Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Government funding gives people with disability international representation

People with disability and their representatives will share in $300,000 in Australian Government funding over three years to attend key international forums on human rights.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, today announced that grants will be available to successful applicants to attend conferences in an effort to ensure people with disability and the organisations representing them would have their say on the international stage.

“This funding, under our National Disability Strategy, will support delegations representing peak disability and advocacy organisations to better represent the needs of people with disability internationally,” Senator McLucas said.

“These organisations have long been advocating for people with disability, their rights and their needs, and these grants are one of the ways the Australian Government is supporting them in their important role of representing this sector.

“We value their contribution and we are proud to be supporting them through our National Disability Strategy. This Strategy sets a ten year reform plan that will help to ensure that people with disability have the same opportunities as other Australians.”

Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, said he was delighted to join in announcing the commencement of the funding program to support participation by people with disability in Australia and their organisations in key international processes and events on human rights.

“The process of developing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities showed how much could be achieved by governments and organisations representing people with disability from around the world working together in genuine partnership,” Commissioner Innes said.

“The Convention itself recognises this, requiring that implementation and monitoring efforts should likewise closely involve people with disability.

“I’m proud that Australia took the lead in involving people with disability in negotiating the Convention, and I warmly welcome this initiative to take that same level of involvement and partnership forward in making human rights a reality for people with disability here and around the world.”

Senator McLucas said the grants, to be administered by the Australian Human Rights Commission, would give disability advocates the opportunity to use their experience and expertise to help inform and shape policies and programs affecting people with disability, their families and carers throughout the world.

Under the initiative, from today, applications are open to allow for those wishing to apply for funding to attend the Disabled Peoples’ International Eighth World Assembly to be held in Durban, South Africa from 10 to 13 October 2011. Further details can be found at:

Details on this new initiative including eligibility can be found on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s website at