Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference 2019
Advocacy under pressure

Monday 2 September | NAB The Hall, 700 Bourke Street, Docklands

It’s a royal to-do: What can we expect?

The long awaited Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of people with disability is about to kick off. How do disability advocates best support their clients to feel safe in sharing their stories? What have past Royal Commissions taught us about this process?

When

Monday 2nd September, 2019: 1:30pm - 2:50pm

Where

The Hall

Speakers

Facilitated by:

Leah van Poppel, Chief Executive Officer, Women with Disabilities Victoria

Leah is a woman with a disability and a feminist who is highly respected for her strong track record as a disability rights advocate, working at state and national levels over the last decade. Leah’s strengths include collaborative leadership, governance, advocacy and policy, to which she applies a gender lens. Apart from being the CEO of Women with Disabilities Victoria, Leah is also the Chair of the National Disability and Carer Alliance, responsible for overseeing the Every Australian Counts campaign to gain national support for the NDIS. She is also a member of the Independent Advisory Council of the NDIS. Photo of Leah van Poppel, Chief Executive Officer, Women with Disabilities Victoria

Panelists include:

Gerard Brody, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Action Law Centre

Gerard is CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre, an independent, not-for-profit consumer organisation based in Melbourne. Consumer Action provides financial counselling, legal advice and representation to support vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians, and draws on its direct knowledge of the consumer experience in modern markets to pursue consumer interest campaigns and policy reform at both state and national levels.

Gerard is also the Chair of Consumers’ Federation of Australia, the peak body for consumer organisations in Australia, representing a diverse range of consumer groups, including most national consumer organisations.

Photo of Gerard Brody, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Action Law Centre

Kristy McKellar, Family Violence Advocate

Kristy McKellar is renowned in the family violence sector, both in Victoria and nationally, her work attracting overseas interest. Kristy was named in the top 100 Women of Influence in the country, named as the Agenda Setter of the Year for Australia and has been inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

Kristy has contributed to a Victorian Parliament landmark, invited to address Members of the Legislative Assembly and Council, in a unique sitting in Parliament House and has played a significant role in the Victorian Royal Commission into family violence.

Photo of Kristy McKellar, Family Violence Advocate

Dr Meg Clement-Couzner, Senior Policy Officer: violence prevention & access to justice, People with Disabilities Australia

Dr Meg Clement-Couzner is a social policy expert in disability and gender. She is currently Senior Policy Officer at People with Disability Australia with responsibility for violence prevention and access to justice, including leading policy work on the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. She previously worked in campaigning and advocacy at Family Advocacy NSW, where she managed systemic advocacy, with a particular focus on inclusive education.

Meg holds a PhD on the intersection of gender studies and economic justice. She is a self-confessed nerd with an interest in intersectional feminist, disability and LGBTIQA+ politics and culture.

Photo of Dr Meg Clement-Couzner, Senior Policy Officer: violence prevention & access to justice, People with Disabilities Australia

Session Summary

The long awaited Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of people with disability is about to kick off. How do disability advocates best support their clients to feel safe in sharing their stories? What have past Royal Commissions taught us about this process?

In this session we will hear from advocates who have been involved with past Royal Commissions. They will share their words of wisdom, experience and top tips so that we are prepared and confident to make the most of this historical event and drive the real change that is necessary and overdue to improve the lives of people with disability in Australia.