Friday, 03 June 2016 13:10

Outgoing Disability Reference Group thanked for their commitment and expertise

At a special lunch on 2 June, Kristen Hilton, Victoria's Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, thanked and farewelled the members of our outgoing Disability Reference Group (DRG), who have served a two-year term from 2014–16.

"The DRG is a highly engaged committee that is of significant importance to the Commission. As well as identifying key areas of research and policy work, you have influenced submissions made by the Commission, and supported a great deal of our work," said Ms Hilton.

Members of the outgoing Disability Reference Group, with the Commissioner and Commission staff

Photo: Members of the outgoing Disability Reference Group, with the Commissioner and Commission staff

In thanking the DRG members for their contribution, Ms Hilton noted their valuable input to Commission work, including submissions to the Taxi Services Commission on the Multi-Purpose Taxi Program, the Australian Human Rights Commission Willing to Work Inquiry and the Hazelwood Inquiry.

The DRG provided feedback on Commission projects, including the Signs for Health project, the Disability Access Bench Book and the Beyond Doubt project – which was in itself a DRG-initiated priority.

The DRG has also been integral to the development of the Commission’s Disability Action Plan, which we will be publically reporting against at the end of June 2016.

Ms Hilton acknowledged the contribution of Liz Wright, Co-Chair of the DRG, saying she had "done a magnificent job in the role and greatly assisted the Commission staff in co-ordinating the work of the DRG".

Before presenting each member with a certificate of thanks Ms Hilton said, "The DRG provides an important mentoring function, both to newer members, as well as to Commission staff, including myself. The Commission and the DRG have been able to work closely on a number of key pieces of work and utilise each others formal and informal networks to achieve this.

"There is no doubt that the Commission’s reputation as a human rights organisation is dependent upon the people who make up the Commission – and you are part of that family. I know that you have always provided sound advice and have been our eyes and ears in the community – identifying the issues that matter and being a strong, critical friend. Thank you."

Members of the outgoing Disability Reference Group

Liz Wright
Dorothy Docherty
Kirrily Hayward
John Baxter
Tyrell Heathcote
Frank Hall-Bentick
Thomas Banks
Susan Stork-Finlay
Trudy Ryall
Denise Allen
Peter Adams
Trevor Carroll
Suzanne Lau-Gooey
Pradeep Hewavitharana
Sam Jackson
Dennisse Luna
Julie Debeljak
Liz Kelly

Recruitment for the Disability Reference Group 2016–18

The Disability Reference Group was established so the Commission could hear directly from people with disability about systemic discrimination and human rights issues that impact upon people with disability. The group includes members who have direct experience of disability, parents of children with disability, service providers and advocates.

The next recruitment round for Disability Reference Group members will be in July 2016. For more information please contact Bridie Hudson, Policy and Project Officer (Monday – Thursday) on ph: (03) 9032 3491 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Mail can be sent to Level 3, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053.

This information is also available in Braille and large type upon request.

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