Congratulations to the 2012-14 Disability Reference Group who were today finalists for the "Excellence in Improving Participation Award" at the 2014 Victorian Disability Sector Awards. The Commission would like to thank the DRG for their tireless work in addressing issues of systemic discrimination for people with disabilities and congratulate them on their nomination.
This Award recognises an individual or team making a significant contribution to improving social participation of, and accessibility for people with disability.
Today also marked a special moment for the DRG, as it farewelled its outgoing members, who are retiring after their current two-year term, and offered a warm welcome to the incoming members, an accomplished cohort who represent a diversity of perspectives and lived experiences.
Commissioner Kate Jenkins said the DRG has made a very important contribution over the past two years in effecting change for people with disabilities and is a highly engaged committee that is of significant importance to the Commission.
The 2012-14 DRG made significant contributions to several public policy areas, including providing the main impetus for the Commission's Held back: the experiences of children with disabilities in Victorian Schools report and have overseen its implementation.
"As well as identifying key areas of research and policy work, the group has influenced submissions made by the Commission, and supported a great deal of our work," Ms Jenkins said.
The 2012-14 DRG members are: Trevor Carroll, Peter Adams, Denise Allen, Frank Hall-Bentick, Christian Astourian, Thomas Banks, Andrew Barrett, John Baxter, Rachel Carling-Jenkins, Tyrell Heathcote, Pradeep Hewavitharana, Suzanne Lau-Gooey, Kate Lawson, Kathleen Murray, Susan Stork-Finlay, Henrique Van Dunem, Sophie Cole and Jody Saxton-Barney.
New members for the 2014-16 DRG include: Julie Debeljak, Dorothy Docherty, Kirrily Howard, Sam Jackson, Liz Kelly, Dennisse Luna, Liz Wright, Ramas Rentalis.
The Commission looks forward to working with the new group in 2014-16.