NEDA Knows

A Monthly Bulletin

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance
Issue 17
A Note from our CEO
Hello all,
As of 4 August 2020, Australia has experienced an average of 500 to 600 COVID 19 cases per day, with most of the cases driven by numbers in Victoria. Although we are expecting those numbers to fall in the coming days, we still have a long way to go.
We have a long way to go to defeat this pandemic, but also to bridge the gap with people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. It is no secret that the massive number of cases in Victoria, Australia’s most diverse state, have highlighted a shocking gap in our engagement with the CALD community.
Certainly, more could have been done to engage people from CALD communities before the second wave escalated. There have even been reports of many communities not getting the right information and others having difficulties in understanding public health materials or accessing their services.
As the Victorian Government “scrambled to put gaps in its COVID 19 messaging”, Ethnic community groups took it upon themselves to warn people from non-English speaking backgrounds about the dangers of the coronavirus, with reports of information sheets translated into 10 different languages within 24 hours.
This pandemic has been an eye-opener for us, about why it is important for the Government to invest in different platforms to bridge the gap with our people. Translating fact sheets in different languages is simply not working.
From my experience working with CALD communities, I believe we should use platforms such as community radio stations, YouTube, WhatsApp or social media, to better reach the CALD audience.

The risk is that we can over rely on technology based processes that are not accessible to all. We need varied engagement options, to ensure that all people have access to information.
On the good news front, the Prime Minister’s announcement of the new pandemic leave was a welcome relief for many, and we wish to thank him for making it available to those who are not permanent residents or citizens of Australia.
At NEDA, we have recently kicked off work on the NDIS National Community Connectors Program (NCCP). I wish to personally thank all the organisations who have applied to be part of the project – we will be in touch soon to let you know the outcome of your application.
To all our readers - keep an eye on our social media accounts as you will be hearing more on the NCCP in the coming weeks and months.
Lastly, I would like to pay a special tribute to Sue Salthouse, who was a very valued member of the disability community. Sue’s legacy will live on and we will forever be grateful for her endless commitment to improve the lives of people with disabilities,

Sue was a real mover and shaker, she had real gravitas in the disability space. She was responsible for bettering the lives of people who live with disability via her advocacy.

I will miss her sage advice, and I am thankful and lucky to have been privy to her knowledge. 11I will miss my friend.
Thank you all and stay safe.
Dwyane Cranfield

COVID 19 Pandemic and the need to remove critical gaps for people with disability

As the Victorian COVID-19 situation worsens and ‘a state of disaster’ is declared, people with disability need to be a primary focus of government. We have already seen infections in group homes for people with disability, and significant impacts on their access to services and children’s right to education.

As the situation in the aged care system shows, it is vital that the Commonwealth and states work together to eliminate critical gaps for people with disability during the pandemic.

We have joined other disability organisations academics as a concerned group, to  call on the Victorian Government, the Australian Government and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to make an urgent plan to ensure no person with disability is left behind.

To read our full list of asks, please visit our website and read our media release.
COVID 19 - Wearing masks or face coverings
Photo source : Department of Health and Human Services Victoria (left) and ABC News (right)

If you live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire you HAVE to wear a face covering when leaving home. People living in other states are also being encouraged to wear masks, as a protective measure.

There are some exceptions to wearing a mask. Two such exceptions are:

  • A person who is affected by a relevant condition - including problems with their medical conditions, breathing, a serious condition affecting the face, a disability or a mental health condition.
  • Persons who are Deaf or hard of hearing and those communicating with them, but only temporarily when the ability to see the mouth or facial expressions is essential for communication and where a distance of 1.5 metres can be maintained (under all other circumstances, people who are Deaf or hard of hearing and those communicating with them are subject to the same requirements to wear masks as the broader community)

The factsheets published by the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria provide details on face masks. 

The Department of Health has a very comprehensive COVID 19 page for people with disability. You can view it here.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in your preferred language, there are a couple of websites you can visit. We have listed them all on our website.

Our Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has released a schedule of public hearings for the rest of the year.
The Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC said the Royal Commission's program of work has been significantly affected by the unprecedented and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
'Our hearings planned for the rest of the year will be conducted in a COVID safe way, including utilising video conferencing,' said the Chair.

The next hearing in Sydney from 18- 21 August, will investigate the experiences of people with disability during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. You can read more in a media release here. 
Disability Gateway Website
Give your feedback!

The Australian Government wants to hear from you. Visit the new pilot Disability Gateway website and provide feedback on your experience with the service.

You can help improve the service by visiting
Our Projects and Policy Officer, Dominic Golding attended a meeting at the Department of Social Services, to talk about the new (pilot) Disability Gateway Website. 
Disability Royal Commission Multilingual resources
We have recently published factsheets to help you, your family, friends and community know more about the Disability Royal Commission.

Information is available in 12 languages, in PDF format.

To download a factsheet in your preferred language, simply visit our website and choose your preferred language.

You will also find informative videos on the Royal Commission in there.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us, by sending an email to
National Community Connectors Program (NCCP)

Thank you to all those who have sent an application to be part of the Community Connectors Program. NEDA and the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) will be working with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to implement a component of this national outreach program.

FECCA and NEDA are among the organisations selected to roll out the new program, focusing on connecting people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

We are hopeful that through this program, we can engage and encourage CALD Australians with disability to apply for and seek support through the NDIS.

We will soon have more information on this program, so keep an eye on our social media pages.

NCCP - We are looking for a Project Assistant

We are looking for an experienced Project Assistant to support our Project Manager to deliver the NCCP - a national program aimed at supporting people with disability from migrant and refugee backgrounds to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

This dynamic role would suit a well organised, strong project focused individual who is efficient, has an eye for detail and enjoys managing multiple priorities, utilising sound judgement and initiative.

For more information and to apply for this role, click here.

Applications close COB 13 August 2020. 

Anne Marie Smith's case
Photo source: The Guardian/ SA Police

A carer for the Adelaide woman Ann Marie Smith was  charged with manslaughter over the 54-year-old’s death on the 6th of August 2020.

Anne Marie Smith, who suffered from cerebral palsy, died in hospital in April from septic shock, multiple organ failure, severe pressure sores and malnourishment earlier this year.

The detective overseeing the case said it was alleged she died of serious criminal neglect and her death was preventable.

He said police had conducted a comprehensive investigation looking at all aspects of her care.

Tribute to Sue Salthouse
Sue Salthouse will always be remembered as a passionate advocate for people with disabilities and for her service to the community.
After a horse-riding accident at 45, Sue experienced the inequalities faced by people with disabilities and became one of the most notable voices in the sector.
She has worked tirelessly over almost 3 decades, to enhance the lives of people, especially women with disabilities.
Sue’s legacy, compassion and advocacy will live on and “there's lots of people who will never know her but are better off because of her.”

Thank you Sue – you will be sorely missed.
New Team Member at NEDA

Oki Widodo joined our team in July 2020, to work on the National Community Connectors Program as "Finance Officer."

Oki is an accountant, with more than 15 years of experience in Australia. He holds a CPA qualification and has extensive working experience as a senior accountant in a public accounting practice after migrating to Australia from Indonesia in 2004. 

Welcome to the team, Oki. We love your enthusiasm, positive attitude and professionalism!

In other news - Positive Partnerships Survey
One of our partners, "Positive Partnerships" is currently seeking input from parents and carers of children with diverse learning needs to inform us as to how they could support your needs with understanding the Australian Disability Standards for Education (DSE).

On behalf of the Australian Government, Positive Partnerships will develop online content about the DSE, particularly for:
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
• culturally and linguistically diverse communties
• those who have experienced disadvantage
• those people who prefer (or find it helpful) to access information using Easy English.


This content may include translation of the DSE Summary and Fact Sheets into Easy English and multiple other languages, including Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander languages.

The information and feedback shared in the survey will help inform more inclusive and supportive approaches to children on the autism spectrum more broadly.

To have your say, click the link here to complete the survey

Congratulations Dom!
Our Policy and Projects Officer, Dominic Golding has recently accepted an offer to conduct PhD research at the University of Notre Dame, Australia.

Dominic's research will examine Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) people with disability, their migration journey and the National Disability Strategy as a policy of social inclusion.

Well done Dom! We are all very proud of you and your endless commitment to improve the lives of CALD people with disability. 
National Awards for Disability Leadership
Nominations are open for The National Awards For Disability Leadership 2020!

In 2020, work undertaken to support our community through the pandemic, bushfires and other major disasters is being paid particular attention.

There are seven categories; The Arts, Change Making, Rights Activism, Innovation, Social Impact, Inclusion, and...
The Lesley Hall Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Nominations for 2020 open on 10 June and close at midday on Friday 16 October.

More information here:
Did you Know? 

A lack of coordination with Victoria’s multicultural expertise may have hampered COVID-19 response.

To know more, read this media release by our friends at the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV).

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The National Ethnic Disability Alliance is funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS)

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