Message from the Chair
It is Hearing Awareness Week from Sunday 3 March to Saturday 9 March, and WWDACT Board Member, Dianne McGowan, is leading the way in calling for community inclusion for people with hearing impairment.
Di is a sought-after ambassador who champions the liberating effect of Cochlear Implants. Although not successful in every instance, for Di having a Cochlear Implant has improved her quality of life, making social occasions enjoyable instead of isolating. We are honoured to have Di as a member of our Board, and our Treasurer. Thanks for your advocacy and you make a fantastic model!
On February 18, we were also relieved that the Australian Parliament agreed to a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect against people with disability. Board members, Louise Bannister and Maree Pavloudis, along with CEO Clare Moore, attended at Parliament House for the passage of the bill. They were joined by disability advocates from all over Australia. Disability advocates have been calling for a formal national commission into violence, abuse and neglect of people with disabilities for many years. Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has been a consistent advocate over that time, and particularly since the 2015 Senate Report recommendation. We are also grateful to Senator Jordon Steele-John for bring this matter to a head.
In a way, agreement to hold a Royal Commission is the easy part. We will work with the sector to have input in development of the final Terms of Reference. We are also aware that Commission hearings may bring back difficult and hurtful memories for ACT women with disabilities, and WWDACT is starting to look at supports that might be put in place for members to support each other, whether being a witness to the commission or just coping with memories.
Finally I invite everyone to visit the Canberra Centre between Friday 8 March and Monday18 March to view our Redefining Leadership photographic exhibition. Navigate your way to T2 and Zara and then you cant miss it! Our featured leaders are: Justine Bamblett, Lou Bannister, Rona Lazo, Yenn Purkis, Christina Ryan, Kerry Snell and me.