People with Disability Australia
In 2002, PWDA’s membership approved a repositioning of PWDA as a national disability rights and advocacy organisation. The organisation’s name was changed to reflect this new positioning on the second of May 2003. The principal reasons for the change were to position PWDA to undertake work on national policy issues.
As a state-based organisation, People with Disabilities (NSW) Inc was always at a disadvantage in attempting to engage with Federal politicians, Commonwealth agencies and other national entities. We had also increasingly come to fill the role once performed by Disabled Peoples International (Australia) on a regional and international level and the name change and repositioning reflected this reality. However, in approving our repositioning at the national level, members also insisted that our work at the NSW level be maintained and continuously developed. Leading on from this expansion, PWDA went on to open eight regional offices over the 2010-2012.
Between 2003-2006 PWDA played a valuable role in the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), organising national consultations and consultations with members, making submissions, hosting seminars, and supporting delegates to attend sessions of the UN Ad Hoc Committee. Through this work PWDA gained Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
From 2009 onwards, PWDA continues to play an ongoing role in monitoring the implementation of the CRPD in Australia, and is part of the NGO CRPD Shadow Report Project Group.
Along with our national work, PWDA has been undertaking international development work in the Pacific since 2004. We are a signatory to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct and committed to ethical practice and public accountability in all of our international development work.
In 2016, we partnered with other DPOs to form DPO Australia.