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
Coronavirus, News
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
News, Royal Commission
Source: The Age By Miki Perkins December 2, 2019 “Sickening” incidents of sexual violence, abuse and neglect in group homes have caused deep psychological scars for people with disabilities and their families, a hearing of the disability royal commission has been told. On Monday the royal commission into the abuse of people with disability considered if living in a group home created a greater risk that residents would be subjected to violence, abuse or exploitation. Counsel
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The FPDN Annual Report 2018-19 is an interactive document that can be downloaded here. The audited Financial Accounts are available here.
News, Publications
"We have always been ‘come as you are’. The disability system in Australia is upside down in many ways" Read the story in the Guardian click here FPDN CEO Damian Griffis for IndigenousX
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Eulogy given at the funeral service of Aunty Leila Gayle Rankine By Damian Griffis On behalf of the First Peoples Disability Network Family we offer our deepest condolences to Karruck, Karen and Becky and to Jade and John and Keir and all the family. This is another devastating blow for all of us in the FPDN family. Aunt was our matriarch and we grieve her deeply. Aunt, a proud Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna women, was present
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Here are some of the key concerns about Australia’s implementation of the CRPD that were highlighted by the Committee on the Convention on the Rights of People with Disability, Geneva, September 2019: That Australia must make progress to remove its interpretative declaration on Articles, 12. 17 and 18 – this is essential to ensure justice for people with disability in Australia. That Australia must address the current limitations in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, to ensure
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Opinion: By El Gibbs Today is the first public sitting of the disability royal commission, or to give it its full name, the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. This isn’t just another royal commission. It is the culmination of many years of work by disabled people to get recognition of the scale of violence against us. Disabled Peoples Organisations Australia put together some of the known data and statistics
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Click play to listen to the interview or read the full transcript below. An Australian delegation has travelled to Geneva, to highlight concerns about lack of support services for people with a disability in this country. The group is addressing the United Nations committee reviewing Australia’s progress on the rights of people with disabilities. They’ll also present the findings of a new report, with the high incarceration rates of Indigenous Australians among the key issues.
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In September, seven representatives will present a report to the U.N Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Next month a delegation of people with disability will head to Geneva to speak to the U.N about what Australia is doing and how much more it needs to do to improve the lives and experiences of people with disability in this country. The seven representatives will present a report to the U.N Committee on the
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We asked people with disability about their rights in an online survey to help us prepare the Civil Society Shadow Report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Here’s what we found out. Key statistics A majority of survey respondents are unable to access the support they need (61%) 44% of respondents do not have access to the healthcare they need A majority of survey respondents believe that healthcare workers do not understand their
News
An incident involving an Indigenous boy with a disability who was allegedly stripped naked and held in an adult watch house in Queensland is symptomatic of a broader problem, say disability advocates. Documents obtained by the ABC claim the boy – who has a neurodevelopmental disability and foetal alcohol spectrum disorder – was pinned down and stripped by officers after he expressed suicidal thoughts. He was allegedly left naked in the Brisbane watch house for days
Featured, News
Rainbow Serpents by Eve Kitchener
NuunaRon, a small group of artist living with disability on the Sunshine Coast using their traditional art to tell their stories of strength and resilience, have the opportunity to take their art to the world stage and share their stories at the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) this September . Click play below to view the 9 News Story on the NuunaRon Art Group preparing for their exhibition at
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Australia signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(CRPD) in 2008. This means Australia has made a commitment to protect and promote the rights of people with disability.  The main way that Australian Governments are doing this, is through the National Disability Strategy. Every four years, the Australian government has to report to the United Nations (UN) and be reviewed on what it has achieved.  A committee of independent
News
We are calling for Prime Minister the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Attorney General the Hon. Christian Porter, MP, and Minister for Families and Social Services the Hon. Paul Fletcher, MP, to reconsider the appointment of the Hon. John Ryan AM and Ms Barbara Bennett PSM as Commissioners. We ask that Mr Ryan and Ms Bennett step down from the recently announced Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, and for strong provisions to
News, Royal Commission
Statistics show that the prevalence of disability within Indigenous communities is more than twice that of other Australians. And while the government spent much of the past week lauding the prospect of a return to budget surplus, advocacy groups have questioned an underspend within the disability and community service sectors. Co-Chair of ‘Change the Record’, Damian Griffis believes lower than expected expenditure on the NDIS of more than $3 billion is indicative of systemic problems.
News
Today Indigenous people celebrate $4.5 m going to support Aboriginal Medical Services in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields in Northwestern W.A. Aboriginal people themselves are involved in the running of these programs in a new Connected paradigm. So why can’t we roll this model out for the rest of Australia? Source: The Wire Broadcast: Tuesday 9 April 2019  
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Media Release 5 April 2019 Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia) welcomes Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement on the formation of our Royal Commission and its Letters Patent into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation against people with disability today, following the Government’s commitment of $527 million in the Federal Budget. “People with disability have called for this Royal Commission for many years, due to the appalling rates of violence against us, and we look forward
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People with disability welcome the Federal Government’s commitment to fully funding our Royal Commission, as revealed in the 2019-20 Budget. “We very much welcome the $527m allocated to our Royal Commission into the epidemic of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation against people with disability, in tonight’s Budget,” said Matthew Bowden, Co-CEO of People with Disability Australia (PWDA), and member of Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia). “We know that for people with disability to finally
News, Royal Commission
The FPDN Annual Report 2017-18 is an interactive document that can be downloaded here. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers please note: FPDN’s Annual Report 2017_18 contains images and names of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons who have passed and may cause sadness or distress. The audited Financial Accounts are available here.
News, Publications
People with disability, and our organisations, today welcome the Federal Government’s release of the Terms of Reference for our Royal Commission into the epidemic of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation  of people with disability. “We are pleased that the Government is commencing a consultation with people with disability on the Terms of Reference and has published detail on how the Royal Commission will be established and function,” said Carolyn Frohmader, Executive Director of Women With Disabilities Australia,
News, Royal Commission
FPDN were humbled to be featured in a social media post by Canadian MP the Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport alongside her ‘Two Spirit Yarning’ artwork hanging in the Parliament of Canada. The artwork is by Wiradjuri artist and FPDN Resource and Training Development Manager Uncle Paul Constable Calcott. Minister Duncan posted “This breathtaking painting is by Australian Aboriginal artist Paul Constable Calcott, who has worked in the area of disabilities for decades.
News
Aboriginal woman Jane Rosengrave was just six-years-old when she began suffering abuse while in an institution Jane Rosengrave is a survivor. Her uplifting spirit is in contrast to a life marked by abuse and neglect that began when she was just six years old. “It has not been easy speaking about my past and I had a lot of flashbacks and panic attacks at first,” she told NITV. Jane is a Yorta Yorta woman from
News
People with disability, and our organisations, today welcome the vote in the Australian Parliament about a Royal Commission into the epidemic of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect against people with disability. The next step is to make the Royal Commission real. “We welcome today’s vote on a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse and neglect that is a devastating reality in many of our lives,” said Therese Sands, Co-CEO of People with Disability Australia, a
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Prime Minster Scott Morrison handed down the 11th Closing the Gap report this morning in Canberra. Despite repeated advocacy from FPDN and reassurances from the Commonwealth Government, disability continues to be forgotten as a specific area of focus under Closing the Gap. For a policy that aspires to be evidence based, Closing the Gap has avoided engaging with any of the evidence that shows the acute disadvantage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.
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VOTE FOR AUNTY JUNE In recognition of her incredible contribution to our communities, FPDN Deputy CEO and Dunghutti woman Aunty June Riemer has been nominated for a 2018 Impact 25 Award. ‘Throughout her career and in her personal life Aunty June has championed and fought selflessly for the rights of our peoples, vulnerable Australians who experience discrimination and disadvantage.’ Read Aunty June’s nomination statement here    Vote now! Click here to vote for Aunty June
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[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1rg2WJ48RI[/embedyt] FPDN CEO Damian Griffis along with Ruth Barson, Nyadol Nyuon & Hugh de Kretser weigh in on the status and progress of Human Rights today on The Wheeler Centre Panel ‘Only Human: 70 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human rights’ presented in partnership with Human Rights Law Centre. Learn more about ‘Only Human: 70 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human rights’ here
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NuunaRon Art group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists living with Disability launched their Exhibition on the Sunshine Coast yesterday in celebration of International Day of People with Disability. FPDN’s National Training and Resource Development Manager Uncle Paul Calcott officially opened the Exhibition “The NuunaRon Art group addresses issues such as social isolation and provides a safe place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members living with disability to come together and build
News, NuunaRon
Aunty Bonita Mabo was a true leader and a generous, much loved Elder. Aunty Bonita was known for her determination, commitment and generosity of spirit. She achieved so much and worked tirelessly throughout her life. Aunty Bonita and her late husband, Uncle Eddie Mabo paved the way for generations of leaders, advocates and activists. This is a better place because of them. The FPDN ELDA Council, FPDN Board and staff  wish to acknowledge Aunty Bonita
News
FPDN is a member of the Change the Record coalition. Change the Record released the following statement regarding the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and its recommendations. Change the Record has questioned the report released by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion yesterday, which claims that the majority of recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) have been implemented. “In 2015, Clayton Utz and Amnesty International found that the
News
FPDN’s Research and Policy Director Scott Avery writes for The Conversation. Read the article here
News
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience disability at almost twice the rate of other Australians, and it’s especially hard for them to access services from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The scheme is meant to “mean peace of mind for every Australian – for anyone who has, or might acquire, a disability”, but at the moment it’s falling short of these aims. Scott Avery, FPDN Research and Policy Director, speaks to Tess at
News
Next week FPDN CEO Damian Griffis, Deputy CEO June Riemer and National Project Manager Paul Calcott will travel to Utopia and Tenant Creek, NT with the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner Alastair McEwin and Ashurst’s Pro Bono Manager Garth Tinsley. The Disability Discrimination Commissioner is hosting community consultations and invites all community living with disability, their families and friends along with service providers to meet with us so we can hear what is
News
FPDN hosted a Building the Aboriginal Disability Service Sector Gathering over two days, August 16 & 17 2018, in Tamworth NSW. The workshop, initially targeted to the local area, was widely attended by local, regional and remote Aboriginal disability service sector providers and health professionals from around Australia. The overwhelming response from our attendees was for FPDN to deliver more of these workshops across the country and we heard you! FPDN will be rolling out
National-Workshops, News
There are still some tickets available for FPDN’s Building the Aboriginal Disability Service Sector Gathering next week on August 16 & 17 in Tamworth. FPDN will cover a wide range of topics focused on challenges and opportunities in building the Aboriginal disability service sector and promoting job opportunities for our mob. Industry experts will run skill building workshops in the areas of governance, best practice, information technology & communications and marketing to give you the tools to grow
News
CULTURE IS INCLUSION: Community-control the way forward for Aboriginal disability research Today, First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) is releasing a landmark report following a two-year community-directed research project, across Australia, on the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability. A launch event is taking place at The Australian Human rights Commission. Scott Avery is the Research and Policy Director at FPDN, and led the community-based research team. He said: “This research tells
News
Pictured: Aunty Gayle Rankine, Chairperson, FPDN (image courtesy Belinda Mason) FPDN’s Jake Briggs was a participant in Belinda Mason’s Unfinished Business Exhibition which was first launched at the United Nations in Geneva in 2013. Since then the series of compelling images has been exhibited in New York, USA and around Australia. FPDN has been a long-term and proud supporter of the exhibition which features many of the leaders of the Aboriginal disability movement in Australia.
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Watch FPDN’s video to celebrate the NAIDOC 2018 theme, Because of her, we can. [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0iopqWt5TA[/embedyt]   On Screen text: We celebrate our Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters, Aunties, Cousins, friends. To the strong women who came before us, we honour their legacy, their fight for justice, freedom and rights for our people . This NAIDOC week We celebrate the incredible contribution of the women of FPDN Their wisdom Their leadership The justice warriors The trailblazers Thank
News
    The National Injury Insurance Scheme Queensland (NIISQ) and the First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) kicked NAIDOC week off with the launch of a culturally safe planning resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants of NIISQ. FPDN and NIISQ collaborated to develop Getting Strong Again, a resource that aims to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander NIISQ participants with planning and identifying the necessary and reasonable treatment, care and support they may need.
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People with Disability Australia hosted a side-event at the United Nations in New York as part of Disabled People’s Organisations Australia participation at the Conference of State Parties (COSP) this week. The event explored the intersection between disability and sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status, the emerging response of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to this intersection, and the role of States Parties in ensuring that LGBTI people with disability
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The 11th Session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will kick off overnight in New York and runs from 12th to 14th June 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The annual conference brings together countries that have ratified the UN CRPD and representatives from DPOs and civil society organisations to discuss implementation of the CRPD. This year the Australian delegation is
News
FPDN has been working with Social Ventures Australia to deliver the Aboriginal Disability Provider Grant (ADPG) Program in NSW. At least 50% of our people experience disability or a long-term health condition. It’s critical that Aboriginal community controlled organisations and disability service providers are equipped to provide culturally safe and disability accessible services to Aboriginal people as the NDIS rolls out across NSW. FPDN is committed to this goal. We’ve been working with Social Ventures
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Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPOA) is participating in the 11th Session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). FPDN is one of the four member organisations of DPOA. COSP runs from 12th to 14th June 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The annual conference brings together countries that have ratified the UN CRPD and representatives from DPOs and civil society organisations to
News
Building Aboriginal disability service sector and workforce development FPDN is hosting a conference in Tamworth, NSW in August. The purpose of the conference is to build the Aboriginal disability service sector and develop the workforce. It is vital that our people with disability have access to culturally appropriate services and supports in the areas they live in. Aboriginal people with disability experience disadvantage and discrimination at higher rates than the general population. FPDN is committed to
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