Welcome again to Including Everyone, our monthly newsletter full of information about our work, our projects, and who we are.
It also has some news on what our members are doing, and different ways to get involved. We hope it is of interest to anyone who is interested in a more inclusive Australia for people with an intellectual disability.
With winter biting in the south of the country, I was fortunate to spend some of this past month in the Northern Territory. In early July I was on the land of the Arrernte people in Mparntwe, or Alice Springs. I was there to listen to witnesses at the Disability Royal Commission public hearing into the operation of the NDIS for First Nations people with disability in remote and very remote communities.
I appreciated being able to work alongside our colleagues Damian Griffis and Aunty June Riemer at First People’s Disability Network (FPDN). FPDN’s leadership and expertise is much needed to help address the significant gaps that people in this community experience every day.
I am pleased that Inclusion Australia has had a more active presence in the Northern Territory over the past 12 months, starting with the appointment of Liz Collier, our first Northern Territory Manager. Liz has a long relationship with the Territory and with the broader disability community and it’s great to have her based in Darwin.
I was lucky to be able to spend a few days with Liz on the land of the Larrakia people at the start of August. I enjoyed meeting Dan, Ben and Rebecca and hearing about the work the team is doing together for the Towards Inclusive Practice project. I feel confident that our work alongside local advocacy organisations across the Territory will make a difference to support the rights of people with an intellectual disability.
(From left) Daniel Ross, Catherine McAlpine, Ben Hankin, Liz Collier and Rebecca Hell.
This month has also been a stark reminder that COVID is far from over. With case numbers rising once again around the country, we have been working with the Australian Government, the NDIA and our members to ensure that the needs of people with an intellectual disability are not forgotten in the pandemic planning.
Our recent accessible video, Living with COVID, made in partnership with Speak Out Tasmania with people with an intellectual disability is just one practical way of having the important conversations to keep our community safe. The Disability Sector Federal Election COVID Recovery Plan also details a list of actions that the Government must urgently address.
Elsewhere in this edition you will also find the latest on our Disability Royal Commission work, what’s happening with the Our Voice Committee, news about our Your Service Your Rights workshops, the upcoming Speak Out Conference in Hobart and news of a powerful interactive video by VALID about the experiences of people with a disability in the criminal justice systems.
Until next time, stay safe.
CEO, Inclusion Australia