The origins of First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN) can be traced back to a national gathering in Alice Springs in 1999. At this gathering, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability united under a shared purpose for the first time. The movement to highlight the social inequity faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and advocate for change, goes back many decades.
Our core purpose –to advance the rights and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability – remains as relevant today as it was at the national gathering in 1999. Since that watershed moment, FPDN has been an active advocate on practical matters of rights and policies that affect our people daily.
The organisation has endured through changes of government, the demise of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, and significant changes in both the disability and Indigenous sectors. FPDN became an independent incorporated entity in 2014.
FPDN has represented Australia and First Peoples with disability at the United Nations in Geneva and New York at high level reviews, forums and meetings; including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.