Strengthening Disability Advocacy conference 2012
Disability advocacy and the legal system: You be the judge!

Monday 26 & Tuesday 27 March 2012 @ Melbourne Park Function Centre

Gordon Prior

Photo of Gordon Prior, Self Advocate

Self Advocate

Being institutionalised for much of his life has not stopped Gordon from knowing his rights and becoming an accomplished self advocate.

Gordon is a 59 year old man who lives in Stawell, in the Wimmera region of Victoria. He was placed in Berry Street Babies Home with his twin brother and also spent time at the Children’s Cottages in Kew and at Pleasant Creek in Stawell, as well as Sandhurst.

He worked as a tip manager in Stawell for three years, and also was employed at McCallum Industries in Ballarat, and Intertwine Services in Stawell. While working in the Intertwine gardening crew he earned $3 an hour. Gordon now works in Open Employment at Stawell Drycleaners and earns the minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Gordon has finally found a position where his skills are properly acknowledged and he is paid a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.

Gordon took the Federal Government to court over the system it has adopted for assessing the wage people with a disability should get. It’s called the BSWAT. He believes the system is unfair and is trying to change it so people can no longer get paid only a few dollars or cents an hour.

His case is under appeal at the Federal Court. Gordon is represented by Kairsty Wilson from AED Legal Centre and some of Melbourne’s top barristers. He is being supported locally by Grampians disAbility Advocacy.


Employment for people with disability

Tuesday 27th March, 2012: 3:00am - 4:00am

Explore the facts, statistics and experiences of people with disabilities in open employment, supported employment, unemployment and under employment both here and New Zealand.