that families come in all shapes, sizes and types including people living in residential settings with carers.

 

It includes plain English information and a series of videos with very clear messages from people with disability sharing their experiences.  It was developed by the Integrated Family Violence Executive in Victoria, and whilst the legal information outlined on the website is specific to Victoria, the resource has valuable application Australia-wide and can benefit people with intellectual disability generally.

 

Further contacts and support options in all States and Territories can be found at www.austdvclearinghouse.unsw.edu.au/links.html

Hate Crimes Against Persons with Disability – Time for Action

On 18 April 2011, PWD delivered presentations and participated in the Hate Crimes Against Persons with Disability – Time for Action, a conference to promote better human rights protection for people with disability subject to hate crimes.

 

The conference, which took place at the University of Technology Sydney, explored the incidence, dynamics and impact of hate crimes against persons with disability in the Australian context.  Participants also discussed options and opportunities to secure greater human rights protection for people with disability against crimes of this nature.

 

PWD presented on hate crimes in relation to women with disability and people with disability who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex or same-sex attracted.

 

The conference was attended by a variety of people concerned about hate crimes, including people with disability, family members, disability advocates, human rights and social justice activists and policy makers.

 

The keynote speech was presented by Dr Mark Sherry, a lecturer, publisher and international expert on hate crimes against people with disability, from Ohio, USA.

 

Click here to download Conference flyer and learn more about the speakers who attended and the topics discussed.

Commencement of Access to Premises – Building Standards

PWD and other disability and building industry bodies joined with the Disability Discrimination Commissioner to welcome the commencement of the Disability (Access to Premises – buildings) Standards 2010 on 1 May 2011 at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

 

The development of the Premises Standards has required significant commitment by disability representative and advocacy organisations, including PWD over many years and it is expected that they will provide important and widespread improvements in building accessibility in Australia.

 

“The commencement of these Premises Standards is a momentous event in our community,” said the Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes, in a press release issued on the day.

 

“They usher in significant changes to the way public buildings are designed, constructed and renovated, which means greater safety and accessibility for all Australians, whether they live with disability, are ageing or simply experience difficulty entering and using buildings for any other reason,” said Commissioner Innes.

 

“A newfound synergy between the Premises Standards and the Building Code of Australia will ensure people with disability will be more able to participate in and contribute to the economic, cultural, social and political life of our community as equal citizens.”

 

Click here for the full press release from the Human Rights Commission.

 

To access background information with more detailed information about the Standards and their effect, please visit the Commission website at www.humanrights.gov.au/disability_rights/buildings/backgrounder.html

National Human Rights Action Plan website now online

As part of Australia's Human Rights Framework, the Australian Government is developing a new National Human Rights Action Plan.  This presents an opportunity to systematically consider Australia's strengths and address our shortcomings in human rights laws and practice.

 

The Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) has created a website on the National Rights Action Plan to provide non-government organisations (NGOs) with information about the National Action Plan process, and generate ideas for submissions to the Government's formal consultation process, which is yet to be announced.

 

The website has information on what a Human Rights Action Plan is and provides information on 17 different human rights areas or themes.  These themes were developed by a range of NGOs, including PWD for the recent Universal Periodic Review process.  There are also links to submissions, news and event.

 

The site will be used as a hub for NGOs to discuss the progress of the National Action Plan and Baseline Study (once they are released), to share ideas and to post information on work being done.

 

Each week the HRLC will also add a guest commentary or blog on a different theme.  The opening blogs are from the expert on human rights action plans, Bill Barker and the leader of the campaign for a human rights act, Susan Ryan.  In the coming weeks the site will have blogs on people with disability, prisoners’ rights, homelessness and the rights of women.

 

Please visit the site at www.humanrightsactionplan.org.au

 

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International News

Pacific Disability Forum Regional Conference on Disability

PWD participated in the Second Pacific Regional Conference on Disability, Promoting Actions on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in the Pacific Region conducted from 4–7 April 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.

 

The Conference consisted of a number of events starting with a one day forum for women with disability.  PWD presented during the two day general conference that followed the women’s forum and participated in the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) members’ meeting on the last day.

 

The Conference brought together PDF members from numerous Pacific Island countries as well as Australia and New Zealand, along with representatives from Disabled Peoples International (Asia-Pacific Region), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Australia Human Rights Commission, the Australian Agency for International Development and the New Zealand Aid Programme.

 

Participants contributed to an Outcomes Statement that made a number of recommendations to Pacific Island Governments, the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP), UN agencies, development partners as well as regional and international civil society organisations.

 

Click here to visit the PDF website and read the full Outcome Statement.

UN Chief welcomes 100th Ratification of UN Disability Convention as ‘Milestone’

On 12 May 2011, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed Colombia’s signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as an “important milestone,” emphasising the treaty’s role in providing inclusion and development for persons with disabilities worldwide.

 

The South American nation has become the 100th country to ratify the Convention which supports greater access for the disabled to participate in their communities.  It is widely regarded as the first international human rights treaty of the twenty-first century.

 

“This is an important milestone for Colombia and for the global community,” said Mr. Ban commenting on the signing.  “The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a powerful tool for inclusion and development.

“Let us use it to make concrete improvements in the lives of persons with disabilities,” he added.

For more details click here to read the full Media Release

Commonwealth People’s Forum and Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

On 24 May, PWD participated in the Pacific Regional civil society consultations as part of a series of consultations in the lead up to the Commonwealth People’s Forum (CPF) that precedes the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in October 2011 in Perth, WA.

 

The aim of the consultations is to identify the key issues held by civil society in Commonwealth countries.  These issues will be developed into a Civil Society statement that will be presented to the Commonwealth Heads of Government for consideration during their meeting in Perth.

 

The CPF will be another key opportunity for civil society to make a real impact on the agenda of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.  It provides an important platform for people around Australia and the wider Commonwealth to come together to discuss development issues affecting not only themselves but many of the Commonwealth’s 2 billion citizens.  It will be important for leaders attending the CHOGM to hear and listen to the voice of Commonwealth people.

 

The 2011 CPF is organised by the Commonwealth Foundation and hosted by the Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS) with the support of the Australian Government and the Western Australian Government.

 

For more information click here to visit the Commonwealth Foundation website

 

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The Inside Story

Dear Members,

 

Shock horror! Winter is just around the corner, and we’re now cranking up our planning and preparations our 30th Anniversary Event, to be held 16 July 2011.

 

Thank you to all who have already contributed memorabilia, photos and stories for the event.  If anyone else out there has any news to offer PWD which might be useful for our retrospective, please do get in touch with staff as soon as possible.

 

Our events planning group are working very hard and we do need the help of our members - after all, you are our back bone and without you we have no organisation!  As president of PWD, I want this event to be the biggest and best we ever had, one that will stay in our memory for a long time, so come and meet old friends and make new ones as we celebrate together.

 

This month we have also been working hard on our input for the final report from the Productivity Commission on the feasibility of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  Being personally involved in consultations with the Commission, I find it hard to comment on our level of success, but we gave it our best shot so hopefully the outcome will be to the benefit of all for people with a disability.  Let us all get behind this and keep our fingers crossed for the right outcome in July!

 

This month we have also met with the new NSW Minister for Disabilities, the Hon. Andrew Constance and I’m glad to say he was very open and reassuring.  We spoke about a few key incentives including the NDIS, boarding houses and the closure of institutions.  That was all very promising, but of course, we’ll keep an eye on the government and see how they progress in changing their words into actions.

 

We are also busy making preparations for the Disabled Peoples International World Congress being held in Durban, South Africa, this October.  This will be a good chance for PWD to network and exchange ideas, listen to other people’s views, and establish a common ground shared by people with disability worldwide.  We’ll be sending through more information about this in months to come!

 

As you can see we are very busy and my gratitude goes to my fellow board members and staff who all do a great job for you, our members.  That's enough from me for this month.  I'll be back in June!

 

Jan Daisley - President of PWDA

PWD 30 Year Anniversary: Past Present and Future

In recognition of the 30th Anniversary of the founding of People with Disability Australia and the International Year of People with Disability, we invite all members and friends of PWD to celebrate the achievements of our organisation and the advancement of the rights of people with disability by joining us for a special event between 5-9pm on 16 July 2011 at the Mercure Sydney Hotel.

 

Special Guest: Graeme Innes, Disability Discrimination Commissioner and life member of PWD.

Join us for an evening to remember, reflect and rejoice our achievements.

Where: Mercure Sydney Hotel, 818-829 George Street (near Railway Square)

When: 5pm – 9pm Saturday 16 July 2011
Cost: FREE for members and carers. $25.00 for non-members.
         $10.00 for students and concession card holders.

 

For enquiries and tickets please contact us via:

Phone: 02 9370 3100

Freecall: 1800 422 016

TTY: 02 9318 2138

TTY Freecall: 1800 422 016

Email: pwd@pwd.org.au

 

If you have any photos or other memorabilia of PWD or the disability rights movement over the last 30 years and would like to contribute it to our event please contact PWD on the contact details listed above.  All items will be returned to their owner after the event.

 

This event has been generously supported by DLA Piper and Media Access.

PWD Australia signs Memorandum of Understanding with PWD WA

At the 21 May Board meeting, PWD President Jan Daisley and PWD WA President, Mary-Anne Bath signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets out principles and practice for the collaborative partnership between our two organisations.

The MOU gives formal recognition of this partnership by providing reciprocal membership and building on the existing linkages that have been established by the election of Mary-Anne Bath to the PWD Australia Board.

 

Both PWD Australia and PWD WA are cross-disability organisations of and for people with disability and have a common human rights vision for people with disability.

 

We look forward to working together.

 

More information about PWD WA can be found on their website www.pwdwa.org.au

Expressions of Interest - City2Surf 2012

Dear PWD Members and Supporters,

 

As some of you may know, a number of staff took part in last years’ City2Surf, which raised over $6000 for the organisation.

For those who participated, it was a really fun event, and a great way to promote the organisation! People participated as they felt most comfortable – some ran the whole way, while others made it a leisurely stroll. It was still challenging, but definitely possible for people with all kinds of fitness levels.

 

Discussions are now underway as to whether we should again register as an organisation to participate – So I need to know If there are people keen to join in. We need at least 10 people interested to make this a viable undertaking, so do take this into consideration when making your decision.

 

In considering whether or not you’d like to participate, here is a bit of information about the event to help you make a decision:

  • The City2Surf is on Sunday, August 14, beginning at 9:30am (it varies between starting groups). It is 14km from Sydney CBD to Bondi Beach
  • It is $65 for an adult to register. Please note that PWD will not cover this registration fee.

In return for your entry fee into the City2Surf, you will receive:

  • A chest bib and timing tag (attached to the back of the bib)
  • A finisher’s medal
  • Public transport to and from the event, on event day
  • Baggage transport from start to finish line
  • Gatorade and water during and immediately after the race
  • The Sun-Herald newspaper (on race day, whilst stocks last)
  • Entertainment along the course and at the finish line
  • Downloadable certificate

 

For more info, please visit http://www.city2surf.com.au/default.asp?PageID=18204

Please let me know if you’re interested by Friday 10th June, either by email daphneec@pwd.org.au or telephone on (02) 9370-3100 so I can start getting our registrations together.

 

Hope to hear from you!

 

Daphnée Cook
Communications and Membership Development Manager

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PWD Media Releases

MEDIA RELEASE RE NDIS CAMPAIGN

11 May 2011: Good news for students, mental health; Mixed news for people on the DSP

10 May 2011: Supporting People to Live Ordinary Lives: In Control BIG Event 2011

21 March 2011: Parent Testimony: people with disability should live in the community

15 March 2011: PWD launch NSW Election Platform

8 March 2011: International Women's Day - human rights still not reality for women with disability

 

 

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Job/Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunity: Disability advisor - Australian Red Cross

The Australian Red Cross has just launched a new International Volunteering Program (IDVS), where they send skilled volunteers overseas (Pacific, Asia, Africa, etc) for a year or more in order to transfer some skills to the local staffs from others Red Cross/Crescent societies or other organisations.

 

The IDVS Team are looking to recruit a Disability Advisor for the Fiji Disaster Management program.  The Australian volunteer will have to work with the Fiji Red Cross but also some others Red Cross societies in the Pacific.

 

Fiji Red Cross have identified a need to integrate disability more effectively into disaster management.  The Disability Adviser will work across a number of programs on this integration.  He will be a regional resource for disability and disaster management and may be expected to travel within the Pacific to work with National Society DM staff from other National Societies.

 

The GA will also work with other Pacific National Societies on sensitisation, training, DM planning, and implementation of disability-sensitive DM programs and activities.

 

A major element of the work plan will be to ensure that all activities are designed and conducted in ways that ensure the local sustainability beyond the time of the volunteer assignment.

Are you interested in this role? Do you know people who could be?

 

For more information about the program please visit: www.redcross.org.au/careers_international-volunteer-opportunities.htm

 

 

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Upcoming Events

7-8 June 2011: Melbourne Disability Inclusion within International Development Programs. A two day course designed for people involved in international development; introduces the concept of ‘disability inclusive development’ and promotes a range of guiding principles and practices that facilitate the inclusion of people with disabilities.
For further information contact: Kathryn James, phone (03) 8843 4453 or email kjames@cbm.org.au

 

23-24 June 2011: Sydney MHCC's major conference for 2011. A range of speakers, including consumers, with expertise in trauma informed care and practice from around Australia and the USA have been invited.
For more information visit
www.mhcc.org.au/documents/TICP/TICP-conference-brochure.pdf

 

16 July 2011: Sydney PWD 30th Anniversary Event. Mercure Hotel, 818-820 George Street, Sydney. Guest speakers include Disability Discrimination Commissioner Mr. Graeme Innes  and the Hon. Senator Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities.

 

26-28 October 2011: SPARK Festival 2011 Creative Arts Festival for people with disability run by JunctionWorks. Early bird bookings now open.
Click here for the early bird flyer

 

4-6 November 2010: Parramatta, NSW International Human Rights Education Conference Educating for Human Rights, Peace and Intercultural Dialogue For more information www.humanrightseducationconference2010.com.au

 

13-15 November 2010: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Asia Pacific CBR Convention 2010 - Promoting Inclusive and Sustainable Development: Introduction of ‘The New CBR Guideline’. For more information http://apcbrconvention.cbrnetworkmalaysia.org

 

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About PWD

People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWD) is a national disability rights and advocacy organisation.  Our membership is people with disability and organisations made up of people with disability. Individuals and organisations committed to the disability rights movement can join PWD as associate members.

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 and represent the interests of people with all kinds of disability.

As a non-profit, non-government organisation we increasingly depends on membership fees, public donations, bequests and fundraising activities to maintain our commitment to improving the lives of people with disability. PWD is a deductible gift recipient so donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible.

Your tax deductible donation will mean we can continue to maintain our services. If you are interested and would like to support PWD please visit www.pwd.org.au/donations.html

For information about membership, contact PWD on email pwd@pwd.org.au or one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin.

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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 pwd@pwd.org.au.  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 pwd@pwd.org.au or on one of the numbers listed below.

People with Disability Australia Incorporated
PO Box 66 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Phone 02 9370 3100, toll-free 1800 422 015
TTY 02 9318 2138, toll-free 1800 422 016

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