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Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Rudd Government gives $162,000 to new body representing children with disability

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, Bill Shorten, today launched Children with Disability Australia, a new disability organisation representing the views and interests of children with disability and their families.

Mr Shorten announced that CDA would receive $162,000 in Federal Government funding in the next financial year to help it make sure the voices of children with disability were heard.

Children with Disability Australia, which evolved from the Australian Association for Families of Children with Disability, is the only national organisation to provide advocacy and assistance specifically to children with disability and their families.

“Children are often voiceless in our community, and children with a disability in particular often have their needs and rights ignored,” Mr Shorten said.

“But they are entitled to the same opportunities as other Australian children.

“Children with Disability Australia is a new organisation, but it is a true champion of young people’s rights, advocating on behalf of children with disability to ensure they have lives of quality and dignity.”

Founded by families who were concerned about the lack of a national voice representing their children, Children with Disability Australia has a membership of nearly 5,000, with 70 per cent representing families and 30 per cent representing organisations.

“Children with Disability Australia brings together the views of families on issues including early childhood development, social inclusion, education, equipment and discussions around lifelong planning,” Mr Shorten said.

“Parents are the ones who know their child’s needs best and it is important that they are listened to.

“CDA is supporting children not only by educating policy-makers and informing the public about the rights of children but also by celebrating the successes and achievements of children with disability.

“The Rudd Government has demonstrated its commitment to this organisation and its goals through the funding announced today, and I am very proud to be able to join with Children with Disability Australia in celebrating the work the organisation does.”