Friday, June 21, 2024

$1.6m for disability advocacy organisations

Ten organisations that provide advocacy for Queenslanders with disability are set to receive a share of $1.6 million in extra funding.

Minister for Disability Services, Charis Mullen (pictured) said the funding from the State Government will be distributed over two years in 2023-24 and 2024-25 to 10 disability advocacy organisations that support people with disability, their families and carers under the Queensland Disability Advocacy Program.

“We are strongly committed to building inclusive communities for all ages, abilities and backgrounds to make certain all Queenslanders have the opportunity to thrive,” said Minister Mullen.

“Disability advocacy is about supporting people with disability to have their voices heard and ensure they can access the services they need and are entitled to.

“Importantly, this additional funding for disability advocacy will increase the capacity of the Queensland Disability Advocacy Program to deliver services to more people.

“This will not only benefit people with disability, but their families and carers as well.

“It supports people to know their rights, navigate the services they need, make informed decisions and address unfair treatment, violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation that people with disability may have experienced.”

The new funds are in addition to the existing $4 million annual investment in the Queensland Disability Advocacy Program.

The program delivers statewide advocacy services to help people understand their rights, navigate services, address discrimination, and build their capacity for self-advocacy and through legal matters.

It also provides specialist disability advocacy for children and young people, First Nations peoples and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

In addition, the program operates a central disability advocacy hub known as Pathways, run by Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion, which provides statewide centralised phone advice and referral services.

The Government says it will consider longer term disability advocacy needs, along with the Commonwealth and other state and territory governments as part of a comprehensive response to the Disability Royal Commission and the NDIS Review.

The 10 organisations that will share in the funding are:

  • Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion
  • AMPARO Advocacy Inc.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland
  • Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia
  • Capricorn Citizen Advocacy
  • Mackay Advocacy
  • People with Disability Australia
  • Rights In Action
  • Speaking Up For You
  • The Advocacy and Support Centre (TASC) National Limited.

“Independent disability advocacy is essential to the implementation of recommendations from the Disability Royal Commission and NDIS Review,” said Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion CEO, Matilda Alexander.

“Disability advocates work alongside people facing disadvantage to promote, protect, and defend human rights, interests, and wellbeing.

“Throughout Queensland we are making a more accessible, safe and inclusive society where everyone can live and thrive.

“This additional money is a vital first step towards meeting the increasing demand for our services in Queensland.

“We look forward to working with the new Minister to address all the recommendations in these important reports. This new funding is a great start towards this goal,” she said.

For more information visit www.qld.gov.au/disability/legal-and-rights/advocacy.

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