Media Release – NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance and Parliamentarians from all parties call on NSW Government to fund vital advocacy sector post June 2018

NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance and Parliamentarians from all parties call on NSW Government to fund vital advocacy sector post June 2018

In a show of solidarity this afternoon, members from the NSW Labour party, NSW Greens, The Christian Democrats, Shooters Fishers and Farmers Australia and several Independents stood with the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance to call on the NSW government to stop cuts to core funding currently in place for mid-2018.

Serena Ovens, convenor of the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance advised, “without funding to enable continued independent, advocacy, information and peak representational support for people with disability, many already vulnerable people with be worse off, their voice and rights denied, and the gaps for access and inclusion in the NSW community will widen.”

Member for Gosford, 7-time Paralympian and wheelchair user, Liesl Tesch, spoke of how “advocacy is so important to people with disability and it is imperative that they can access independent supports without having to spend much needed money that would otherwise pay for daily disability needs”, such as in her own case, a wheelchair or costly, specially fitted footwear.

In addition, Ms Tesch advised that “advocacy is often required to assist people with disability to access employment, have their human rights maintained, or be fully included in community.”
Shadow Minister for Disability, Sophie Cotsis, urged the NSW government to “continue to fund advocacy post June 2018 and not expect the NDIS to meet future needs.”

Funding cuts will occur despite the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) clearly stating that individual, systemic advocacy and legal review and representation will be funded outside of the NDIS.

Member of the Legislative Council and Christian Democrat, Paul Green requested that the government doesn’t “leave anyone behind with the implementation of this important reform [NDIS] particularly people with disability in regional and rural areas, where losses of advocates will likely mean no access to support.”

Greg Piper, Member for Lake Macquarie, noted that “as members of Parliament, we deal with people who come to us all the time with their issues, and often struggle to know how to assist them, but knowing that there are organisations out there that provide disability advocacy for them is a great assistance to us as well as members of Parliament, and in ensuring that as a community that we are as inclusive as we can be.”

Mr Piper furthered with hopes, “that if the NDIS has ramifications for the community of NSW and people with disability that would negatively affect or detract from its implementation that the Government would step up and ensure that this didn’t see NSW take a backwards step in maintaining vital disability services.”
Steven Yates, member of the Physical Disability Council of NSW, and a person with disability, called on the Government to “find the relatively small amount of $13M (annually)” to ensure people with disability such as himself, and especially the 90% of people with disability in NSW whom won’t receive funding under the NDIS, could continue to have someone to stand by them and provide a voice when, as an individual, he couldn’t affect change on his own or needed information to assist him to protect his rights, gain employment or speak up about his transport access needs.

For further information please contact:
Serena Ovens
Convenor, NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance
0411 327 877

ABOUT the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance
The organisations that form the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance are:
– Ability Incorporated
– Action for People with Disability Inc.
– Citizen Advocacy Western Sydney Inc
– Disability Advocacy NSW
– Disability and Aged Information Service
– Ethnic Community Services Cooperative
– Family Advocacy
– First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN)
– Intellectual Disability Rights Service
– Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association
– NSW Council for Intellectual Disability
– People with Disability Australia
– Physical Disability Council of NSW
– Regional Disability Advocacy Service
– Spinal Cord Injuries Australia
– Stroke Recovery Association NSW
– Synapse

Media Release - Advocacy Matters



MDAA lobbying for Advocacy

MDAA is lobbying for the future of Advocacy


MDAA’s management, staff, Governance Committee and volunteers have been visiting some of our politicians to bring to their attention our concerns and help ensure advocacy support continues to be available to people with disability throughout NSW.  Among those MDAA has seen are Minister Ray Williams, Minister of Disability Services and Multiculturalism; Ms Sophie Cotsis, Shadow Minister for Disability Services; Granville MP Julia Finn; Geoff Lee, Member for Parramatta; Matt Keane, Minister for Innovation and Dr Mehreen Faruqi MP.


The Honourable Jane Prentice MP visits MDAA

The Honourable Jane Prentice MP visits MDAA

On Thursday 27 July 2017, The Honorable Jane Prentice MP paid a visit to Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association (MDAA). Jane Prentice is Assistant Minister for Social Sciences and Disability Services. Minister Prentice was greeted by MDAA executive Director, members of Governance Committee, workers and volunteers.

She praised the NDIS for being based on the individual plans for people with disability instead of a tailor-made package for all which will not suit them and emphasised the importance of face to face meetings between NDIS applicants and NDIS planners. She spoke about the significance of MDAA’s NDIS Pre-planning and Appeals programs for people with disability, particularly from CALD/NESB. Minister Prentice noted that some NDIS providers have been de-registered due to ineffective service provided to NDIS participants. She is actively lobbying with other senior offices for efficient funding of social and disability services.

Personal thank you note from Minister Jane Prentice MP

Letter to MDAA from Jane Prentice MP

Petition for Continued Funding of Disability Advocacy for people from CALD/NES Backgrounds in New South Wales

Please Sign the Petition

The Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW Inc (MDAA) is a peak body in New South Wales providing advocacy for people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and non-English speaking (NES) backgrounds with disability, their families and carers. For over 23 years, MDAA has been advocating for the rights of people with disability from CALD/NES backgrounds, their families and carers for better outcomes and improved access to services, opportunities and participation in the disability sector. From July 2018, the NSW government will transfer the $25 million per year funding for disability advocacy and information services, to help fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). MDAA is greatly concerned that without independent, culturally competent advocacy, the barriers faced by people with disability from CALD/NES backgrounds will deepen. There is already an under-representation of people from CALD/NES backgrounds participating in the NDIS and without the support of advocacy organisations like MDAA this gap will increase. We therefore urge the Federal and State government for assurance of the continued funding for individual and systemic advocacy for people with disability, particularly people from CALD/NES backgrounds, in the state of New South Wales.

This petition will be delivered to:

  • Minister for Multiculturalism, and Minister for Disability Services Raymond Williams
  • Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services The Hon Jane Prentice MP


Julia Finn MP visits MDAA Granville 29 May 2017

Julia Finn MP with MDAA staff, volunteers and Governance Committee

Ms Julia Finn MP, member for Granville, was invited to MDAA Granville to discuss the concerns about the future of advocacy. Present on the day were MDAA staff, Governance Committee members and Community Voices participants. The management team raised concerns regarding advocacy.

They mentioned the significant contribution of Systemic Advocacy to people with disability (PWD) and the state of NSW, as well as the important support provided to PWD, their families and carers by our Individual Advocacy Program. A concern was raised by PWD at the meeting that the NDIS will not cover many PWD after its full rollout. Those who have received their packages will not be covered by advocacy if they have issues with domestic violence, Justice Department, Housing or Immigration. Ms Finn took notice of the points raised and promised to follow up with other decision makers.

Bilpin Fruit Bowl Excursion 15 April 2017

On Easter Saturday, 15 April 2017 members of the NSW Network of Women with Disability as well as MDAA staff travelled to Bilpin Fruit Bowl in the Blue Mountains National Park to pick fruit and vegetables. MDAA booked 2 vans from Dooleys which left our Granville office at 9.00am. There were 14 people in attendance.

We arrived around 10:30am and shared in an enjoyable morning tea at a local café before walking together to the Fruit and Vegetable farm. Our harvest from the day included lemons, apples, capsicums, cherry tomatoes and cabbages.

The weather was pleasant and sunny with people enjoying the Easter Holiday. Lunch of chicken, rice and salad was shared by all. During the day, we also saw grape vines which were planted in a straight line and animals including horses and alpacas.

The buses returned to Granville at 3pm. The day was enjoyed by all. The attendees would like to return at another time in the year to pick fruit and vegetables from another season.

Shu-Hua Chan and Sarah Butler


Small Stone Youth Week & Graduation

‘Make each small stone count’
Small Stone is under the auspices of the MDAA. We invited everyone in the community to be part of the event which brought together young people from diverse backgrounds, employers and supporters to explore opportunities for active participation within their community.

For 2016 National Youth Week, MDAA celebrated Small Stone’s young people’s diverse talents and their many achievements. The initiative is funded by Youth Opportunities Program of the Department of Education. The celebration was hosted by MDAA in conjunction with Parramatta City Council and was held at Parramatta Town Hall. We thank the officials who attended the event, and spoke about the importance of youth initiatives in Western Sydney.

Hon John Ajaka Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Multiculturalism as well as the Minister responsible for youth affairs opened the event and spoke about the potential for all young people from culturally and linguistically diverse background with disability to contribute and participate in society. Hon Julie Finn, Member for Granville presented on youth initiatives in the Granville community.

Hon Sophie Cotsis, Shadow Minister for Women, Shadow Minister for Disability Services, Shadow Minister for Ageing and Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism spoke about her plans to increase participation of young people from CALD backgound with disability. Dr Geoff Lee MP Member for Parramatta presented on the youth initiatives in the Parramatta region.

There were also speakers:
Stephen Booth – Principal of Coleman Greig’s Employment Law Team, Gerard Hayes – Business Development Officer – Northcott Employment, Thomas Kuzma – Blogger Austism Spectrum Association (ASPECT) with a video presentation from NDCO.


AGM & 20 Year Celebrations

The Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association held our Annual General Meeting(AGM) and proudly celebrated our 20 year anniversary on Wednesday 4 November 2015 at St Marks hall in Granville.
Guest speakers included, The Honourable Dr Geoff Lee, Member for Parramatta, Ms Julia Finn MP, Member for Granville, Uncle Greg, Welcome to Country and Mr Chris Opert, NDIA.
MDAA launched its Strategic Directions 2015-2018 with the help of Dr Geoff Lee who also presented tokens of appeciation and recognition to: MDAA Governance Committee members, previous staff members, current longstanding staff members and MDAA volunteers.

To commemorate this aupicious occasion a booklet was developed documenting MDAA’s 20 year history. To read more :  MDAA’s 20 Year Booklet