A message from Craig Wallace
Most of you would know by now that I resigned as President of People with Disability Australia last week.
It was a hard decision, but the right one. My term was coming to an end later this year and it’s time to ensure a good transition for PWDA by allowing other members of the Board to come forward and build leadership experience now that the dust is settling from the Federal election.
The new Acting President elected by the Board on Saturday is Bonnie Millen supported by Kristy Trajcevski as Acting Vice President. Bonnie is a young woman who is hard of hearing from South Australia who will shortly be moving to Canberra. Bonnie has led in youth development and international fora while Kristy has been a force for sound governance over several years. I am excited at the chance we have for energy and renewal. Our future is in good hands.
Photo: Craig Wallace, past President of PWDA
As required under the constitution a full election where all members can nominate and vote for the President and PWDA Directors will be held in September - October.
Its five years since I returned to the executive of PWDA and four years since I was elected as your President. When I campaigned to step into the role I promised change to grow our membership, strengthen our governance, lobby for the NDIS, work for PWDA to become a national peak, build our policy capacity in new areas such as jobs, boost our media profile and fight abuse in institutions.
I’d like to reflect on a few outcomes of our work together:
Together we have changed things for the better but there is much to be done. We need a recharged National Disability Strategy, especially to drive effort by States, Territories and local government. We need to ramp up advocacy and critical attention to the NDIS, especially for those who miss out on disability supports due to their age. We should strive to rebuild the voice we’ve lost since the demise of the wonderful ABC Ramp Up and the absence of a national advisory body.
We lack full individual needs based funding for education. Our health system and hospitals are a bad place for people with disability while eugenics and euthanasia imagines a world without us in the long run.
There is also more to do to entrench PWDA as a consumer directed, rights based leader of our movement and to build the ACDA but we’ve made headway. I'm proud of the Board and staff, especially our co-CEO’s Matthew Bowden and Therese Sands, who worked so hard on it all.
I will always support PWDA which along with our ACDA partners is the best hope for a united progressive democratic voice for disabled people in Australia.
Thank you all for the privilege of holding a position of trust in our community.
We’ve done all of this together and you as members have made change happen – by joining, writing, phoning, posting, voting and attending our events.
Maintain your rage about all that is wrong for disabled people and your faith that together we can change it.
Membership makes PWDA strong and I hope you will continue to spread the word about joining PWDA. Joining us is online, easy and free.