1.1 Mapping the Victorian sector 

There were 33 government-funded disability advocacy organisations operating in Victoria as at October 2012. Of these, 25 are located in or around Melbourne, with the remaining eight situated in regional Victoria. The type of disability advocacy undertaken across the sector includes citizen advocacy, individual advocacy, self advocacy, legal advocacy, systemic advocacy, family advocacy and independent advocacy provision by disability service providers.

There are five networks of advocacy organisations operating across the state:

  • Disability Advocacy Victoria (DAV) (formerly the Victorian Disability Advocacy Network – VDAN)
  • Victorian Regional Advocacy Network (VicRAN)
  • Quality Improvement Partnership (QIP)
  • Quality Assurance Network (QAN)
  • Citizen Advocacy Network.

A network of individual advocates is also operating as the Peer Support Network. Collectively, these networks represent the bulk of the sector.

DARU provides resources to 31 of the 33 Victorian organisations. It is clear that there is a strong role for DARU in bridging the gaps between the networks and ensuring that the whole sector is able to access resources and support from an independent resource unit.