DARU supports networks that strengthen the profile of the disability advocacy sector and promote the practice of disability advocacy in Victoria. Each network is given access to a suite of collaboration tools including meeting calendar, file repository and email log. In addition, DARU may also provide financial, in kind and administrative support.
VicRAN – Victorian Rural Advocacy Network
The Victorian Rural Advocacy Network (VicRAN) has been operating successfully for 20 years and is an incorporated network of six rural advocacy organisations in Victoria comprising:
- Barwon Disability Resource Council (BDRC), Geelong
- Grampians DisAbility Advocacy Association, Ararat
- Disability Advocacy and Information Service (DAIS), Wodonga
- Gippsland Disability Advocacy Inc (GDAI), Traralgon
- Colac Otway Regional Advocacy Service (CORAS), Colac
- SouthWest Advocacy Association, Warrnambool
These six services provide advocacy across most of rural Victoria. DAIS also works across the border in NSW. Each service receives a mixture of Federal and State funding for disability advocacy.
VicRAN meets for two days, three times per year at Latrobe University in Bendigo. Day one follows a formal meeting agenda while day two is reserved for professional development training.
- President Debbie Verdon
- Vice president Adele Markwell
- Secretary Martin Butcher
- Treasurer Carol Okai
Key contact: Debbie Verdon, (03) 5352 2722, firstname.lastname@example.org
VICDAN – VicDAN
The Victorian Disability Advocacy Network (VICDAN), formerly the Barwon Disability Advocacy Network (BDAN), is a network of non-legal independent disability advocacy organisations and legal service providers, that formed on commencement of the Barwon Region launch of the NDIS.
The main aim of the network is to assist independent disability advocates and legal service providers to work effectively in supporting Victorians with disability to access the NDIS. Activities include raising awareness with the NDIS about instances where participants in the scheme may not have their voice heard and ensure they receive effective representation to work through issues.
VICDAN members meet regularly to exchange information and ideas and discuss ways of combining resources. Meetings are held in both Geelong and Melbourne.
Key contact: Robyn Mills, Robyn.Mills@vla.vic.gov.au
Peer Support Network
This network gives advocates the opportunity to learn from each other in relation to disability advocacy practice. Topics discussed at these meetings include how to apply a human rights approach to advocacy, strategies to self-manage and debrief, how to get good outcomes for people with disability and perspectives on the organisational structures and frameworks that advocates work within.
Members of this network are individual advocates working for a disability advocacy organisation funded by the Victorian Office for Disability or the Department of Social Services National Disability Advocacy program (NDAP). This network is endorsed by Disability Advocacy Victoria (DAV).
Key contact: Melanie Muir, (03) 9489 2999, email@example.com