Advocacy Sector Conversations forum series

Forum summaries

Office for Disability presenting an update at ASC forum

Office for Disability Update

Posted August 3, 2018

This session provides a unique opportunity for the Office for Disability to update the sector directly on key government initiatives including ongoing work to strengthen the Victorian Disability Advocacy Program. Felix Neighbour, Manager of Strategic Engagement invited Michael Cromie, Manager, Engagement, NDIS Transition and  Peter van Vliet, Assistant Director, Disability and NDIS Branch to join the discussion and take questions from the floor. Continue reading

Disability Resource Centre talk about their Accessible Public Transport project and the new Taxi Services commissioner gives an overview of her goals for the sector

Transport Accessibility Project & meeting the new Taxi Services Commissioner

Posted August 3, 2018

The Transport Accessibility project was undertaken by the Disability Resource Centre to capture the experiences of Victorians with disabilities who use (or want to use) public transport, taxis and Uber. Kerrie Cassidy and Katherine Marshall share their findings and outline the next steps arising from the project. Then Colleen Furlanetto takes the floor. She started her new role as the Disability Commissioner at the Taxi Services Commission in January 2018.  Colleen outlines her plans for the industry and  what her focus will be during her term. Continue reading

Presentation from the Summer Foundation talking about SDA in the NDIS

The NDIS, Housing and the SDA

Posted August 3, 2018

The Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Framework has changed the way people with disabilities access housing. The focus should be on choice and control, however it seems that only people with "extreme" disabilities are receiving funded support for housing. Dr George Taleporos and Penny Paul from the Summer Foundation, present the pathway to SDA under the NDIS, some useful housing resources, and a discussion of the emerging systemic advocacy issues related to the implementation of the SDA framework. Continue reading

Office of the Public Advocate presenting on the new arrangements under the Medical treatment and Planning Act.

New arrangements under the Medical treatment and Planning Decisions Act 2016

Posted August 3, 2018

The updated Medical Treatment and Planning Decisions Act 2016 came into effect in March 2018, following on from the changes to the Powers Of Attorney Act 2014.  Guardianship and Administration Act is next in line to continue the transition of decision-making laws to bring them into line with international human rights law to protect the right of people with cognitive disability to make decisions about matters that effect them. Sharon Cutrale, a Medical Decision Support Officer at the Office of the Public Advocate, provides an overview of what the changes are, how to work with them and the impact they will have on people with limited decision-making capacity. Continue reading

Michael Cromie and felix Neighbour presenting at the February ASC forum

Office for Disability Update 

Posted February 27, 2018

This session provides a unique opportunity for the Office for Disability to update the sector directly on key government initiatives including ongoing work to strengthen the Victorian Disability Advocacy Program. Felix Neighbour from the Office for Disability and Michael Cromie from the NDIS branch in the Department of Health and Human Services took questions from the floor. Continue reading

Stephanie Gotlib presenting at the 'Back to School' forum

Progress towards an inclusive education for children and young people with disability in Australia

Posted February 27, 2018

Stephanie Gotlib, CEO at Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA), set the scene by giving an overview of the variable experiences of children and young people with disabilities across Australian educational jurisdictions. All the reports that have come out over the past decade show that students with disability continue to experience exclusion on a daily basis. However education departments describe their practices and cultures as inclusive which only seeks to perpetuate the inherent ableism in the system rather than embracing a reform agenda towards education that is truly inclusive. Continue reading

Leah van Poppel presenting at the 'Back to School' forum

The students perspective of education in Victoria

Posted February 27, 2018

Leah van Poppel, Executive Officer at Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS), shared the findings from a consultation YDAS conducted with students with disabilities aged 12 -24 where they were asked about their views and experience of inclusion in education and employment. Surprisingly, attitudes came out as the number one barrier identified. Continue reading

Julie Phillips presenting at the 'Back to School' forum

How much more can advocacy achieve in our quest for inclusive education? 

Posted February 16, 2018

Julie Phillips, Manager at Disability Discrimination Legal Service (DDLS), ponders why, despite the glut of inquiries, reviews and research, the rights of students with disabilities to be included equally in education, has seemingly done nothing to increase the understanding of what inclusive education means. Recent case studies highlight how this ignorance by teachers, principals and departments of education results in dire , unacceptable consequences and far from satisfactory educational outcomes for children with disability. Continue reading

Llewellyn renders presenting at an Advocacy Sector Conversations forum

Disability Advocacy by the Numbers 2012-16 Report & DARU Strategic Planning workshop

Posted December 14, 2017

DARU has published the Disability Advocacy by the Numbers report which interprets the data collected by disability advocacy organisations funded through the Victorian Office for Disability.  Llewellyn Reynders, Policy Manager at VCOSS gave a summary  of how some of the advocacy issues are trending and then followed up with a consultation on future resourcing for DARU to feed into the next strategic planning process for 2018-21. Continue reading

Mary Mallett presenting at an Advocacy Sector Conversations forum

Cost Benefit analysis of Disability Advocacy Report Launch

Posted December 14, 2017

Melanie Muir, President of Disability Advocacy victoria, introduced Mary Mallett, CEO at Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA), who presented the findings from the research that investigated the true cost of disability advocacy Australia wide. This ground-breaking research was supported by Leadership Plus, Disability Advocacy Victoria (DAV), VALID and Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO). Continue reading

Felix Neighbour presenting at an ASC forum

Office for Disability Update

Posted December 14, 2017

Felix Neighbour, manager Strategic Engagement at the Office for Disability provided the participants at the Advocacy Sector Conversations forum an update on what the Office has been doing since the last time we met. Continue reading

Sue Smith and Dean Dadson from SARU with 2 self advocates, Bec Biddle and Fran Lee, presenting at an Advocacy Sector Conversations forum.

Self Advocacy Resource Unit (SARU) Projects Update

Posted November 27, 2017

To determine the sustainability of self-advocacy and self-advocacy groups in the shift to individualised funding, the Self Advocacy Resource Unit (SARU) have been leading several projects. Sue Smith, Dean Dadson and self advocates, Bec Biddle and Fran Lee, provided updates and findings from the initiatives SARU has been involved in over the past year. Continue reading

Alison McDonald Presenting on Family Violence with Interpreter

Family Violence and People with Disability-

Posted May 26, 2017

Alison McDonald from Domestic Violence Victoria discussed the family violence reforms and how they impact on people with disability experiencing family violence. She also covered protections available for people with disability, and other information that advocates working with people with disabilities in vulnerable situations need to know. Continue reading

Llewellyn Reynders Presenting on the Disability Advocacy By the Numbers Report with Interpreter

Disability Advocacy by the Numbers 2012-16 Report Launch

Posted May 26, 2017

Llewellyn Reynders, Policy Manager at VCOSS, showcased Disability Advocacy by the Numbers report that uses the data collected by the Victorian Office for Disability advocacy program through the Quarterly Data Collection (QDC) provided by organisations funded under the program. He stepped us through the advocacy issues and identified trends through graphic representation and analysis. Continue reading

Carl Thompson presenting on plan management options, with Interpreter

Self-managed vs Agency-managed supports in the NDIS

Posted May 23, 2017

Carl Thompson from Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) provided an   in-depth overview, including pros and cons for the various support management options, that would assist advocates when working with people with disability through their NDIs plan implementation phase. This was followed by an update from Felix Neighbour from the Office for Disability. Continue reading

Barbara Carter presenting on Child Protection with an Interpreter, and Kate Fitt sitting in the background

Child Protection

Posted May 23, 2017

Barbara Carter and Kate Fitt discussed issues around child protection and provided some practical tips on how to support parents with disability in their dealings with child protection agencies. Continue reading

Catherine McAlpine presenting on NDIS Readiness with Intepreter

NDIS readiness for advocates

Posted March 21, 2017

The NDIS is rolling out across Victoria giving thousands the opportunity to start new plans for the first time while investigating local support options. Catherine McAlpine, Manager Disability Loop at AFDO introduced a new ‘Tip Sheet’ for the planning process and provided some perspectives on the Local Area Coordinators and the Service Coordination roles at the NDIS. Continue reading

Mark Feigan presenting on the Plan with Interpreter and Angela Healy sitting in the background

Absolutely Everyone: State disability plan 2017-2020

Posted March 20, 2017

Absolutely everyone: state disability plan 2017-2020 started on 1 January 2017. Mark Feigan, Senior Policy Officer and Angela Healy, Manager from the Office for Disability provided an overview of the new plan which was followed by Q&As and small group discussions to explore how the plan might be used as an advocacy tool. Continue reading

Vanessa Stevens-Downie presening on Zero Tolerance with an Interpreter

'Zero Tolerance’ of abuse: Response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services

Posted March 20, 2017

Zero Tolerance’ of abuse in disability services is the focus of the Victorian Government’s response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services. The response was tabled in Parliament on 26 November 2016. Anna Guglielmucci, Assistant Director and Vanessa Stevens-Downie, Principal Policy Officer, Safeguarding and Disability Supports, DHHS provided an update on implementation of the response and discussed opportunities for collaboration with the advocacy sector. Mary Mallet, CEO at Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) was present in the audience and obligingly presented an overview of the recently released NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework. Continue reading

dialogue speech bubbles icon

Disability Support Pension changes and the appeals process

Posted December 16, 2016

Peter Norbury from Social Security Rights Victoria updated us on the changes Centrelink made to the impairment tables in 2012 highlighting the contradictions and identifying the hurdles that need to be overcome to pass the eligibility criteria. Len Jaffit, who has been working with the Centrelink Appeals Tribunal at Victoria Legal Aid for many years then stepped us through what you need to do if you are unhappy with a Centrelink decision. Continue reading

dialogue speech bubbles icon

Q&A with the Office for Disability

Posted December 15, 2016

Felix Neighbour, the Acting Manager Strategic Engagement at the Office for Disability brought Martin Turnbull, Assistant Director, Diversity and Disability along to this Q&A session to fill us in on the boost to advocacy funding announced as part of the 'Zero Tolerance' initiative. An update with the ongoing dialogue with NDAP and NDIS and the launch of the State Disability Plan to start in 2017 was also discussed. Continue reading

dialogue speech bubbles icon

Review of the Victorian Housing Register

Posted December 15, 2016

Tony Newman, the Assistant Director of the Implementation support department at the Victorian Housing Register outlined the changes to the Housing Register. This was followed by Steve Staikos from Community Housing Federation Victoria who spoke about the impacts of the changes. Continue reading

dialogue speech bubbles icon

Who's not eligible for the NDIS?

Posted December 5, 2016

The panelists represented people with disability who are either not eligible for the NDIS or who have complexities that make interaction with the agency difficult. A range of issues were raised, and information shared, however many more questions than answers were left in the air. Continue reading

photo of Pual Brady and Carol Okai at the Advocacy Sector Conversations forum

Becoming a NDIS Provider

Posted July 4, 2016

session at the Advocacy Sector Conversations forum held on 23 June 2016 at the Queen Victoria Women's Centre. Paul Brady, Coordinator at Colac and Otway Ranges Advocacy Service (CORAS), and Carole Okai, Executive Officer at Assert 4 All, will step us through the process in becoming an NDIS Service Provider. Both advocacy organisations have undergone this process and have been operating successfully in the NDIS Barwon trial site. Continue reading

Catherine McAlpine presenting at Advocacy Sector Conversations forum

NDIS Opportunities training series

Posted July 4, 2016

Catherine McAlpine, Senior Manager of NDIS Disability Loop, from Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) introduced the NDIS Opportunities training series that have been developed to resource and assist small community organisations as they navigate the significant changes the new market environment brings. Particular emphasis was given to how advocacy might fit within the NDIS Price Guide and Support Clusters. Continue reading

image of a discussion group at the State Plan consultation

State Disability Plan 2017-2020 consultation

Posted June 29, 2016

This was the first session at the Advocacy Sector Conversations forum held on 23 June 2016 at the Queen Victoria Women's Centre. This session was dedicated to a consultation process to provide feedback for shaping the next State Disability Plan 2017-2020 The facilitators were Llewellyn Reynders, Policy Manager, and Carly Nowell, Policy Analyst from VCOSS. Continue reading

Catherine McAlpine presenting at Advocacy Sector Conversations forum

NDIS training workshop series

Posted March 10, 2016

This was the third session at the Advocacy Sector Conversations forum held on 1 March 2016 at the Jasper Hotel. In this session, Catherine McAlpine, Senior Manager, NDIS Disability Loop at Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) told us about the NDIS workshop series for community organisations and train the trainer workshops for people with disability that have been developed. Continue reading

Toni Van Hammond presenting at Advocacy Sector Conversations forum

NDIS planning

Posted February 29, 2016

Toni Van Hammond, Assistant Director - Engagement & Community Strategy, NDIA Barwon office, explained the role of an NDIA planner and took us through what happens during the planning process. Continue reading

From left to right: Len Jaffit, Rosalinda Casamento, James Keith, Kylie McCutcheon

NDIS review and appeals process

Posted February 29, 2016

This panel provided different perspectives of the NDIS appeals process and included Kylie McCutcheon, NDIS participant and AAT complainant, James Keith , Geelong Area Advocate, Coordinator of SPSP, EMRS Support Officer, Rights Information & Advocacy Centre Inc (RIAC), Len Jaffit, Manager Commonwealth Entitlements Civil Justice, Victoria Legal Aid and Rosalinda Casamento, Senior Lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid, Civil Justice Program. Continue reading

dialogue speech bubbles icon

NDIS roll out in Victoria

Posted November 23, 2015

Michael Cromie, Manager Strategic Engagement, DHHS Office for Disability, introduced Noble Tabe, Acting Director, NDIS reform branch who provided an overview of the work of the Victorian Government to roll out the NDIS in Victoria. Continue reading

Helen Rushford from the Office of the Public Advocate

Powers of attorney application and resources

Posted November 23, 2015

On 1 September 2015, the new Powers of Attorney Act came into effect. . It includes a new supportive attorney appointment provision. Helen Rushford, Coordinator Advice and Education Service, at the Office of the Public Advocate talked about resources developed by OPA to assist people with disability and disability advocates to understand and use the new law. Continue reading

Deborah Glass portrait

Reporting allegations of abuse

Posted November 23, 2015

In June 2015, the Victorian Ombudsman, Deborah Glass, released Reporting and investigation of allegations of abuse in the disability sector: Phase 1 – the effectiveness of statutory oversight. The report has informed the current Victorian parliamentary inquiry into disability abuse. The Ombudsman spoke about recommendations arising out of the report and discussed the issues facing people with disability. Continue reading

photo of Mary Mallett

NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity (ILC) Framework consultation process update

Posted November 10, 2015

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has provided funding to some disability support organisations to conduct consultations about activity areas which should be funded by the ILC Framework. Mary Mallett, CEO of Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) gave a brief presentation about the consultation process and explain how DSS plans to develop a commissioning process to fund delivery of ILC. Submissions for the framework close on 30 October 2015. Continue reading

front cover of the Powers of Attorney Act 2014

New Powers of Attorney Act

Posted September 14, 2015

This forum was held on 30 July 2015 at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, 210 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. On this page you will find transcripts, contact information and links to resources for the following sessions: 1.Setting the scene for housing services in Victoria 2.Advocacy and housing 3.New Powers of Attorney Act 4.Q&A with the Office for Disability Continue reading

photo of Pauline Williams

Setting the scene for housing services in Victoria

Posted September 14, 2015

Navigating appropriate housing options in victoria is complex. Public , community, private and supported housing tenures all operate under different acts with different application processes and eligibility criteria. Pauline Williams, Housing Rights Coordinator at Action for More Independence in Accommodation (AMIDA), facilitated a panel discussion to identify what support and information services are out there and how these can be utilised by advocates to get the best outcome for their clients. Continue reading

photo of Pauline Williams

Advocacy and housing

Posted September 14, 2015

More than 5,000 Victorians with disability live in state funded disability supported accommodation. In this year’s State Budget, the Victorian Government announced the provision of 830 more individual support plans. Whilst this will go some way towards addressing the unmet housing and accommodation needs of people with disability, there are many more Victorians with disability requiring housing. Pauline Williams, Housing Rights Coordinator at Action for More Independence in Accommodation (AMIDA), focussed the  discussion on supported accommodation with panel members. Continue reading

Michael Cromie head shot

Q&A with the Office for Disability

Posted September 14, 2015

Robyn Gaile, the DARU Coordinator, facilitated a conversation with Michael Cromie, Manager Strategic Engagement from the DHHS Office for DisabilityMichael updated the sector on staffing at the Office for Disability and assured everyone that Service Agreements are on their way for the 2016-19 period. Other topics covered included the Disability Awards, State Disability Plan consultations and VDAC. Continue reading

Photo of Mary Mallett

Influencing government: telling the disability advocacy story

Posted April 15, 2015

Mary Mallett, CEO of Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) presented on the importance of advocates contributing their 'on the ground' experience in submissions to national inquiries to support systemic advocacy issues. This was followed by Robyn Gaile, DARU Coordinator introducing the 'PUSH' key messages tool kit. Continue reading

left to right: Giang Pham and Czenia Mangubat from Berry Street Child and Family Services, Elisa Whittaker, Women’s Legal Service Victoria, DianeJones, Barwon Centre Against Sexual Assault, Rodney Vlais , No To Violence and Men’s Beahvioural Change , Jax Brown, Advocate and Women with Disabilities Victoria Gender and Disability Workforce Development trainer

Violence against women response services

Posted April 2, 2015

This forum was held on 24 March 2015 at the Queen Victoria Women's Centre, 210 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. On this page you will find session summaries, audio podcasts and transcripts for each session: ◾Violence against women response services ◾Influencing government: telling the disability advocacy story ◾Q&A with the Office for Disability Continue reading

Michael Cromie head shot

Q&A with the Office for Disability

Posted April 2, 2015

Michael Chromie, Manager Strategic Engagement, Office for Disability, provided an update on the activities of the Office and took questions from the floor relating to current service agreements for disability advocacy organisations. He announced that all Victorian Government funded disability advocacy organisations will shortly receive contracts for the rollover of funding for the next financial year. Continue reading

Photo: Advocavy Sector Conversation Forum at Victoria Room

Advocacy Sector Conversation Forum - September 2014

Posted September 3, 2014

This was the third Advocacy Sector Conversations forum held at the queen Victoria Women's Centre on 2 September 2014. Presentations included how Victorians can be involved with the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse, how to make a successful representative complaint with VEOHRC, issues facing deaf people accessing hospital services and the regular segment with the Office for Disability. Continue reading

dialogue speech bubbles icon

Advocacy Sector Conversation - June 2014

Posted September 1, 2014

This was the second in the advocacy Sector Conversations forum series held at the Queen Victoria Women's Centre on 5 June 2014. Presentations included an introduction on how the NDIS will safeguard the rights of people with disability, showcasing a successful self advocacy partnership between New Wave and ASSIST in Gippsland, the rules advocacy organisations need to know regarding incident reporting and the open forum with the Office for Disability. Continue reading

dialogue speech bubbles icon

Advocacy Sector Conversation - October 2013

Posted October 25, 2013

This is the first in the Advocacy Sector Conversations forum series that aims to support disability advocates to regularly get together and discuss matters which directly impact on their work, as well as to provide informal time to network. Continue reading

Upcoming forums

Advocacy Sector Conversations Forum

27Nov

Date: Tuesday 27 November

Time: 11:00am - 4:00pm

Venue: Queen Victoria Women's Centre Victoria Room Level 4 210 Lonsdale Street Melbourne