NEDA Knows

A Monthly Bulletin

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance
Issue 20 - January 2021
A Note from our CEO
Dear Readers,
I wish you all a very Happy New Year! As we embark on 2021, I want to take the time to reflect on 2020, a year which has been most extraordinary for NEDA.
In the first half of 2020, Australia made global headlines due to the ravaging bushfires which destroyed large parts of our country. We had barely recovered from this disaster before a global pandemic took over.
For NEDA, COVID 19 completely changed the way we work. It hampered our engagement processes and the focus of our messaging moved from general advocacy messaging for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people with disabilites to safety and precautionary messages.
COVID-19 has taught us many lessons, including:
1. How do we engage communities that are fearful of government decisions and/or are isolated?
2. How do we consult and engage with people with disabilities (including those with intellectual disabilities) to guide COVID-19 related decisions?
Many of these issues will continue to be an ongoing body of work for us, as we will start navigating a world post COVID-19.

The National Community Connectors Program  (NCCP) was an important piece of work for us last year. This 11-month-old project has been developed to help people from CALD backgrounds access the NDIS.  NEDA has hired more than 40 community connectors through our ten subcontracted organisations in the ACT, NSW and WA.

Despite it being early stages of the project, our connectors have already reached out to more than 4000 individuals to raise awareness on the NDIS.

Last year, we also developed resources on the Disability Royal Commission in different languages and animated videos, to facilitate the engagement of our community. We used our data sets to help target those communities who are at most need and at greatest risk.  I urge you all to have look at those resources on the NEDA website.

In 2020, we strengthened our collaboration with our DPOA counterparts: First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN), Women with Disability Australia (WWDA), People with Disability Australia (PWDA) and other partner organisations, such as the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA), Children with Disability Australia (CYDA), and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), to name a few.

We also continued work on the Embrace project, which is a collaboration between Mental Health Australia, NEDA and FECCA.

All this work has resulted in an ever-expanding team at the NEDA office. To learn more about our team members, please visit the staff page on our website. 

I want to thank them all personally for their hard work, their resilience and their unfaltering commitment to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

A big thank you to all of you, our NEDA Knows readers, our customers, our collaborators and followers for your constant support and encouragement in such tiring times.

Kind Regards,
Dwayne Cranfield

Our Royal Commission

The Disability Royal Commission’s latest issues paper on Promoting Inclusion is asking the public to share their views about what an inclusive society looks like, the barriers to inclusion, how we can become a more inclusive society, and how inclusion might prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The issues paper asks 9 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses.  The paper is available in Easy Read, PDF and DOCX.

For more information, go to this page

End Segregation Submission
The everyday reality for many people with disability is one of inequality and discrimination. Many of us are separated from the rest of the community by law, policy and practice frameworks that enable ‘special’ segregated arrangements.

Eight disability representative and advocacy organisations have made a joint submission to the Disability Royal Commission calling for an end to the segregation of people with disability in schools, workplaces and housing. The submission has now been endorsed by over 50 organisations and 150 individuals.

You can read our submission
National Community Connectors Program (NCCP)
Since the roll out of the National Community Connector Program (NCCP) in August last year, NEDA has hired more than 40 Connectors through our ten subcontracted organisations in ACT, NSW and WA.

Despite it being early stages of the project, our Connectors have already reached out to more than 4000 individuals to raise awareness on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and break down attitudinal barriers to disabilities, often prevalent in multicultural communities.

The NCCP has also assisted more than 250 individuals to access the NDIS and 21 people with disability from a CALD background have been successful in gaining access to the scheme till date.

We have developed fact sheets on the NCCP in more than 25 languages. Visit our webpage to download the fact sheets in your preferred langauge.

You can also provide feedback on the program in your own language. Visit our webpage to know more. 

If you have any questions or need any further information on the program, please get in touch with  our NCCP team members: 

- Neha Prakash -
- Rikke Brøchner Andersen -

NCCP Online Training Sessions

Role play between interpreters and Community Connectors. All the numbers above have been made up.
On 10 December 2020, the National Community Connector Program (NCCP) team hosted an online training session for all CALD Community Connectors across Australia.

The theme of the training was "how to use interpreters".

Glenn Flanagan from Companion House in Canberra led the session and engaged in interactive role play, with the help of two interpreters and two volunteers. 

Community Connectors from various organisations across Australia attended the session.
In addition to this training, NEDA has also facilitated multiple training sessions for all CALD Community Connectors via Zoom.

Topics covered during the training sessions include:

- What is the Social Model of Disability vs the Medical Model of Disability?
- What is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?
- What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and who is eligible to access the scheme?
- What is the role of the Community Connector?
- How to best assist and support people with disability who seek to gain access to the NDIS?
- How to assist existing NDIS participants who need more support in using their plans?

Nomination - Dominic Golding

We are delighted to share that our Projects and Policy Officer, Dominic Golding has been appointed a Board Member of Advocacy for Inclusion (AFI.)

AFI provides independent individual, self and systemic advocacy for people with disabilities.

“As a new resident of ACT, my interest lies in the issues faced by people with disabilities in the Capital Territory. I see my participation on the board as an opportunity to learn governance skills and management knowledge of a not-for-profit organisation that does both individual advocacy and systemic advocacy. I also hope to learn more about disability service provision in the ACT, as I am also currently a recipient of the NDIS plan and of course a user/consumer of disability supports in the territory," says Dominic Golding.

Congratulations Dom and we wish you all the best in this new role.

Nomination - Margherita Coppolino

We are very proud that our President, Margherita Coppolino was appointed to the ILGA Oceania Disability Sub Committee Chair role late last year.

ILGA Oceania is a branch of ILGA World, a 42-year-old United Nations NGO advocating for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and Asexual (LGBTIQA) rights.

ILGA Oceania is the first ILGA World region to amend their constitution to introduce and include a Disability Sub Committee Chair role.

An ILGA Oceania Disability Network is in the process of being developed and will support the capacity building of  LGBTIQA people with disability. 

The network will also develop relationships with disability and lgbtiq organisations to co design policies that impact the lives of LGBTIQA people with disability.
Australian Multicultural Ambassador Program 
Applications for the Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) Multicultural Program are now open.

Applications are now open to “all members of the community who represent one Australia's many multicultural communities and are passionate about better mental health outcomes, increased awareness and reduced stigma around mental health issues in Australia's CALD communities.” 

To apply or to know more, click here.
Community Champions Needed!
As culturally and linguistically diverse communities often experience unique health care inequities, it is important that programs are targeted and culturally appropriate.
By engaging and working in close partnership with communities and other key services, we are able to implement a range of health promotion strategies that respect cultural values while building community capacity and resilience while reducing the impact of mental ill health.

This approach is also based on the principle that understanding the impact of culture and language on health is central to improving health literacy and community access to health services.

The Embrace Project is seeking to employ bicultural workers from Arabic, Farsi, Dari and Mandarin-speaking communities to work on a sessional basis to focus on mental health issues and strategies directly with these communities.

This initiative aims to increase community awareness and understanding of mental health and illness, as well as increase access to mental health support and services.

To apply for this opportunity, please email
United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council Hearing
Image source:

Australia’s human rights record faced scrutiny on Wednesday 20 January 2021, at a United Nations hearing, with a focus placed on the inequalities faced by Indigenous Australians.

Countries questioned Australia at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, as part of a universal periodic review that takes place every five years.

The hearing raised concerns, ranging from the lack of progress towards reducing rates of Indigenous incarceration, to Australia's use of immigration detention facilities. 

To know more, visit this page from the Australian Human Rights Commission's website. 

New Team Member at NEDA

Late last year, we welcomed a new team member at NEDA. 

Lingyun Wu works on the linkages and capacity building (ILC) project, facilitating NDIS workshops for interpreters and multicultural organisations across Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Lingyun is a culturally sensitive social worker with considerable experience working in the disability, domestic violence, aged care and community services sectors, mainly in Queensland.

Lingyun holds a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Film Production) from Sichuan Normal University and a Master of Social Work from Queensland University of Technology.

Before coming to Australia, Lingyun has worked for different media organisations in China as a journalist and as a film production assistant.  
Welcome to the team Lingyun!

Women with disability account for 20% of the Australian female population, and are affected by domestic abuse and violence at a higher rate than other women. They also wait longer before reaching out for support.

When they do reach out, our friends at 
1800RESPECT are here to help.

The confidential telephone and online counselling service is available to everyone living in Australia, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit In an emergency call 000.
Australia Day 
Australia Day is celebrated on January 26th each year.

On Australia Day, we celebrate all the things we love about Australia. 

Australia is one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world. Since 1949, we have welcomed over five million new citizens to our shores. 

Australia Day is also the most popular day for people to attend a citizenship ceremony, with 100,000 people becoming Australian citizens on our national day in the past six years.

For those who have chosen to make Australia their new home, Australia Day is a time of joy and celebration. 

However, we are also sensitive to the history of our Indigenous brothers and sisters, to the hardships and injustices they faced as their many Indigenous nations were colonised by Great Britain.

At this time, we  would like to pay our respects to our Indigenous friends and acknowledge the hardships and injustices they have faced and continue to face.   
Did you Know? 
Image courtesy: Harmony Alliance

Thanks for Subscribing

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please email us at We would love to hear from you!

Feel free to visit our website to know more about us and the work we do. 
Copyright © NEDA 2021
PH: +612 62626867; POST: PO Box 971, Civic Square, ACT, Australia 2608
Web:  Email:
The National Ethnic Disability Alliance is funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS)

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
NEDA · Level 2, 180 London Circuit · Canberra ACT 2601. · Canberra, ACT 2601 · Australia

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp