e-Bulletin 09/20, 28 May 2020

In this issue:

Message from the Chair

Dear Members and Colleagues,
What can we do as individuals to reduce the dreadful toll of domestic and family violence (DFV) in our communities? We are being told that the strains of our isolation are causing an escalation in incidents of DFV. However, irrespective of the circumstances in which we are living – loss of jobs, financial stress, overcrowded houses, home schooling, we also know there is #noexcuseforabuse. OurWatch, the organisation that is the national leader in fostering primary prevention of DFV launched a new campaign this week. It is worth a look.
In today’s e-Bulletin, I would like to honour the lives of those women and a child whose deaths we have learnt about this week. They may not be the only ones. We send our condolences to the people who cared about and valued them. All of them deserved respect and care. News reports do not tell us the details of their lives.
We honour Anne-Marie Smith, a 54 year-old woman with cerebral palsy, who died in horrific circumstances of abuse and violence in a suburban house in Adelaide. If the neighbours noticed that she had not been seen outside for many years as reported, what responsibility did they take to just pop in occasionally to say hello?
We honour Kamaljeet Sidhu, a 27 year-old woman, who was murdered on 20 May by her husband. If the neighbours heard shouting and screaming as reported, what responsibility did they take simply to knock on the door and retreat, or to call the police the first time such shouting was heard?
We honour Willow, a 4 year old toddler with Down Syndrome who died on, or about 23 May in Brisbane. A candlelight vigil was held in our homes on Wednesday 27 May. You can leave your condolence message at #HerNameIsWillow and #T21Community. If neighbours were aware that Willow’s mother had died as reported, what responsibility did they take to just call in with a casserole or some gesture of kindness that those in a bereaved household need?
At some point each of us may be a bystander to the violence around us. It is hard to intervene but we must take some responsibility to stop the violence where we see it happening.

In the ACT:
  1. If you think someone’s life is in danger call the police on ‘000’.
  2. If you think someone is experiencing DFV, ask them if they feel safe in their home or relationship, give them information on how to contact DVCS or CRCC or 1800RESPECT. Then follow up a day or so later to make sure they are OK.
Rosie Batty explains what to do simply here.
We can stand together against domestic and family violence
  1. If you suspect or believe that a child or young person is experiencing abuse or neglect, you can make a report. Information about what to do and who to contact is here
There is #noexcuseforabuse. Let us all take responsibility for stopping this pandemic of violence.
Despite our sorrow, our e-Bulletin is not one of gloom. It contains great information about positive things that are happening in our community. Please read on.
Sue Salthouse


Renting in times of COVID-19

The ACT Government has legislated to make housing more secure for tenants impacted by COVID-19. If you or a member of your household became eligible for JobSeeker or JobKeeperon or after 20 March 2020, you are an impacted household. You can get more information in this publication from The Tenants' Union ACT.

Renting survey

Better Renting would like to hear your stories about renting during these times. You can find their survey here

WWDACT self-advocacy short course

WWDACT is running an online course on self-advocacy from mid-June. Email Aji to receive the workbooks. 

COVID-19 Disability Strategy and resources

The ACT Government has released their COVID-19 Disability Strategy to ensure support for people with disability through COVID-19 and the recovery. It will be supported by a regularly updated action plan. View the strategy here.

The Government has also released resources for people with disabilities to help during COVID-19, including a Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (PCEP) tool to help you and your family. Access the resources here

WWDACT COVID-19 survey


WWDACT’s COVID-19 Survey has had an overwhelming response since it opened. Early results show that many of you are concerned about mental health, physical health, employment, and the cost of living.

Some other results so far:

  • Almost 50% of you said you did not know where to get help with accessing medical services;
  • And just under 50% of you said did not know where to get help for other matters such as legal assistance and financial assistance;
  • Many of you are concerned about whether you can continue to work from home;
  • Many of you feel that people with disabilities have not been heard by governments during responses and planning.

You can have your say and put your hand up to be interviewed about your experience by filling out the survey here.

You can find information about services to help in these tough times here.

Housing survey

The Summer Foundation has developed a housing preferences tool, which can help you think about where you want to live, who you would like to live with and the type of housing that you would like to live in. You can use this tool to tell your housing story and identify your housing goals.

The Foundation is also running A-Z of SDA: The future of disability housing is now in June. 

This event is for people with disabilities, family members, Coordinators of Supports and Allied Health professionals working with NDIS participants to gain access to SDA funding. You will learn about what SDA is, who is eligible for SDA funding, how to go about accessing SDA funding and current trends in the SDA market.

You will also have the chance to hear about Summer Housing’s stunning new apartments in Canberra. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.

Date: Wednesday 10 June 2020
Times: 10am to 12pm
Registration is essential.

For more information or help using the housing preferences tool contact Jennifer Merriman on 0456 110 160.


Stay safe during COVID-19

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service has published tips on how to remain safe in these extraordinary times. You can see them here and download an easy-to-read version here

NDIS plan survey


The University of Melbourne would like to hear about how you use your NDIS plan. What do you use it for, what barriers have you found? If you're over 18 and have 60-90 minutes to talk to Mediya, contact her at or on 0439 695 602. Respondents who complete the call will receive a $100 debit card. 

Financial hardship during COVID-19


The Consumer Action Law Centre would like to know if you are experiencing financial hardship during COVID-19. You can access their survey here

Stories will be shared with industry leaders, politicians, regulators and policy makers.

If you’re currently experiencing financial stress or trying to manage your debt, call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or visit:

More COVID-19 information

ACCAN has compiled a list of telecommunications companies and the support they are offering during COVID-19.
The Federal Government has published a fact sheet on Information for Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment recipients in response to COVID-19.
An Ideas blog post about some of the positive changes that have come about during COVID-19.


COVID-19 at the intersection of gender and disability

Women Enabled International has released a report after its recently completed global human rights survey. The survey had 100 respondents, including women, non-binary, and trans persons ages 18 to 75 with a diversity of disabilities, reported on the difficult situations in their countries and shared their pressing concerns. 

Items of Interest

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