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    Disability Day of Solidarity Virtual Voice Town Hall

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    Event description

    The Australian Disability Dialogue, in partnership with First Peoples Disability Network, invites everyone from across the disability sector to an online community gathering to learn more about the Voice Referendum. This is also a day to come together in solidarity with First Nations People, because as the disability community knows all too well - nothing about us, without us

    The Uluru Statement from the Heart has extended a generous and powerful invitation to all Australians. We are embracing this invitation and asking you to join us on this journey of understanding the Voice and constitutional recognition.

    Together with special guests Elly Desmarchelier as MC, Damian Griffis, Lawson Broad and Jade Ritchie (and more to be announced soon), we will talk about why constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a Voice to Parliament is a crucial step in the walk towards reconciliation as a country. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, share their feedback and learn about ways to engage in their local communities. 

    It is an opportunity for the disability sector to come together, learn, and engage in a constructive conversation about the Voice Referendum and its potential impact.

    What: Disability Day of Solidarity - Virtual Town Hall
    When: 
     Wednesday 13 September, 1 - 2pm AEST
    Where: 
    Online, via Zoom

    Live captioning and Auslan will be available at this event.

    About the speakers:


    Elly Desmarchelier (MC)

    Elly Desmarchelier is a speaker, writer, event facilitator and disability rights advocate. As a proud disabled woman, Elly was the national spokesperson for the Defend Our NDIS campaign during the 2022 Federal election. 

    Her fierce advocacy has gained her access to rooms where decisions are made that impact the lives of Australians with disability, such as speaking at the Prime Minister’s 2022 Jobs and Skills Summit. 

    Jade Appo-Ritchie

    Jade is from the Bunda Clan of the Gooreng Gooreng Nation. Originally from Bundaberg, Jade has lived on Larrakia country for the past 10 years and is an advocate for the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Jade has extended that advocacy to be a spokesperson for the Yes campaign in the lead up to Referendum 2023.

    Jade has 20 years’ experience working on programs and initiatives to enhance Aboriginal engagement and leadership capabilities across Queensland and the Northern Territory including remote communities in Arnhem Land and Central Australia.

    Jade currently works as General Manager, Business Development with environmental services company Tellus Holdings, which she joined following a role with the National Indigenous Australians Agency, as Director of Economic Development and Major Projects

    Damian Griffis

    Damian Griffis is a descendant of the Worimi people. He is a leading advocate for the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability. 

    Damian has been a central figure in the establishment of both the Aboriginal Disability Network NSW and the national organisation representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities and their families – the First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN), where he is CEO. 

    Lawson Broad

    Lawson is the CEO of for-purpose organisation, Somerville, which provides high quality services to support people with disabilities, their families and carers. Lawson was born and raised in the Northern Territory and his experience spans the private enterprise, not for profit sector and public service sectors. 

    Prior to joining Somerville, Lawson was a senior ministerial advisor for the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and the Minister for Education; Housing; and Lands, Planning and the Environment.

    Lawson is a board member of UnitingCare Australia and is a member of Alliance 20 – the National Disability Services (NDS) National Committee on Housing and Supports, Northern Territory Council of Social Services (NTCOSS) and NDS Northern Territory Committee.

    About the First People's Disability Network (FPDN):

    The FPDN is a national organisation of and for Australia's First People's with disability, their families and communities. Their organisation is governed by First Peoples with lived experience of disability. They have been advocating for and bringing attention to the specific needs of First Peoples with disability since the 1980s. 


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