New Grants and Awards Manager at Victoria Law Foundation

New Grants and Awards Manager at Victoria Law Foundation

DARU Update5th April 2010








New Grants and Awards Manager at Victoria Law Foundation

Erin Dolan has commenced at the Victoria Law Foundationas Grants and Awards Manager.

Erin joins the Foundation after six years in the Grants Office at the University of Melbourne.She has also worked extensively in the community sector as a volunteer at WIRE women’s information.

As the Foundation’s Grants and Awards Manager, Erin will also coordinate the Community Legal Centre Fellowship and the Chief Justice's Medal for Excellence and Community Service.

If you have a project in mind suitable for a Foundation grant or have any any queries you are welcome to contact Erin via phone 9604 8144 or

Name Change for the Australian Association for Families of Children with a Disability (AAFCD)

Following the transition to an independent not for profit company limited by guarantee, the Australian Association for Families of Children with a Disability (AAFCD) has a new name, Children with Disability Australia.

The organisation will continue to provide advocacy and assistance to children with disability and their families.

For more information you are welcome to contact Stephanie Gotlib, Executive Officer via email

Changes at BIM

BIM has decided to share its office to cut costs and put some of the small amount ofBIM core monthly fundinginto self advocacy and ABI awareness raising projects rather than rent.They will be sharing with agroup of women who each volunteer one day each week to staffthe Thai Information andWelfare Association.

BIM’s contact details remain the same. BIM office opening hours are 11am - 4pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The office will be closed when staff are at meetings. If you contact us by phone or email we can make a time to be there that suits you

To leave a message or make an appointment, phone 96397222 or email

BIMalso has a new book keeper -Wendy Chang who is very experienced in small business book keeping.

The BIM Committee has decided to host and support a young Intern (Kevin) from New York who is here on a university scholarship linked with Melbourne Universityfor 12 weeks. Kevin is a survivor of three ABI's.Kevin is very involved in ABI self advocacy and politics where he hopes to have a future career.He will be at the BIM office two days a week -spending some of that time linking with the SARU and others linked with BIM.

TheSARU and BIM committee meeting note taker is going to become part of the BIM committeeand do some other work at BIM. Her name is Anna and she also works part time as an admin worker at Ross House "front desk" on the ground floor and also at Disability Discrimination Legal Service on Level Two in Ross House.

New Managing Director of Our Community

Denis Moriarty has been appointed to the new position of Managing Director of Our Community. This new expanded role is designed to take the organisation to its next level.
Denis, was the Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Our Community since day one, and is now responsible for all of the major business arms of Our Community, including:

  • The Australian Institute of Community Practice and Governance (AICPG) – Our Community’s national training arm;
  • The Australian Institute of Grants Management (AIGM) and its major new software solution for government and philanthropy (SmartyGrants);
  • The Our Community Foundation and its exciting GiveNow initiatives;
  • The Australian Institute for Corporate Responsibility (AICR) – community connections help for Australian businesses;
  • – including the website’s 16 Knowledge Centres for community organisations and associated tools, resources and products.

To contact Denis phone (03) 9320 6812 or email

Appointment of Project Officer in Disability Advocacy Program

Fleur Campbell has recently started as a Project Officer in the Disability Advocacy Program within the Office for Disability.

Appointment of Director of the Victorian Office for Disability, Department of Planning and Community Development

Christine Mathieson commenced as theDirector of the Victorian Office for Disability in the Department of Planning and Community Development, early April 2010.

Prior to this Christine has performed the role of Manager, Disability Partnerships and Service Planning in the North and West Metropolitan Region of the DHS.

Christine has lead and contributed to many reforms and initiatives including the development of the Victorian State Disability Plan 2002-2012, implementation of the Community Building program and establishment of the office of the Disability Services Commissioner.

New NDS Victorian State Manager

NDS is pleased to announce the commencement of the new Victorian State Manager, RhondaLawson Street.

Rhonda was formerly the National Director at Relationships Australia, a major not-for-profit provider of relationship support services. She has substantial experience in mental health policy with the Commonwealth government, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing. She has also worked with DHS in the Primary Care Partnerships and ‘Best Start’ programs. Earlier experience in the non-government sector was in out of home care, family support and child protection, followed by a stint as a social work academic.

To contact Rhonda please email

Commission welcomes new members to Disability Reference Group

The Commission welcomes new members to the Disability Reference Group (DRG) following a huge response to our recent call for nominations, and subsequent interviews.
The DRG assists the Commission to identify discrimination issues affecting people with a disability, and providing advice and assistance on the development of policies and procedures that ensure appropriate services to people with a disability.

The Commission was overwhelmed with the calibre and passion of all applicants, and would like to thank everyone who applied.
The names of the DRG members, who are appointed for two years, will be provided shortly.
Anyone with questions about the appointment of the new DRG membership, is welcome to contact Cameron Brodie via phone 03 9032 3430 or email

AEAA Co-ordinator – Moving On

Meredith Mayes has finished up as Project Coordinator for Aids & Equipment Action Alliance (AEAA). Processes are in place to fill the position in due course.

For more information on the AEAA visit the website


Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) Program Mid Term Review

This Mid-Term Review report analyses the targets, performance to date and key issues associated with the Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) Program.

The Program is a joint initiative of Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to provide accommodation and support to younger people with disability living in or at risk of admission to residential aged care (RAC).

For more information visit website

Time to Deliver - Taxi update

The Commission’s recent online survey to find out about waiting times, bookings and general accessibility of taxi services for people with a disability, received more than 600 responses.
The results of this survey will be published in a report later this year, which will look at service users current experiences and include consultation with the Victorian Taxi Directorate and the Victorian Taxi Association.

An Equal Society Is Healthier For Us All

Human Rights Commission, 30th March 2010

Proposed changes to the Equal Opportunity Act 1995, to tackle and prevent systemic discrimination, have been passed through the Victorian Parliament's Lower House.

If adopted as law, these changes will allow the Commission to provide clearer guidance about the rights and responsibilities we all have to prevent discrimination and the harms it causes, and tackle structures and processes where discrimination is inherent.

Strengthening the EOA is great news for the community and will support individuals and organisations to create a more equal society.

To read this article in full go to

Disability Activists Set For Election-Year Fight

The Age, 3rd April 2010 – by Julie Szego

For single mother Ursula Nesci, her daughter Giulia's 18th birthday is a milestone laden with anxiety. Giulia, 16, has Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder that becomes apparent between six and 18 months of age.

''She is totally dependent in everything,'' says Ms Nesci, 51, who has needed shoulder surgery after years of hoisting Giulia into wheelchair, bed and shower.

Skilled care and respite services make Ms Nesci's life just bearable. But they lapse once Giulia - who ''lights up the whole world'' when she smiles - turns 18. And beyond the immediate challenge of scrambling for alternatives looms the larger problem of what happens once Ms Nesci's capacity to care runs out.

With long waiting lists for permanent accommodation that prioritise older parents, Ms Nesci fears her only option ''will be to relinquish her at respite, and then watch her being shunted from one centre to another. And that would destroy me.''

Ms Nesci's story is hardly unique given Australia's chronically underfunded and fragmented system of disability support. But the anger of carers and their charges is past the tipping point. They have declared themselves ''mad as hell'' and are gearing up for an election-year fight.

To read this article in full go to


Department of Justice (DOJ) Disability Action Plan Forum

WhenThursday 22ndApril 2010, 10.30-12noon

WhereDepartment of Justice Level 27, 121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

RegisterFor catering purposes and to register by Friday 16thApril 2010 email .
You are invited to attend the DOJ Disability Action Plan Stakeholder Forum on Disability Employment Strategies.

For more information click here or contact Soriel Frawley via phone

9094 2671.

Connecting Practice to Outcomes International Workshop

The Connecting Practice to Outcomes Workshop on 27th - 28th April is now full.

A waiting list has been started and where there are cancellations, places will be made available.

If you are interested in being added to the wait list contact Christine via email or phone 9416 4003.Aninvoice will be sent ifa placebecomes available.


CRPD Australian Shadow report Survey

A reminder that the online survey for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Shadow Report Project will be closing at the end of April.

The overall aim of the Shadow Report is to make recommendations to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These recommendations will provide the basis for the United Nations recommendations to the Australian Government regarding Australia's implementation of the Articles of the Convention. The main focus of the Shadow Report will be reporting the extent to which Australia has implemented its obligations under the CRPD and to provide recommendations for future action by the Australian Government.

The survey, along with background info on the project, can be found at


Promotion for Pap Test Screening for Women with Disabilities

It has been identified that women with disabilities are not having regular Pap Test screening.

The Well Women’s Clinic at the Women’s Hospital is attempting to address this situation and promote our services to women with disabilities.

They offer Free Pap tests and smaller sized speculums are available &

•Breast awareness education

•Screening for sexually transmitted infections

•Referral to other hospital services as needed

•Access to bigger rooms and a hoist for women with physical disabilities

•Double appointments as required (please ask for it if needed)


•Free Childcare, to book call on 8345 2098

Our new hospital is serviced by a super tram stop and we have wheel chair access. The best access is from the lower ground, 20 Flemington Rd, Parkville.

If you have any questions please phone Pip Brennan or Sue Giffney on 8345 3128. To make a booking phone Maria on 03 8345 3037.

United Nations Enable Newsletter

The March 2010 edition of United Nations ENABLE NEWSLETTER has been released.
The Enable Newsletter is prepared by the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) hosted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Input has been received from by UN offices, agencies, funds and programs, as well as from civil society.

To download a copy go to

Plain English Version of ‘What is Restraint & Seclusion?’
To download a Plain English version of ‘What is Restraint & Seclusion?’bythe Office of Senior Practitionerclick here.


Interchange Lodden-Mallee Region – 2 positions available

  1. Children’s Services Co-ordinator

An experienced senior level community sector worker sought to join the Interchange respite and recreation team based at the Bendigo office.

For a copy of the position description click here or phone 03 5441 1599.

Applications should be sent to The Chief Executive Officer, Interchange Loddon-Mallee Region Inc. PO Box 685 Bendigo 3552

Applications end close of business Friday 9th April 2010.

  1. Recreation / Respite Broker

Seeking an experienced Community Development Worker for the Interchange respite and recreation team based at the Bendigo office.

The successful applicant will need to be highly organized, self motivated, with the ability to work collaboratively with a wide range of people and community groups.

Applications end, close of business 14thApril 2010.

Welcome to the weekly Update from the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU). If you would like to be removed from this list or kept up to date another way, please reply to this email and let us know.

DARU has been funded by the state government. It is run by a governance group, including members of the Victorian Disability Advocacy Network (VDAN), and the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS). DARU’s staff currently includes a Co-ordinator, Sharon Granek, and a Project Administrator, Melissa Yong

We are always happy to hear from people who are interested in what we do. If you have a question, an idea, some news you’d like to see in the next update, or even if you just want to tell us something we’re doing is good or bad, get in touch! Call us on 03 9639 5807 or email .

Please note that material contained in the DARU Update copy does not necessarily reflect the policy of DARU or the views of any staff members. Statements in the DARU Update do not comprise advice and readers should avail themselves of professional advice where appropriate.