PWDA E-Bulletin

Edition 80 December 2012

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Welcome to PWDA’s E-Bulletin. Our E-Bulletin goes out to subscribers regularly by email.


To be added to or removed from our E-Bulletin mailing list or to change your details, please email, click on the "Unsubscribe / Change Profile" link at the very end of this E-Bulletin, or contact PWDA on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin.


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PWDA Disability Rights Defenders

Disability Rights Defenders can change lives through regular, monthly, tax-deductible donations. These regular donations support:


  • systemic and legal advocacy projects,
  • members’ and stakeholders consultations,
  • other essential projects like the Boarding House project,
  • work with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) in the Pacific,

·         information and training to people with disability and their associates.


To learn more about the Disability Rights Defenders visit  or click here to signup online.




International Day of People with Disability




National News


NSW News


Northern Territory News


Queensland News


Western Australia News


International News


Youth News and Action


Get Active!


Your Thoughts


Conferences and Events


About PWDA


Privacy Statement


Contact Us


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International Day of People with Disability

Monday, 3 December 2012 is International Day of Persons with Disabilities and also the 20th Anniversary of this significant day. This year the theme is Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all".


This theme provides for opportunities to address the exclusion of persons with disability in society and focusing on promoting accessibility and removing all types of barriers. The existence of barriers constitutes a central component of disability.


The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) states that disability is an evolving concept that “results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”


What barriers can you remove this IDPWD and throughout 2013?


According Human Rights to People with Disability - To mark International Day for People with Disability on 3 December, the Human Rights Law Centre asked PWDA Systemic Advocate Ngila Bevan, to write an article for the "If I were Attorney General" column on their website.  Ngila's article, ‘According Human Rights to People with Disability’, considers the importance of people with disability being consulted and effectively involved in the policy process if their human rights are to be protected and fulfilled.


IDPWD Celebrations - PWDA participated in a range of celebrations for IDPWD including the state official function at the MCA on the 3 December including The Australian Employers Network on Disability event hosted by Westpac which bought together employers and disability sector on the topic of removing barriers.


An example of Removing the Barriers: 2012 theme for IDPWD - Kate Larsen and Emma Bennison talk about tokenism, taking action and answering the question "Do you mean me?"


Heidi Forrest – IDPWD


Jan Daisley – IDPWD and IDPWD Ambassador


National Disability Awards – Announcement of award recipients were on Thursday 28 November 2012. The IDPWD website will have more about the Recipient soon  In the meantime, the IDPWD Facebook page has more details and photos from the evening


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From the President – Craig Wallace

Welcome to this edition of E-Bulletin which marks a few important milestones for the Board and for PWDA.  First of all, I want to thank Jan Daisley for her service to PWDA and also to acknowledge other Board members who are moving on and to welcome new members.  It is genuinely exciting to see the Board representation from South Australia and Victoria. I welcome the new Executive which includes Heidi Forrest, Stuart Mawbey and Faye Druett.


Secondly, this is the first E-Bulletin since the Annual General Meeting on Thursday 15 November which passed a raft of important reforms to our constitution – specifically to make membership free, easier, available online and open to young people.  The Board will have a full program of work over the next few months as we work to implement these and other reforms including work on supporting the development of a platform for the Federal election expected in 2013.   We are also taking steps to be more engaged, transparent and open with members and along these lines the first of our Live Blogs was held on Facebook on 24 November. We have also formed a series of refreshed Board Advisory Groups to provide strategic advice as we move forward.


Finally I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the leadership team, staff and PWDA members on the ground who continue to make such a difference in many ways right around the country.  While it’s been a difficult year for PWDA it is good to see the ways we have continued a professional standard in our delivery of advocacy, service and projects. I note this was favourably mentioned in a recent Disability Services Standards audit conducted by FaHCSIA.  I wish all friends of PWDA a great Christmas and look forward to what promises to be an exciting year for disability in 2013.


PWDA Media Releases


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Communications and Membership Development

In response to the E-Bulletin Survey in May 2012, you will notice some changes in this E-Bulletin. 39 people in total responded to the E-Bulletin Surveymonkey Survey.



An encouraging 69% of respondents say they read every E-Bulletin they receive which suggests the PWDA E-Bulletin has a strong and loyal readership base.


While 55.6% of respondents were happy with the accessibility in the bulletin, there were a number of comments. Some of these include: "There is too much information it needs to be smaller. And more frequent."; "Need to keep it short and simple"; "I would prefer the E-Bulletin to be shorter in the content length."
In response: the 2013 E-Bulletins will be shorter, more succinct and more regular.


Other comments include: "The text is a little too plain, maybe add colour/pictures to make it more interesting or to make items stand out"; "am blind so descriptions of graphics, pictures would be useful"; and "It's very ordinary and a bit dull".
In response: the use of small images and graphics will be explored in 2013.


A reader/respondent made the very pertinent comment in the survey:  "As an Australia wide organisation, why is there a particular NSW News and the other states and Territories are separate. It seems to me they need to be all together. As we are no longer PWD but PWDA I think we are re enforcing that we are NSW based. Which we are not."

In response: the PWDA E-Bulletin will reflect the sentiment of this comment and begin to incorporate more of a national perspective. This December E-Bulletin has changes to the News Sections. Future changes to the 2013 E-Bulletin will continue to reflect PWDA's national response, representation and engagement of with people with disability across Australia.



69.2% of respondents said they read the upcoming events and conferences. In response, this section of the E-Bulletin will become more developed over 2013.


69.2% of respondents said they read the National news section. Again, throughout 2013, this section of the E-Bulletin will be more developed.


A new section, 'Get Active!', will highlight surveys, consultations, responses, submissions and other actions readers can take to make their voice on a range of issues, as a response to the 42.4% of respondents who would like to see more of an opportunity to have a say in submissions or consultations in the E-Bulletin.  Additionally, a new section will be trialled titled 'Your Thoughts' posing a phrase or question and inviting responses from the E-Bulletin readers. Reponses can be republished in the PWDA E-Bulletin, Facebook or the website at PWDA discretion. 


For more information contact Craig Andrews, Communications and Membership Development on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email


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Individual Advocacy


Accommodation and Education Themes

Key themes emerging from the work of the Individual Advocacy Unit (IAU) recently have been around issues of accommodation (supported or social housing) and accessible suitable accommodation, including issues of homelessness. Access to service and supports are an ongoing key theme from callers seeking PWDA advocacy assistance. IAU Advocates have witnessed a growing concern around education issues. Again these focus on insufficient and inappropriate classroom support for children with disability, many of who are on the autism spectrum.


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National Disability Advocacy Program Audit

PWDA passed stage one of the National Disability Advocacy Program Audit which is using the Disability Advocacy Standards and will shortly commence stage two. PWDA will be assessed on how we work in accordance with these standards. The Redfern, Queanbeyan and Bundaberg offices have been selected under this review.


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Regional Advocacy Offices

PWDA Mt Isa and Gulf Advocates will be visiting services and clients in the Normanton and Karumba areas of Far North Queensland. On the 14 December, a local wellbeing support group in Mount Isa as well as the Isa Hotel will be talking Mental Health over a Christmas lunch. Anyone is welcome, please ring Valerie Brown for bookings on 0418848149. Valerie will also be traveling to Boulia from the 19-20 December and welcomes anyone in the area to come and have a chat.


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Demonstrating Leadership and Innovation


Boarding House Advocacy Training

PWDA Advocates, Mel Harrison and Peter Darby provided training to a Bundanoon boarding house in November over eight sessions. Approximately twenty participants attended the training and PWDA was able to provide follow-up advocacy assistance for some of these residents.  Advocates have also continued to provide follow-up support to residents who received training earlier in 2012.


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Education and Skills Development


Disability Awareness Training

PWDA Advocate, Mel Harrison provided two days disability awareness training for approximately 20 staff at the Inverell Accommodation Service (IAS). Disability awareness, Sexuality, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and Abuse and Neglect Issues were all addressed as part of these two days. In early December, Mel Harrison also provided information regarding PWDA advocacy services to Penrith Anglicare.


Samantha French, PWDA Advocacy Projects Manager, travelled to Canberra and delivered training to the Museum of Australian Democracy educating staff on disability awareness and accessible customer service practices. She also provided training to ChildFund Australia on disability inclusive development practices.


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Providing Advice and Information


Speak Up Poster Project
PWDA is leading a project called Tell Someone about Domestic Violence Against People with Disability. For this project, PWDA is developing and publishing two awareness-raising posters addressing the issue of violence against people with disability. PWDA is running this project in consultation with people with disability and in partnership with the NSW CID, and the White Ribbon Foundation.


PWDA is being partially funded by the City of Sydney to carry out this project and has received generous pro bono support from UTS Shop Front. The poster development is in its final stages of design and production and will be distributed throughout the City of Sydney with the aim to  promote the message that people experiencing violence, or those aware of violence against people with disability, should  ‘tell someone’ about it. Importantly, this poster will also a key referral point which people can contact for help and advice.


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


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Consulting Broadly


National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Consultations

PWDA in partnership with the National Disability and Carers Alliance (the Alliance) has consulted with people with disability around Australia, on their views about the National Disability Insurance Scheme since July 2013.  The consultations took place in every State and Territory and involved over 2000 people with disability, their families, carers and service providers. 


For people who were not able to take part in these forums, you are encouraged to have your say using the survey feature on the Alliance website


PWDA and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations have also produced two Emerging Themes reports reflecting key feedback from the consultations, available here


Early next year PWDA will make a submission to the government with our comments on the Draft NDIS Bill to incorporate your views on the Bill into PWDAs submission more details are in the Get Active! section below.


For more information contact Ngila Beven, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email


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Developing Policy and Advocacy


Ombudsman Denial of Rights report

PWDA recently participated in the NSW Ombudsman's review of people who remain in long term psychiatric institutions due to there being insufficient or inappropriate accommodation available. The report of this review has now been published titled Denial of Rights: the need to improve accommodation as support for people with psychiatric disability, which was tabled in the NSW Parliament on 29 November 2012.


Click the following link to access this report


NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan

PWDA has provided input and advice as a member of the NSW Transport Access Advisory Panel, throughout the development of the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan, which was released on 13 December by the Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Roads and Ports, Duncan Gay.


The result of extensive consultation with key stakeholders across NSW, the Master Plan brings together all types of transport across all regions of the State into an integrated, modern system that puts the customer first and sets a clear direction for transport in NSW for the next 20 years.


An electronic copy and summary version of the Master Plan can be downloaded from


For more information, please email, call 1800 802 888 or write to The NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan team, Transport for NSW PO Box K659, Haymarket NSW 1240.


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Domestic Violence and Women with Disability Project

PWD commenced the rollout of the Domestic Violence 'It's not ok' Project for women with intellectual disability and professionals in the disability and domestic violence sectors. PWDA has delivered the first of seven training sessions partnering with Endeavour industries, Carries Place and Disability Advocacy NSW. This FaHCSIA funded project is being rolled out in Qld, VIC, SA, WA, Northern Territory and NSW in the first half of 2013.


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


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PWDA contributes to the UN Human Rights Committee

On 30 October PWDA’s Advocacy Projects Manager, Ngila Bevan participated in a video conference to the United Nations Human Rights Committee which monitors Australia’s implementation of civil and political rights. The Committee, based in Geneva, listened to the views of human rights organisations in Australia representing people with disability, women, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders, children and asylum seekers so that they can draw up a List Of Issues for the Australian government to report on before their review by the Committee in 2014.


This video conference built on earlier advocacy to the Committee in the form of a joint submission by 96 human rights and advocacy organisations and law centres across Australia in August 2012.  The submission is available here PWDA thanks the Human Rights Law Centre, DLA Piper and the Centre for Civil and Political Rights for organising the video conference and providing the opportunity to brief the Committee.


For more information contact Ngila Bevan, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email


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Disability Rights Now Launched

PWDA recently contributed to ‘Disability Rights Now’, a report written by Australian disability representative, advocacy, legal and human rights organisations which was launched on the 29 August 2012. The report is available here


The report, endorsed by 70 organisations across Australia, provides a comprehensive analysis of the Australian government’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) to date and makes recommendations for what further progress needs to be made and in which areas.  It is a key document for anyone seeking to gain an insight into the life experiences of people with disability in Australia today, and a significant achievement by the people with disability and their representative organisations who researched it, wrote it and are now using it to influence the government to change laws and policies which adversely affect people with disability.


The United National Committee to the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) in Geneva will review Australia’s progress in implementing the CRPD in September 2013 and will use the report as a crucial information resource when considering what questions to ask the government and what steps it will advise the government to take in order to realise human rights for people with disability in Australia.


For more information contact Ngila Beven, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email


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Advocacy on Boarding House Reform

PWDA continues its active advocacy on issues relating to NSW Boarding House Reform through its representation on the NSW Boarding House Expert Advisory Committee and collaborative partnerships with other Sector partners such as Tenants Union of NSW, Newtown Neighbourhood Centre and Homelessness NSW. PWDA continues to provide input into implementation measures now being considered following the recent passing of new legislation, the Boarding House Act 2012 including drafting of standard forms of occupancy agreements, promotion of information materials for residents of boarding houses and the upcoming Regulation which will accompany this new legislation.


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


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Building the representative voice of people with disability


Independent Mid Term Review of AusAID's Development for All strategy

Earlier this year PWDA made a submission to the AusAID Mid-Term Review of the Strategy: ‘Development for All - Towards a Disability-Inclusive Australian Aid Program 2009 -2014’. The review undertaken by AusAID, intended to assess the extent to which AusAID policy and implementation of this Strategy has been in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).


On International day AusAID released a report on its review findings. PWDA was extremely pleased to see the inclusion of positive recommendations for the increased engagement with Australian Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) and to have domestic DPOs included on the AusAID Disability Reference Group, which reflect the key issues raised by PWDA in our submission.  As a result of the findings from the review, it is also recommended that AusAID should commit sufficient financial and human resources to ensure that disability-inclusive development is consistently and systematically progressed across the Agency.


For more information contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email


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Incheon Strategy for the New Decade

From 24 October to 2 November PWDA Advocacy Projects Manager, Samantha French represented PWDA at a series of regional events at the ‘Welcoming New Asia and the Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities’ held in Incheon, Republic of South Korea. Sam’s active and successful participation in these events resulted in the following key outcomes and future representative roles for PWDA.


At the 15th Disabled Peoples International – Asia Pacific (DPIAP) ‘Regional Assembly: Action Toward a New Asia and the Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities’ held over 24-25 October, Sam was nominated as female Co-Chair for the sub-regional meeting of Oceania and to present the Oceania Regional Report as well as to represent and hold the proxy for Papua New Guinea in the DPI Regional Council meetings and PNG’s position on DPI World Council. This provided an opportunity to directly influence nominations and election outcomes for the new Regional Council including nomination of 5 Pacific DPOs to the Oceania Sub Regional Council including: Samoa (as Oceania Secretary), Vanuatu (as World Council representative for Oceania); Fiji (as Oceania Chair), Australia (as Oceania Treasurer) and PNG (as Council member).


Sam was integral to the nomination of DPI Regional Council members which lead to the successful nomination of Samoan, Ms Faaolo being elected to position of Secretary on DPI Regional Council. Sam delivered a presentation on the need for increased representation of Oceania and women on governing bodies of DPI and was selected to be on the Drafting Committee for DPI Incheon Declaration on Incheon Strategy. The Strategy covers a period of five years from 2009 to 2014, with an intention to strengthen the effectiveness of Australia's aid program by ensuring that people with disability contribute to and benefit from the program. The Strategy which includes the Ministerial Declaration is available on the UNESCAP website


On 27 October, Sam participated in meeting of Asia Pacific Network of Independent Living (APNIL) ‘Empowerment Tools for Change’ and the Asia Pacific Disabled Peoples Organisations United (DPO United) Assembly which was addressing the Platform of Action to Implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Through the New Decade. This participation resulted in being selected to be on Drafting Committee for AP DPO United Declaration and editing the Draft Constitution as well as selection to the Preparatory Committee for 12 months to until full election of Committee Members can be held and election as Vice President of AP DPO United for next 12 months.


Over 29 October – 2 November, Sam participated in a meeting of Rehabilitation International (RI) ‘22nd World Congress’ –2012 which included providing a briefing to the Australian delegate from AusAID on the importance and value of DPO participation to the Incheon Strategy for the Asia Pacific Disability Forum (APDF) ‘Regional Conference’


Sam was also integral to the successful advocacy resulting in all Pacific DPO delegates being invited into the meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (UNESCAP) ‘High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Final Review of the Implementation of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons 2003-2012’  either as part of their governments delegation (Kiribati, Tuvalu, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau and Aust) or as observers or under PDF (Tonga, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu). As a result of this successful advocacy PWDA was also approved to join the Australia Government delegation.


For more information contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email


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Promoting Partnerships and Collaborations


NSW Disability Network Forum Update

PWDA continues to actively participate in the NSW Disability Network Forum (DNF) through our ongoing input into a number of joint submissions and by providing feedback on key state government policies and strategies including: throughout Sept/Oct the role of Advocacy under NSW Living Life My Way reforms; contribution to joint submission on Ability Links and role of independent advocacy; contribution to joint submission to NSW Housing on Private Rental Subsidy; contribution to a joint submission to NSW Select Council on Disability Reform, An Approach to Eligibility and Support under the NDIS; input to NCOSS’s Pre-Budget Submission.  For DNF Updates from September and October please click here to access the DNF website. In November, the DNF developed a joint Advocacy and Information Position Paper; considered issues for a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the involuntary or coerced sterilisation of people with disabilities in Australia; and provided feedback on the Privacy Commission Disability Action Plan.


As reported previously PWD also provided feedback through the DNF on the National Disability Strategy NSW Implementation Plan. Recent progress on this saw the NSW Government release its National Disability Strategy NSW Implementation Plan 2012 – 2014 on the International Day of Disability. This NSW plan represents the first plan that captures the NSW priorities and actions across government to promote inclusion for people with disability. Click the following link to access the Implementation Plan


For more information contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email


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National News

Health Facts on iphone app

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) have released a new iphone app, OzHealth, to give users better access to health information.  OzHealth features an interactive quiz, a detailed glossary and presents information in a 'factsheet' format using simple easy to understand language. AIHW Media Release


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Australia's first Mental Health Report Card

The new Mental Health Commission has produced Australia's first Mental Health Report Card in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). A Contributing Life: the 2012 National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention is the independent Commission’s inaugural annual report card and is a world first of its kind.


‘A Contributing Life’, recognises that people with mental health difficulties need the same things as everyone else – a stable home, a decent education, a job, family, friends and healthy relationships, good treatment and access to services and rights. The Report says while Australia leads the world in progressive mental health policy, it falls down in delivery. The report card can be viewed at


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NDIS Bill released by Minister Macklin

Disability Minister Jenny Macklin has released the draft NDIS Bill ahead of its scheduled introduction to Federal Parliament on Thursday 29 November 2012. The Bill will create the framework for the NDIS, including eligibility criteria, age requirements and what constituted reasonable and necessary supports.


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App to make livable housing a reality

Designing and building ‘livable homes’ suitable for people in all stages of life will be much easier, with a new iPhone and iPad application to be developed with the help of $60,000 in Australian Government funding.  “Universal housing design is about making our homes easier and safer to live in — for people with disability, families with young children, people with temporary injuries and senior Australians,” Senator McLucas said.


“Our houses are fine for the here and now and for the fit and well, but we all know life can change in an instant. This new app will make the Livable Housing Design Guidelines into a user-friendly, highly visual tool for homebuyers, homeowners, and industry professionals. This app is an important step towards ensuring all homes can adapt to the changing needs of Australian society,” Senator McLucas said. “It will help users understand the technical features and application of the different ratings.
(Source: Jan McLucas; Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, 27 November 2012)


For further information on Livable Housing Australia and the Livable Housing Design Guidelines go to


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NSW News

Agreement for Full Roll out of National Disability Insurance Scheme in NSW by July 2018

The Australian and New South Wales governments have reached an historic agreement that will allow for the full roll out of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in New South Wales by July 2018.


The agreement will provide care and support to around 140,000 NSW residents with significant disability, and provide coverage in the event of disability to around one third of the Australian population.


Joint Media Release with: Prime Minister Julia Gillard, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and New South Wales Minister for Ageing and Disability Services Andrew Constance


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Scholarships for students with a physical disability

The Gregory and Dolores Farrell 2013 Scholarships for students with a physical disability who use a wheelchair for mobility are now open for application.  The scholarships assist with the costs of undertaking university studies up to the value of $5,000.


Applications must be lodged by the close of business on 8 February 2013 and can be emailed to or posted to The Gregory and Dolores Farrell Scholarships Committee, c/- Northcott, PO Box 4055, Parramatta NSW 2124. More information is available at or by contacting Elizabeth Mead on email or (02) 9890 0135.


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The Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (TTSS) must increase

The NSW Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (TTSS) is a subsidy scheme for people who rely on wheelchair accessible taxis as their only source of accessible transport. Despite taxi fares increasing by over 45% since 1999, the TTSS hasn't increased at all!


The TTSS currently subsidises fares by 50% (to a maximum of $30 for a $60 taxi fare). Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) Policy and Advocacy Team is campaigning to increase the NSW TTSS percentage and dollar value and requests your support for the campaign which is asking government to increase the NSW TTSS to 75% (to a maximum of $90 for a $120 taxi fare).


More information is on the TTSS Campaign website at or contact Greg Killeen, SCIA at  or 02 8347 3013.


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New legislation to protect boarding house residents

The new Boarding Houses Bill 2012 (NSW) Act will commence in 1 January 2013, where for the first time, residents in boarding houses will have occupancy rights, enforceable entitlement to written agreements and receipts, and the right to quiet enjoyment of the premises. Residents will be entitled to know the house rules before moving in, entitled to know why and how their occupancy can be ended including reasonable notice of termination including new safeguards against unfair utility charges and a limit on bonds to two weeks rent.


The Act establishes a Boarding Houses Register by January 2013 and operators will face increased penalties if they fail to register. Councils are now directed to inspect premises for compliance with building and fire safety requirements. Residents now have access to dispute resolution in the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal from January 2013.


The NSW Minister for Disability Services, Andrew Constance, says the new legislation protects the rights of many vulnerable people living in boarding houses 'whether they are people with disability, people with mental illness, students, or those on low incomes.'


More reading


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My Choice Matters: NSW Consumer Development Fund

This new consumer development fund, My Choice Matters, has been set up by the NSW Government for people with disability, families and carers. My Choice Matters, a $5 million fund, is to assist people get the most out of upcoming changes to disability supports. The first newsletter for My Choice Matters, is available here


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Northern Territory News

More for taxi drivers transporting people using wheelchairs

The Northern Territory Government has doubled the amount of money taxi drivers can claim for transporting people using to wheelchairs. "We have increased the incentive from $10 to $20 dollars a trip to try and make it more beneficial for a taxi driver to want to go and pick up those passengers says Transport Minister Adam Giles. The number of cab trips people with disability can take has also been increased from 120 to 180 a year.


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Queensland News

QLD Anti-Discrimination Act amendment sparks NZ outrage

Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Kevin Cocks has advised a parliamentary committee that an amendment to the Queensland anti-discrimination Act could force thousands of New Zealanders living in Queensland caring for a child with a disability to relinquish their children into State care to get the support they need. The amendment will strip New Zealand citizens who have been living here for years of any right to claim discrimination if they are denied disability support or other government services. Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal found there was a strong case of direct discrimination based on nationality.


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Western Australia News

Failed murder-suicide pact raises legal voluntary euthanasia

An elderly man, Bernie Erickson, 83, who admitted to the mercy killing of his disabled life partner Julie Betty Kuhn, 73, less than a month ago has been found deceased at Floreat beach in Perth.  After Ms Kuhn had a stroke earlier this year, the couple's murder-suicide pact failed. Mr Erickson was due to be sentenced in January. West Australian premier Colin Barnett sympathised with Erickson's situation but said he would not support moves to legalise voluntary euthanasia.


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International News

India: Workshop for visually impaired students in Delhi

A group of Delhi University's visually-impaired students participated in a workshop meant to draw out "the images in their minds." The "Blind with Camera” workshop was organised by Infinite Ability (a disability group at University College of Medical Sciences) and the Beyond Sight Foundation. The training served to provide an opportunity for visually-impaired students to acquire skills to photograph. The students were asked to follow sounds, locate subjects through touch and hold a camera steady and straight. Those born blind follow sound and touch, the late-blind (those who lose vision later) use touch and sound and that's supplemented by the memory of sighted life, and those with low-vision have "residual sight".


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Paris: European corporate awards for inclusive workplaces

Disability Matters will conduct a Corporate Awards Banquet and Conference in Europe for companies that are leading the way in terms of supporting persons with disabilities or their employees who have a child or other dependents with a disability. The conference features experts from corporations, academia, Government and the national non-profit sector who share best practices relative to internally supporting and externally marketing to this large segment of the population. 2013 Europe – Disability Matters will be held from 12 to 13 June 2013 in Paris, France.


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South Africa: Accessible South African currency notes

The South African Reserve Bank has issued new currency notes with state-of-the-art security features and enhancements for the visually impaired. National organisations of persons with disabilities were consulted in creating the new Mandela Series bank notes to ensure that the notes were made to be accessible to visually impaired users. The Bank also conducted training for visually impaired persons in the use of the new notes, as well as education and public awareness campaigns prior to the launch of the new currency notes.


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Youth News and Action


Young people with disability contributions wanted

The Brainwash Project - – is a new magazine for teenage girls aged 13-18 to encourage readers to look at life from different perspectives and to be inclusive of all types of people, body shapes, abilities and sexual preferences.


The project is looking for submissions from young people with disability. This can take the form of writing, art, drawings, poems, articles - you name it. For more information contact Jessica Barlow on email or by Facebook


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Like making videos and want to make a difference?

The Inspire Foundation is offering youth the chance to have your videos seen by millions of people with the launch of the ReachOut Film Crew Competition.

Film makers aged 18-24 can submit a 30sec-1 minute video for the chance to win a trip to Sydney, thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes and an opportunity to be part of the ReachOut Film Crew (a national crew of young people who get paid to make videos for!).

Applications close 4 February 2013


For more information check out the ReachOut website at


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Enabling and Protecting children and young people with disability

Children with Disability Australia (, the Centre for Children and Young People and Southern Cross University ( have recently published 'Enabling and Protecting: Proactive approaches to addressing the abuse and neglect of children and young people with disability.' The paper presents a series of key concerns about abuse and neglect to stimulate discussion and action which is in the interests of children and young people with disability. Taking a rights informed approach, the paper focuses on building more effective national responses to children and young people who are maltreated.


Click the following link to download the paper


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Take part in the FIRST EVER National Snapshot of Youth Work!

Australian Youth Affairs Coalition ( needs to know where youth workers are, what they are doing, and what challenges they face in their work. Right now, there is not enough research to paint a clear picture of what it is like being a youth worker today. Anyone providing youth work services to young people aged 12-26 years can complete the survey.


Complete the survey by Monday 4 February 2013 and you will go into the draw to win one of two Apple iPads! If you currently live outside the capital cities, you'll go into the draw twice, so there are even more reasons to take part in this research.


Visit the AYAC website for more information or complete the survey or contact Arlene Hand on phone 08 6274 3700 or email


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Get Active!

The following surveys, submissions, consultations and campaigns are listed below for the benefit of any PWDA members and subscribers to participate, get active and make your voice heard on a range of issues relevant to people with disability.


Your thoughts on how to boost employment for PWDs 

To ensure that the most vulnerable Australians are able to find a job, earn a wage, enjoy the dignity of work and prosper from satisfying and rewarding careers, Minister Shorten seeks proposals on ways to boost employment participation for people with disability. Submissions will close at 5pm (EST) 15 February 2013. More details here:


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Submissions to the Draft NDIS Bill

Early next year PWDA will make a submission to the government with our comments on the Draft NDIS Bill which will establish the National Disability Insurance Agency and enable the scheme to launch in July 2013. If you would like us to incorporate your views on the Bill into PWDAs submission please contact Ngila Bevan at or on any of the phone contacts at the end of this EBulletin. You can find a copy of the Draft Bill here


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Survey of Disability service organisations advocating for people who are blind or who have low vision to increase cultural participation
This survey, led by an undergraduate student, seeks to better understand how your disability services organisation advocates on behalf of people who are blind or who have low vision to increase their participation in the cultural life of the wider community.


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Survey of Special Disability Trusts
The survey will close on Sunday 23 December 2012. Results will be collated and forwarded to both Jenny Macklin, Minister for Disability Reform, and the Federal opposition leader, Tony Abbott.


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How do disabled parents affect a child's socioemotional wellbeing?

A school student survey researching the impacts disabled parents have on the socio-emotional wellbeing of the child. This survey will close on Monday 31 December 2012.


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OurSay with Jenny Macklin is a social enterprise which connects citizens and leaders. Through the use of online forums with high profile political and social leaders, anyone can get online and post questions to these leaders. Each user has seven votes they can allocate to their preferred questions and the most popular questions will then be answered by the leader that we have involved!


An Forum running right now until Saturday 15 December 2012 is one with Families Minister Jenny Macklin 'All About Families' with a focus on how the government can help lighten the load for families. Given Minister Macklin's involvement with the NDIS this could be a good opportunity for people with disability to raise and/or discuss and concerns associated with the NDIS.


To be involved, register, post a question on the 'All About Families' forum then rally your networks use their seven votes and get the question into the top five for the Minister to answer. Let us know on our facebook page you've posted a questions on and we'll pass the news on.


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Consultation Paper on the Establishment of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse – Attorney-Generals' Department

Written feedback is due by 26 November 2012 via e-mail to  or Secretariat Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, PO Box 6555, Canberra ACT 2600. The Government may continue to accept comments after this date, depending on the number of comments received, and the ability of individuals and organisations to meet this deadline.


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The TTSS must increase Campaign
It would be greatly appreciated if you could distribute information about this TTSS campaign to family, friends, colleagues, associates and networks and to encourage them to send letters. More information from Greg Killeen, SCIA at or (02) 8347 3013.


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Review of the NSW Mental Health Act – Ministry of Health

Under s201 of the Mental Health Act, a review of the Mental Health Act is “to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives”. Submissions must be received by 5pm on Monday 17 December and consultation responses are received at or Mental Health Act Review, Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Office, Ministry of Health, Locked Bag 961, North Sydney NSW 2059.


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Do Not Call Register

Did you know about the Do Not Call register? The Do Not Call Register is managed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority on behalf of the Australian Government.  Once your numbers are listed on the register, telemarketers and fax marketers must not contact you.  You can register online  by post Do Not Call Register, PO Box 42, North Melbourne VIC 3051or by telephone 1300 792 958
More information


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Your Thoughts


"Living in the Community" What does that mean to you? What does it include and not include?


This E-Bulletin will trial 'Your Thoughts'. A phrase you might like to respond to. Your brief concise responses to a maximum of 180 words are most welcome.  Once you submit your response, it is our discretion whether we publish any response in the E-Bulletin, on our Social Media sites or our website. By sending a response, you take responsibility to ensure your response is free of plagiarism and does not contain anything that is libellous, obscene, or infringes on anyone's copyright, right of privacy, or other rights. Your first name and state/territory are required to include with your response. Surname is optional.


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Conferences and Events

11-12 February 2013: Sydney NSW NDS NSW Annual State Conference 2013. Hilton, Sydney. or email


6 March 2013: Webinar Workshop: Creating Community Connections Webinar. Online – your computer. or contact Resourcing Families on phone (02) 9869 7753 or 1800 774 764 (free call for NSW non metro callers) or email


14-15 March 2013: Sydney NSW Carers NSW Conference 2013. Novotel, Brighton Beach, Sydney. or contact the conference coordinator on phone 02 9280 4744 or email


21 March 2013: Ryde NSW Workshop: More Choice and Control. Ryde/Eastwood Leagues Club, 117 Ryedale Road, West Ryde NSW. or contact Resourcing Families on phone (02) 9869 7753 or 1800 774 764 (free call for NSW non metro callers) or email


25-26 March 2013: Adelaide SA ACOSS National Conference 2013. National Wine Centre, Adelaide.


11 April 2013: Newcastle NSW Workshop: The role of paid support: how to enrich someone’s life. Newcastle. or contact Resourcing Families on phone (02) 9869 7753 or 1800 774 764 (free call for NSW non metro callers) or email


1-2 May 2013: Sydney NSW National Disability and Carer Congress 2013. Allphones Arena, Olympic Park, Sydney.


3-4 May 2013: Sydney NSW 2013 Poss Able Ideas Expo, Newcastle Entertainment Centre. or email or phone 1800 029 904


7-10 May 2013: Sydney NSW 7th Australian Women’s Health Conference –“Gender Matters: Determining Women’s Health” Sofitel 61-101 Phillip Street Sydney NSW 2000. phone 02 9254 5000 or email


8 May 2013: Webinar Circles of Support - Getting started. Online – your computer. or contact Resourcing Families on phone (02) 9869 7753 or 1800 774 764 (free call for NSW non metro callers) or email


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About PWDA

People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a national disability rights and advocacy organisation. Our membership is made up of people with disability and organisations committed to the disability rights movement.


PWDA 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 depend on public donations, bequests and fundraising activities to maintain our commitment to improving the lives of people with disability. As a deductible gift recipient, all donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible. Your tax deductible donations support the work of PWDA. If you are able to support us, please visit


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Privacy statement

PWDA conforms to the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Bill 2000, which came into effect in December 2001, the National Privacy Principles issued by the Australian Privacy Commissioner and the Spam Act 2003. 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 the PWDA EBulletin by sending an email to or by clicking on the "Unsubscribe / Change Profile" link at the very end of this EBulletin.  This EBulleting contains links to websites. We cannot be held responsible for the privacy practices (or lack thereof) or the content of other websites.


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Contact us

If you would like to receive PWDA E-Bulletin in an alternative format or have an enquiry, please contact PWDA by email or on one of the numbers listed below.


People with Disability Australia Incorporated
PO Box 666 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Phone 02 9370 3100, toll-free 1800 422 015
TTY 02 9318 2138, toll-free 1800 422 016


PWDA publishes items contributed by other organisations at our discretion and we do not take responsibility for the promotion and advertisement of events arranged by other organisations.


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