Government doubles investment in systemic disability advocacy by $11.2 million

The Albanese Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to double funding for systemic disability advocacy, with an additional $11.2 million allocated to the Disability Representative Organisation program over four years to promote a better understanding of the lives of people living with disability.

The funding will have a practical impact by giving people living with disability a direct say in policies and programs which affect their day-to-day lives.

An initial allocation of an additional $5.2 million in funding will be delivered over two years from 2022-23 to 2023-24.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the funding boost would ensure a diversity of voices are reflected across government systems, policies and practices.

“People living with disability have a right to participate in policy development that impacts their lives and these organisations provide a genuine and effective vehicle for this engagement,” Minister Rishworth said.

“Evidence and statistics only paint part of the picture. By listening to the experiences and personal stories of people with disabilities, policy-makers can get a much richer and fuller understanding of the lived reality.

“In everything we are doing in this space we want people living with disability to be at the centre of our decisions.”

The funding will go to 17 organisations, all focused on breaking down systemic barriers and addressing discrimination of Australians with disability.

They include:

  • Children and Young People with Disability Australia
  • First Peoples Disability Network Australia
  • Inclusion Australia
  • National Ethnic Disability Alliance
  • People with Disability Australia
  • Women with Disabilities Australia
  • Disability Advocacy Network Australia, as the National Coordination Function
  • Disability Australia Consortium, which is made up of:
    • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
    • Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia
    • Blind Citizens Australia
    • Brain Injury Australia
    • Deaf Australia
    • Deafblind Australia
    • Deafness Forum of Australia
    • Disability Advocacy Network Australia
    • Down Syndrome Australia
    • The National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum
    • Physical Disability Australia

The organisations will assist the Albanese Government to achieve its goal of breaking down barriers and improving social and economic participation by providing advice to a range of ministers and portfolios.

“It is vital we adequately resource these organisations so they can meet the demands of future cross-government initiatives,” Minister Rishworth said.

“This significant funding boost will expand the capacity of these organisations to go beyond engagement and empower them to contribute effectively through a process of genuine co-design.

“By working in partnership we will achieve better outcomes and better implementation of the commitments that underpin Australia’s Disability Strategy.”

To find out more about the Disability Representative Organisations program visit the Department of Social Services website.