Strengthening Disability Advocacy conference 2014
Champions of change

4 & 5 August @ Melbourne & Olympic Park Convention Centre

Spreading the word & Hitchhiker’s guide


Monday 4th August, 2014: 3:30am - 5:00am


Park B



Reinforce is a self advocacy organisation run by and for people with an intellectual disability. Reinforce works to ensure that the rights of people with an intellectual disability are upheld in the same way as everyone else in the community. Reinforce provides training, resources, lobbies government, holds forums and promotes socialising and networking. Reinforce is … Continued

Photo of Reinforce,

New Wave,

New Wave is a self advocacy group run by and for people with disabilities based in the Latrobe Valley. New Wave is based in Morwell where they share an office with the Gippsland Disability Advocacy Service. New Wave’s work includes representation on the City of Latrobe Disability Advisory Committee; running the new self advocacy office … Continued

Photo of New Wave,

Peta Ferguson, President, Brain Injury Matters (BIM

  Peta is the current president of Brain Injury Matters (BIM), a self advocacy group run by and for people with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). Peta is tired of saying, “BIM is the only ABI self advocacy group in Australia, possibly the world” and is actively trying to change this situation.

Photo of Peta Ferguson, President, Brain Injury Matters (BIM

Lisa Brumtis, Self Advocate

Lisa is fairly new to the ABI world but she is very involved already; a paid adviser on the Project management group for SARU and Vice President of Brain Injury Matters. She is very interested in human rights and to that end has undertaken study, RMIT Graduate Certificate in Applied Human Rights and intends next … Continued

Photo of Lisa Brumtis, Self Advocate

Neil Cameron, Self Advocate, Brain Injury Matters

Neil has been active in the ABI ‘scene’ since 1981 when he acquired his brain injury. From 2008-2011 he was president of BIM then he was the treasurer from 2012-2014. He remains a vital member of BIM. Just recently, in 20122 he founded ‘United Brains’ which is a network of ABI advocacy and support groups … Continued

Photo of Neil Cameron, Self Advocate, Brain Injury Matters

Kelvin Lim, Self Advocate

Kelvin is 45 years of age. He acquired his brain injury in 2000 from a stroke. Before that he was doing computer studies and working at Monash University. He was living in Wantirna. Now he lives in an apartment on his own with some support. He calls himself a “survival cook”. He has been a … Continued

Photo of Kelvin Lim, Self Advocate

Session Summary

This session is split into 2 sessions running for 40 minutes each.


Spreading the word: Self advocates in action

Members from Reinforce and New Wave talk about the different ways they spread the word on issues facing people with intellectual disabilities and what they do to let people know about, and get, their rights.


Audio podcast


The ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide Through the BrainMaze’ and other journeys

This session is an eye opener doing a lot more for Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) than preaching to the converted.

Peta Ferguson, President of Brain Injury Matters (BIM), describes the production of two kits, The Hitch-hiker’s Guide through the Brain maze and the associated speakers kit, showing how they work and their importance.

This is followed by a brief educative presentation about what causes ABI, the short and long term effects and the negative community attitudes to this sometimes hidden disability. Three BIM members then share their  personal journeys:

  • Lisa Brumtis
  • Neil Cameron
  • Kelvin Lim


Audio Podcast