Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

$255,000 for Indigenous Disability Advocacy

The Federal Coalition Government will provide around $255,000 this financial year to establish a new Indigenous disability advocacy pilot service in New South Wales.

Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, today announced that the Disability Services Aboriginal Corporation will also receive $260,000 each year for three years, to operate the service.

“Nearly one-third of Australia’s Indigenous population lives in NSW,” Mr Anthony said.

“This funding will support the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities, their carers and families, and provide more culturally appropriate advocacy for them.

“To operate initially as a pilot project, the advocacy service will explore innovative ways of delivering disability services to Aboriginal communities across NSW.

“It will provide individual advocacy assistance for Indigenous people with a disability, catering for all disability groups. It will also perform a systematic advocacy role and will be available as a specialist resource for generalist disability services.”

The service is the result of a Government-funded research project, A Voice for All – Advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with a Disability, to identify the advocacy needs of Indigenous people with disabilities in NSW.

It is also consistent with the report of the National Disability Advocacy Program Review, released in July last year, which recognised the need for advocacy assistance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The Indigenous advocacy service will comprise Indigenous people with disabilities, their parents, carers and relatives, and community service workers.

A statewide operation, the service headquarters will be based in Sydney, with advocacy workers located in various communities across NSW.

The National Disability Advocacy Program funds 72 organisations to assist people with disabilities, their families and carers, in participating in community life on an equitable basis and to achieve their rights as citizens.