5.6 Forums


Resource description

DARU hosts about four forums per year on topics identified through the PGG or from feedback received through the biennial conference. Forums are free to attend and provide a space for advocacy organisations, people with a disability and the wider community and services sector to convene and discuss topical issues. DARU provides feedback on the discussion to DAV, but has no other mechanism to take any issues raised further.


Interview findings

Organisations did not tend to separate forums from workshops, training sessions or the conference. Comments were largely that there is a real need for forums for advocates to discuss disability issues; however, there was limited understanding on the role of DARU or how to get advocates to attend forums.

It is generally understood within the sector that there is a gap in systemic advocacy and lack of a united voice on key issues. Forums are seen as a good platform for the sector to discuss issues and establish positions.

Regional advocacy organisations were interested in holding both Melbourne and regional forums so they would be more able to attend and contribute to systemic advocacy. Forums should be held in Melbourne and key regional locations like Ballarat, Colac or Benalla. Regional locations could be rotated or attached to VicRAN meetings.

Discussions with DARU and advocacy organisations show an appetite to share information amongst the sector following the forums. DARU would summarise the session, highlight the key issues raised, and then circulate this information through the weekly email update.