New brochure to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to use disability abuse hotline
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, Bill Shorten, today launched a new brochure to encourage indigenous Australians to access the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline and Complaints Resolution and Referral Service (CRRS).
Mr Shorten launched, A guide to reporting abuse and neglect – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, at a gathering of indigenous disability representatives in Sydney, who have been involved in the formation of First Peoples Disability Network (Australia), the first peak body dedicated to representing indigenous Australians with disability.
‘Indigenous Australians with disability are too often doubly disadvantaged and doubly isolated. I am positive that this new organisation will provide a strong voice for this vulnerable group.’
First Peoples Disability Network (Australia) executive officer Damian Griffis said the creation of the new organisation was an exciting development, but it would have a lot of work to do to improve conditions for indigenous people with disability.
Mr Shorten said the brochure would be an important way to encourage indigenous Australians to use the national hotline.
‘Around 37 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have some form of disability but very few have contacted the hotline or CRRS,’ Mr Shorten said.
‘Indigenous people with disability are some of the most vulnerable in Australia and I am concerned that this lack of response may be due to an absence of information about the services targeted to them.
‘The hotline allows people to report abuse and neglect of people with disability, and to get help in stopping it. It is a valuable resource for people with disability, and in particular for indigenous people with disability who are often isolated within the Australian community.
‘The brochure is a prime example of how we can better target information to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
‘It focuses on the particular experiences and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities and features artwork by internationally renowned Indigenous artist and illustrator Bronwyn Bancroft.’
The National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline was established in 2001 to receive allegations of abuse and neglect that occur to people with disability across Australia.
It receives about 700 allegations of abuse and neglect each year
‘If more Indigenous people use the hotline, we can collect information about the difficulties that many people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders face as well as the appropriateness of services that they receive,’ Mr Shorten said.
The hotline number is 1800 880 052.