First people with disability today told the Disability Royal Commission that it is time for action to make disability rights real. “It’s been more than a decade since Australia signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, yet for First People with disability, we are still not included in the community,” said Damian Griffs, CEO, First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN). “Today we told the Disability Royal Commission about how many First People with
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FPDN congratulates Gumbaynggirr Dunghutti woman and Deputy CEO June Riemer on her nomination for 2022 Australian of the Year, NSW. “We are very proud to hear of June’s nomination in recognition of her long advocacy for the rights of First Nations people with disability. She joins a long line of powerful advocates for our people with disability who continue to speak up on behalf of First Nations people with disability,” says FPDN CEO Damian Griffis.
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FPDN CEO Damian Griffis made a statement last night to The 26th UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. Damian spoke to the impact of climate change on First Peoples of Australia’s ongoing connection to country and culture and the catastrophic consequences climate change presents for First Peoples with disabilities. You can read Damian’s statement in full below. My name is Damian Griffis I am a proud descendant of the Worimi and Biripi people of the Wallamba
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First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) gave evidence to the Senate Community Affairs inquiry into the purpose, intent and adequacy of the Disability Support Pension (DSP). FPDN CEO Damian Griffis and Deputy CEO June Riemer presented a range of key recommendations for the initiative which would improve its applicability to those within the Indigenous community who live with disabilities. The recommendations included a review of income levels and costs for those with disabilities and the removal of barriers such as
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The Disability Royal Commission has released a draft report calling the vaccine rollout for peoples living with disability as “seriously deficient”. The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability released the draft report which details 17 findings and 7 recommendations. It described the rollout as “seriously deficient”, particularly for people within residential disability settings and disability support workers. Whilst the report recognises the issues that faced the Department of Health in
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Click play to listen to the interview on Focus ABC with Larissa Behrendt and Damian Griffis. Source: Focus – ABC Radio Duration: 1hr. The interview with Damian starts at 38mins. Broadcast: Tue 17 Aug 2021, 10:00am
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The next hearing of the Disability Royal Commission will look at criminal justice and the NDIS. This is a follow up from the hearing in February 2021, and will be asking questions of different state and territory governments, as well as the NDIS. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. This is often the direct result of the criminalisation of disability and distress. A variety of systems,
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As the deputy CEO of the First Peoples Disability Network, Gumbaynggirr Dunghutti woman June Riemer is fighting for a fairer world for Indigenous Australians with disability. She’s this week’s Changemaker.   First Peoples with disability and their families are among the most disadvantaged and disempowered members of the Australian community, with research showing that Aboriginal people with disability are twice as likely to be discriminated against than their non-Aboriginal counterparts. It’s an issue that June Riemer has
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FPDN Deputy CEO June Riemer and Associate Professor Karen Soldatic, Western Sydney University, publish Australian Case Study in International Minority Rights report. Minority Rights Group International has launched their annual report on the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s most marginalised communities  The report ‘Minority and Indigenous Trends 2021, Lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic’ focuses on minority and Indigenous communities and their experiences during COVID-19 and includes case studies from across the world. ‘The essential
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Independent Assessments Inquiry Submission Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme First Peoples Disability Network opposes the introduction of independent assessments as outlined by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). These proposals are causing a great deal of distress in our communities. We believe the current reforms need to stop immediately, and that the NDIA needs to urgently work to repair trust with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability. We make
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We welcome reports that NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds will pause a plan to force peoplw with disability to submit to compulsory assessments to access support, but want to see much more detail about what that means for the future of the NDIS. There has been widespread opposition to the proposed model from people with disability, our families and community, and it is heartening the new Minister has listened to those concerns. A privatised assessment system
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A range of new accessible, culturally appropriate resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability have been released today by the peak body First Peoples Disability Network. “Our community urgently needs information about the vaccine, so we have created a poster with culturally relevant information and artwork to let people know about what is happening and why,” said Damian Griffis, CEO of First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN). “During the pandemic, Aboriginal and Torres
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The crisis of violence and abuse of First Peoples with disability must be urgently addressed by an extension of the Disability Royal Commission. “I am very concerned that the full extension to the Disability Royal Commission has not yet been granted, and I urge Prime Minister Scott Morrison to intervene now,” said Damian Griffis, CEO, First Peoples Disability Network. “We wrote to the acting Attorney-General Senator Cash two weeks ago, outlining why our communities have
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FPDN Deputy CEO and Gumbaynggirr Dunghutti woman June Riemer was recently honoured for her life’s work, dedicated to creating systemic change to improve the lives of First Peoples with disability, as this year’s winner of the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year Award. And she won! We are so proud of @JuneRiemer, our Deputy CEO, for being awarded the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year. pic.twitter.com/nlHjseKwme — FPDN Australia (@FPDNAus) March 10, 2021 A true
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 14 times more likely to be imprisoned than the non-Indigenous population  The disability royal commission needs a dedicated First Nations hearing to investigate the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system, Indigenous leaders say. A public hearing is currently underway examining the experiences of people with cognitive disability in the criminal justice system, and the plight of First Nations people with disability
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16 February 2021 Media Release The overrepresentation of First Nations People with cognitive disability in the criminal justice system warrants own Disability Royal Commission Hearing   People with cognitive disability will share their experiences with the criminal justice system at the Disability Royal Commission hearing in Brisbane starting today. First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN) are calling for the Disability Royal Commission to establish a dedicated First Nations hearing to investigate the overrepresentation and indefinite
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FPDN Deputy CEO June Riemer joined 3CR Community Radio this morning to discuss the Disability Royal Commission from a First Nations perspective, focusing on the intersection between disability and child removal. Click play on the audio stream below to listen to the discussion. https://fpdn.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/FPDN-June-Riemer-on-3CR.m4a   Listen to the program on the 3CR website here  
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23 November 2020 Media Release First Nations people with disability will tell the Disability Royal Commission this week about the structural violence they experience in the child-protection system around Australia. “We are among the most seriously disadvantaged members of the Australian community, and are also experts on the impact of policies on us,” said Mr Damian Griffis, CEO, First Peoples Disability Network. “This week, a number of First Nations people with disability will give evidence
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Earlier this morning, FPDN CEO Damian Griffis delivered a Statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review of Australia (UPR) via weblink. Damian spoke to the very serious concerns on the increasing incarceration of First Nations people with disability in Australian prisons and the lack of progress made to implement Australia’s previous UPR voluntary commitment to address the indefinite detention without conviction of people with disability in the criminal justice system, urging
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8 October 2020 People with disability and our representative organisations are campaigning for legislation to protect the confidentiality of people telling their stories to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The Royal Commission has now been running for over a year without full protection for the privacy of people with disability who want to make submissions. If we are not able to provide information to the Disability Royal Commission in complete
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29 September 2020 FPDN CEO Damian Griffis presented a submission today to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme inquiry into the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission on specific issues relating to our community, whilst raising some overarching concerns about the structure and mandate of the Commission. Click on the button below to read the submission. Read the submission
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The First Peoples Disability Network has told the Disability Royal Commission that COVID-19 exacerbated already existing issues of food insecurity, poverty and lack of access to services. By Keira Jenkins Source: NITV News 20 AUG 2020  While the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated poverty, food insecurity, and a lack of support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) told the Royal Commission on Thursday, these issues are faced in Indigenous communities every
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Source RN Breakfast with Fran Kelly Duration: 10min 51sec Broadcast: Mon 3 Aug 2020, 8:15am A key Indigenous group is disappointed that disability has not been included in the 16 new Closing the Gap targets. In an historic new partnership between government and Indigenous organisations, the Closing the Gap program is undergoing a major reset. While disability is a significant issue in health, education, justice and employment, it hasn’t been included as a target. Guest: Damien Griffs,
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Source ABC News By disability affairs reporter Nas Campanella View on the ABC website here After a serious car accident 10 years ago, Dinesh Palipana was told he would have to drastically reconsider his dreams, and that his quality of life would never be the same. Key points: Dr Dinesh Palipana had trouble securing employment that was otherwise guaranteed to medical graduates in Australia because he had a spinal cord injury He is making a submission
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Thank you to the Committee for the opportunity to represent the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability at today’s hearing.  My name is Damian Griffis, I am the CEO of the First Peoples Disability Network.  The First Peoples Disability Networks is a national organisation representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities and their families.  We can trace our origins to a gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
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FPDN CEO Damian Griffis yarns with 3KND Kool N Deadly specialist Journalist Natasha Ferre about the amazing work that FPDN are doing with mob and about The Disability Royal Commission that seeks information to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of First Nations people with disability. Click to listen to the interview Source: 3KND Kool N Deadly Standing Strong Together 2 July 2020    
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Media Release 23 June 2020  | Source: Blind Citizens Australia After twenty-five years of campaigning, people who are blind or vision-impaired will finally be able to enjoy television with family and friends when Audio Description (AD) is launched by Australia’s public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS, on 28 June. AD is a verbal narration which describes actions, scenery, costumes and other visual elements to make television accessible to people who are blind or vision impaired.
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By Geraldine Doogue on Saturday Extra Source: ABC Radio National, 20 June 2020 Australian black deaths in custody will be reduced if the number of indigenous people in prison is reduced. We look at a preventative program that’s been proven to work, Justice Reinvest; and hear why disability is such a significant factor in why people end up in custody, and how they fare there. Guests: Sarah Hopkins, managing solicitor with the NSW Aboriginal Legal
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Source: The Drum By Elly Duncan 18 June 2020 Key points: Author Kay Kerr rewrote her novel after being diagnosed with autism as an adult Advocates are calling for greater representation of autism in literature and pop culture They say the diversity of people on the spectrum needs to be considered For Kay Kerr, it was a trip to New York City that was the tipping point. “I was completely overwhelmed by the sensory input from
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FPDN CEO DAMIAN GRIFFIS SPEAKS TO THE WIRE DISABILITY ROYAL COMMISSION SEEKING INSIGHTS AND EXPERTISE FROM DISABLED FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE    Click the icon to Listen on The Wire 10 June 2020 Source: The Wire On Tuesday the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability released another issues paper which is specifically seeking information about the experiences of First Nations people with disabilities. With growing global attention on racial inequality,
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As Closing the Gap targets are ‘refreshed’ peak bodies and organisations are calling for a commitment reducing imprisonment rates of Indigenous people, with a focus on addressing mental health and disability. By Keira Jenkins Source: NITV News 10 June 2020 Image: People hold up placards at a Black Lives Matter protest in Adelaide (AFP) ‘Disability Criminalised’ First Peoples Disability Network CEO Damian Griffis agreed, saying the mental health sector needs to be better resourced in Australia.
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The latest issues paper released by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability seeks information about the experiences of First Nations people with disability. Data shows that a disproportionate number of First Nations people live with a disability or some form of long term health condition. Previous studies and inquiries have found that compared to the general population, First Nations people with disability are more likely to: have experienced
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Change the Record calls on state, territory and Commonwealth governments to commit to end Aboriginal deaths in custody in the wake of George Floyd’s death in America – which followed two fatal police shootings here in Australia late last year.  ** Change the Record has called on the Prime Minister and National Cabinet to implement five key recommendations, below. ** The Prime Minister yesterday distanced Australia from the police brutality in America, and downplayed the
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First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN) in partnership with Professor Cameron Stewart, Sydney Health Law, University of Sydney, and Professor Jackie Leach Scully, Disability Innovation Institute UNSW, have outlined necessary principles and recommendations regarding the ethical decision-making for First Peoples Living with Disability. These guidelines are specific for individuals presenting to an Intensive Care Unit and how their treatment is prioritised and managed. FPDN CEO, Damian Griffis stated “we have seen scenarios play out overseas
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Media release Internationally recognised Australian experts in the areas of human rights, bioethics and disability, have today released a Statement of Concern to emphasise key human rights principles and standards that need to underpin ethical decision-making in the context of disability and the COVID-19 pandemic. There are much greater risks from the COVID-19 pandemic for people with disability, in particular, for older people with disability, First Peoples with disability, people with intellectual or psychosocial disability,
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14 April 2020 Packages containing essential items like non-perishable foods and hygiene supplies will be provided to remote Aboriginal communities impacted by COVID-19 measures as part of a coordinated assistance effort by the NSW Government and NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC). Aboriginal Affairs NSW Head Lil Gordon said the first tranche of packages – approximately 500 boxes – will commence delivery over the next week and would make an immediate impact to remote communities, where
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The following principles and statement to Governments were agreed by the CDPF Executive Committee 30th March 2020 and provided to help ensure disabled people throughout the Commonwealth are not disadvantaged and have their needs met.   Principles Preamble: Human Rights are not dispensable because there is a medical emergency. Indeed, the need to protect and ensure that all disabled people have their full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to
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READ THE OPEN LETTER TO NATIONAL CABINET EASY READ OPEN LETTER TO NATIONAL CABINET   Endorsements   Love2 Share Tweet Share      
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With disabled First Nations Peoples having a significantly high risk of serious infection from COVID-19, the First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) is calling for Federal, State and Territory Governments to deliver support to protect mob living with disability. Preventative measures such as social distancing and self-isolation are solutions that many First Nations communities do not have the lifestyle to adhere to. “As we know, a lot of our mobs live in overcrowded situations and have
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People with disability who receive the Disability Support Pension (DSP) urgently need access to the increased Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight, consistent with the Jobseeker Payment and other payments recently announced. People with disability who are in receipt of DSP are experiencing and facing additional, unforeseen costs in this time of crisis, which is causing significant levels of distress and anxiety, and only serving to further entrench DSP recipients into poverty. It is well
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The First Peoples Disability Network of Australia calls for more government support to protect vulnerable members of First Nations communities in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. By Emily Nicol Source:  NITV News 23 MAR 2020 – 1:57 PM The First Peoples Disability Network has drawn attention to the “impossible” challenges of self-isolation and social distancing faced by people with disability, in a joint statement released alongside seven other peak disability organisations late last week. The
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The health and wellbeing of vulnerable members of our communities is of the highest priority to First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN).  Due to the rapidly changing status of the COVID_19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, and as a preventative measure in keeping our community members and staff safe, FPDN leadership has temporarily closed our Sydney office and relocated all staff offsite. This also extends to include FPDN staff working across all states and territories. In line with
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First Nations people with disabilities are extremely vulnerable to serious infection from COVID- 19. Federal and State Governments must deliver support to protect First Nations communities especially those with disabilities. Social distancing is almost impossible in most communities where overcrowding in housing presents an increased risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Self-isolation presents an additional conflict for First Nations people particularly those relying on the support of disability carers. The essential care provided to First
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People with disability from across Australia are calling for urgent action to make sure we are included in preparations for the current public health emergency. Eight national peak organisations have come together to outline to all levels of government, the National Disability Insurance Agency, other agencies and the private sector, about the range of concerns that people with disability have. We are disappointed that the recent Disability Reform Council and Cabinet meetings have yet again
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Media Release: Friday 14 February 2020 The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability will begin its next hearing at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush on Tuesday 18 February. The hearing will investigate the access to and treatment of people with cognitive disability, including people with intellectual disability, autism and acquired brain injury, in the health system. The Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC said over the two week hearing, the Royal
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