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Shepparton and Bendigo residents with disability and supporters invited to Disability Royal Commission information sessions, Disability Matters!

Media release


Shepparton and Bendigo residents interested in sharing their stories and ideas for change with the Disability Royal Commission can find out about the free supports available at events in September 2022.

Disability Matters Shepparton! will take place on Thursday 8 September 2022 at the North Shepparton Community and Learning Centre, 10-14 Parkside Drive, from 12pm to 1.30pm.

Disability Matters Bendigo! will take place on Friday 9 September 2022 at the Strathdale Community Centre hall, 155 Crook St, Strathdale, from 12pm to 1.30pm.

The information sessions are being hosted by Your Story Disability Legal Support (Your Story), Relationships Australia Victoria, Drummond Street Services, Rights Information and Advocacy Centre (RIAC), and Leadership Plus.

Your Story lawyer Michelle Bowler said these services are available to support Bendigo residents with disability, as well as their families, friends, carers, advocates and supporters, to safely share their stories with the Disability Royal Commission.

“The Royal Commission is taking submissions until 31 December as it investigates the mistreatment of people with disability in all contexts and settings,” said Ms Bowler.

“It’s important that the Royal Commission hears from people with lived experience, including those in regional areas, so that its recommendations to government properly reflect their needs and priorities.

“Your Story is a free national service that gives independent legal advice and support to anyone considering taking part in the Disability Royal Commission.”

RIAC and Leadership Plus provide free advocacy support for Victorians to access and be heard in the Disability Royal Commission.

“We know that people with disability often face challenges such as exclusion from school, difficulties accessing services and the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and a lack of support and discrimination in the workplace,” said RIAC Disability Royal Commission advocate Rusi Varani.

“The Royal Commission is a chance to shed light on the systemic issues that people with disability face, and for those who’ve been mistreated to share their stories and be respectfully listened to.”

Simon Judd-Mole from Leadership Plus explained how an advocate can help.

“An advocate can help you tell your story, protect your rights and access other supports,” he said. “They can also support you to make a submission, which can be in any language or format.”

Relationships Australia Victoria and Drummond Street Services provide free and confidential counselling and support to people with disability who’ve been mistreated, and anyone affected by the Disability Royal Commission.

“We know it can be difficult to relive traumatic experiences,” said Jayne Stuart, a senior clinician at Relationships Australia Victoria.

“But we also hear from people that it can be empowering and healing to share their story. If you do decide to take that step, then know that there is a lot of free support available.”

Madeline Lawson from Drummond Street Services encouraged anyone interested in finding out more to attend the information sessions.

“There will be demonstrations on how to share your story, onsite support, the opportunity to book follow up appointments, and light refreshments,” she said.

“We invite residents to come along to find out more about the Disability Royal Commission and the free supports available to them.”

For more information and to register, visit the Eventbrite pages for Shepparton and Bendigo or contact Michelle Bowler at (03) 9606 5219 or email [email protected].

End of release

Media contact: Kimberley Vlasic, Senior Communications Advisor, Your Story Disability Legal Support, 0407 957 655, [email protected] 

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