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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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