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All of the current staff and management committee members of the DRC are individuals with a disability.

The Staff

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).


If 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.

DRC Pamphlet

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 & Procedures

The 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 196122 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 aim

To ensure that all Victorians with disabilities enjoy the same rights & life opportunities as other members of society.

DRC Objectives

  • To assist persons with disabilities to achieve both individually and collectively full access to their human rights which are referred to in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the General Assembly on 13 December 2006, articles 1 to 30.
  • To promote the rights of persons with disabilities, both individually and collectively.
  • To uphold the principles of self help.
  • To act as a model of consumer participation.
  • To provide resources for, advise, participate in and assist self-help consumer organisations whose purpose include the advancement of persons with disabilities.
  • To communicate and liaise with other organisations in Australia and overseas whose functions include the advancement of persons with disabilities.
  • To educate and raise the consciousness of persons with disabilities of their rights as individuals in society and in particular to make them and the community aware of their oppression when classified as "disabled".
  • To educate the community about the rights and needs of persons with disabilities.
  • To develop a library and an information exchange centre in particular relating to persons with disabilities for use by all members of the community.
  • To encourage the development of innovative projects related to persons with disabilities and develop and research policies affecting persons with disabilities.
  • To examine, monitor and evaluate existing services and facilities of whatever nature for persons with disabilities.
  • To foster the development of persons' with disabilities independence, integration and participation within the community, and in particular their participation in relation to information exchange, community education and advocacy.
  • To foster the development of persons' with disabilities rights to develop to their full potential, free from all forms of discrimination and right to contribute to the community to the full extent of their capacity and satisfaction.
  • To increase the awareness and understanding by Government of the economic, social and educational needs of persons with disabilities and for such purpose to prepare or join in submissions to governments or instrumentalities of governments.


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