All of the current staff and management committee members of the DRC are individuals with a disability.
The staff members are Anthony Giles-Peters (lead advocate), Leigh Gerner and Katrina Newman. They do the work of advocating on behalf of clients. Anthony and Leigh are the disability advocates for all of Melbourne except for the outer South-East region. Katrina is disability advocate for the outer South-East region (which includes the regions of Casey, Cardinia, Frankston, Kingston and the Mornington Peninsula). All of the staff members work part-time. Office hours for the head office in the city are 11am-5pm Tuesday - Friday (closed Monday). Office hours for the Dandenong office, where Katrina is based, are 9:30am - 4:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
The Management Committee
The Management Committee members for 2014 are Michelle de Hommel (Chair), Graham Smith (Deputy Chair), Pradeep Hewavitharana (Treasurer), Shaunagh Stevens (Secretary), Barbara Watson (Assistant Secretary), Frank Hall-Bentick, (see Frank Hall-Bentick's Home Page), Martin Grillo, Sharon King Harris, Dan Davidson, Margaret Stevens, Emilio Savle, Norma Seip, and Anthony Giles-Peters (Staff representative). There can be up to twelve on the Management Committee (not including the staff representative), and any person with a disability is eligible to nominate for a position on the Committee. Committee meetings are held once per month, usually on the last Tuesday of the month (Ross House even months, Dandenong odd months), 11.30am-2.30pm, with lunch provided. The DRC provides attendant care to assist during the meetings and, on request, reasonable costs of transport will be reimbursed.
Disability Action in the Southeast
Disability Action Southeast (DAS) is a group of people with disabilities from the outer South-East who further the systemic work of the DRC in that area by highlighting local issues which are important to people with disabilities in the region, and campaigning for change. Disability Action Southeast has its own DAS web page.
Membership of the DRC
Membership of the DRC is open to any individual or group. There in no membership fee. Persons with a disability over 18 years are eligible to be voting members, and there are associate membership categories for persons with a disability under 18 years, non-disabled persons, and groups. A membership form is available to be downloaded (Word document).
DonationsIf you would like to support the work of the DRC please contact us to inquire about how to make a donation. Donations of $2.00 or more are Tax Deductible.
The latest version of the DRC Pamphlet (Word document) is available here to be downloaded, and printed copies can be provided on request. Spread the word!
Constitution, and Policies & ProceduresThe Constitution (Word document) was adopted by the members of the DRC in November 2007. The Policies & Procedures (Word document) were adopted by the Management Committeee in September 2005.
History of the DRC
From 1981 until 1997, DRC was funded to provide information and advocacy services to Victorians with disabilities. Over this time, DRC was instrumental in leading many developments in the disability rights area. From 1997 to 2001, volunteers represented DRC in many areas of endeavour.
In 1997, DRC joined together with three other Victorian Disability Advocacy organisations, Action for Community Living (ACL), the Physical Disability Council of Victoria (PDCV) and the Regional Victorian Rural Disability Association (RVRDA) to form Disability Rights Victoria - physical and multiple (DRV). The DRV consortium was funded by Victorian Disability Services, to provide a statewide individual advocacy service for Victorians with physical and multiple disabilities.
In 2001, DRC was funded through DRV to provide 22 hours/week of individual advocacy for adults with physical and multiple disabilities in the metropolitan area. Recently, the target population for this advocacy was altered so as to include adults with all disabilities.
In 2004, DRC received recurrent funding to establish a part time, innovative individual advocacy service (with limited systemic components) for adults with disabilities in the outer south eastern growth corridor of Melbourne, and the DRC opened a second office in Dandenong to provide this service.
See separate page for a fuller history of the DRC (Word Document), written by Frank Hall-Bentick in November 2011.
In Memoriam: Anne McDonald
The DRC committee recognizes the life work of Anne McDonald (11 January 1961─22 October 2010) as a founding member of the DRC, and we applaud her activities in the cause for the rights of people with disabilities.
Our aimTo ensure that all Victorians with disabilities enjoy the same rights & life opportunities as other members of society.
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