From Minister for Disability Rachel Stephen-Smith, MLA 05/05/2017
The ACT Government has appointed eight new members to its Disability Reference Group to provide high level advice on issues affecting Canberrans with a disability.
I welcome the new members; Ms Louise Bannister, Ms Mignonne Cullen, Ms Sharon Ding, Ms Alicia Flack-Kone, Mr Wayne Herbert, Mr Douglas Herd, Mr Justin Le Couter and Ms Fiona May.
These new members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Disability Reference Group during this time of significant change in the policy environment.
The Disability Reference Group provides advice to the Minister on policy development and how to create a more inclusive community.
Other important issues on which I will be seeking the Group’s advice over the next year include the ongoing implementation of the NDIS in the ACT and the development of a Disability Justice Strategy.
I look forward to working with the new and continuing members of the Disability Reference Group and receiving their counsel as we strive to improve the lives of those in the ACT with a disability, their families, and carers under the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020.
The Disability Reference Group meets six times a year, with the next formal meeting to be held in June 2017. Some members of the previous DRG will remain with the group for a handover period of several months to pass on their knowledge and provide consistency.
The Community Services Directorate is actively seeking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation on the Disability Reference Group. If you or someone you know may be interested please contact the Directorate or the Minister’s office.
ACT Disability Reference Group
|Name||Areas of interest and expertise|
|Mr Douglas Herd||Mr Herd has previously held a senior position working with the National Disability Insurance Agency. He is passionate about promoting increased social and economic participation of people with disability within a rights-based framework.|
|Ms Louise Bannister||Ms Bannister has worked in the disability sector for almost 20 years, as a consumer representative on a wide range of Commonwealth and ACT committees. She has also worked for not-for-profit organisations including Belconnen Community Service, National Disability Services and Women With Disabilities ACT.|
|Ms Mignonne Cullen||As part of the Disability Reference Group Ms Cullen hopes to improve the policies that affect people with disability in relation to housing and employment. Ms Cullen has previously been on the board of a disabled peoples organisation and is committed to community engagement.|
|Ms Sharon Ding||Ms Ding has experience with promoting the inclusion of people with disability through her membership of several organisations including the disability consultative network and the disability education reference group and the ACT disability working group of the parents and citizens council.|
|Mr Wayne Herbert||Mr Herbert has spent his career focusing on assisting people with disability into employment and training. He has previously worked within the Disability Employment Services Program, and the former Disability Employment Network.|
|Mr Justin Le Couteur||Mr Le Couteur has 40 years of knowledge accumulated in relation to the experience of people with disability. Mr Le Couteur believes a role on the Reference Group would enable him to motivate and show young people with disability that anything is possible.|
|Ms Fiona May||Ms May is the Chief Executive Officer of ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS) and has developed an in-depth knowledge of the ACT disability system as well as the NDIS. Ms May also brings carer experience, as the parent of a young adult with disability.|
|Ms Alicia Flack-Kone||Ms Flack-Kone is the President of the ACT Down Syndrome Association (ACT DSA), She has a comprehensive understanding of the disability sector, and the daily challenges of working relating to inclusive education and community attitudes to people with disability. Ms Flack-Kone has also worked as an early childhood teacher.|
Follow the progress of Cyclabilities Canberra's pilot programme as Fiona, Selina and the team work with children and their families on developing bike skills and learning the rules of the road. Check out the video!
The Community Services Directorate is pleased to announce a sponsorship opportunity to attend the ImagineMORE 2016 Conference Strengthening Communities: Making The Most Of The NDIS on 25 and 26 August at the Ann Harding Conference Centre, University of Canberra.
The sponsorship is for two people with disability or family carers to attend the Conference. For more information on the conference program please click on image above or visit http://imaginemore.org.au/.
To apply complete the Expression of Interest and email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Use the subject heading: “Imagine More Conference 2016” EOI. Your expression of interest must be a maximum of 200 words and include:
- why you want to attend the Conference,
- how attending the conference will make a difference to you, your family or community,
- what you will do with what you learn or experience at the conference
Expressions of interest period will close Wednesday 17 August 2016.
For more information, including how to complete the Expression of Interest for this sponsorship opportunity contact email@example.com or contact 6205 2598.
Are you a student with disability considering your career pathway?
Access Your Career Forum can help you guide your path.
The forum will take place on Wednesday 17 August from 10:30 am - 1:30 pm at Building 1 - Teaching Commons Lounge, Level C - hear from keynote speakers and employers from the public and private sectors as well as from the student panel on 'Stepping into Program' and 'Pace Mentoring'.
Students from University of Canberra, ANU and CIT all welcome.
To register and for more information please contact 6201 5233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks goes to Nathan Ahearne from Marist College for inviting the INVOLVE team to participate at their Service Day event held 29 August 2016. This community building event aims to provide students with an opportunity to interact with Community Service groups and organisations and find out more about what they do, and how they can be involved. The INVOLVE team had an outstanding response from students and encouraged them to reflect on how their actions impact on the lives of others. Ninety-four boys made pledges to make a difference through the way they interact with others in their communities.
Marist College has also posted a fabulous Community Ambition to get more kids with disability participating in sport – check out the ENGAGE Sports ambition (http://www.involvecbr.com.au/ambitions?id=10)
Go Marist College!
Involve has also launched a Facebook page to raise awareness and start a conversation around inclusion. Please like and share!
Involve's first e-newsletter has been published and asked its readers to think, "What's your community ambition"? It was sent to over 300 local organisations and supporters.
Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart and Meegan Fitzharris MLA joined local entrepreneur Sam Agyemang today to launch a new online campaign supporting people with disability to achieve their ambitions.
Ms Fitzharris and Mr Stuart kicked off the second phase of INVOLVE - Canberra Disability Commitment, a statement of intent for the ACT on how the community can work together to create a place where all people with disability are included and supported. "INVOLVE is a great initiative that seeks to engage all Canberrans to include people with disability and support them to make their dreams a reality," said Ms Fitzharris.
The personal ambitions that have so far been identified through INVOLVE are admirable. They cover personal achievements as well as aspirations for the broader community. There is an artist looking for opportunities to exhibit, a business leader asking landlords to think differently about renting options and a community leader seeking to educate retailers about access."
Five ambitions are being trialled and are now online at www.involvecbr.com.au. People can connect with the five individuals and find out ways to support their ambitions and follow their progress.
The Canberra Raiders has taken the lead by contracting Donkey Wash, a social enterprise run by Sam Agyemang. Mr Agyemang, who has Autism, runs a laundry service for clients including the Canberra Raiders and said his involvement with the Canberra Raiders had generated interest in the community.
"I like telling people about my business," Mr Agyemang said. "People are happy when I tell them I do washing for the Raiders. I like talking to the Raiders."
INVOLVE is part of ACT Government's commitment to making Canberra an inclusive community where everyone can participate and reach their full potential.
"This is just the start of this Government's work to harness support and mobilise the community to take action to achieve an inclusive Canberra," said Ms Fitzharris.
"We are planning to open up this platform towards the end of 2015 to allow more Canberrans with disability to post their personal ambitions online. This initiative empowers people with disability to have greater control and choice with decision-making."