Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) has been funded for three years by the Department of Social Services (DSS) to establish a National Centre for Disability Advocacy. The Centre aims to improve access to and the quality of individual advocacy services as part of the Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031.
It will do this by executing three main functions:
- Capacity building
- Identifying and addressing unmet demand and need
- Identifying and elevating systemic advocacy issues
The priorities and activities of the Centre are being designed in close consultation with the disability advocacy sector and other relevant stakeholders such as the Older Persons Advocacy Network, the state-based Councils of Social Service and other relevant not-for-profit organisations.
As part of the commitment to design the Centre in collaboration with the advocacy sector, 14 consultation sessions were held around Australia and online between October 2022 and February 2023. Face-to-face consultations were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane and Darwin with 140 participants from across the disability advocacy sector attending. These consultations provided an opportunity for the Centre to hear directly from advocates and managers about how the Centre could best support their work.
This report outlines feedback from the consultation process and gives an insight from the sector around the Centre’s national purpose to improve access to and quality of individual advocacy services.