Close this search box.
News Policy nonprofit Disability Latest News

Charities advocating disability and inclusion rights welcome Australia’s new development policy

2 min read

CBM Australia and the Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) warmly welcome the beginning of a new era of Australian support for the inclusion and rights of people with disabilities, with the announcement of a new policy to guide Australia’s development program.

Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy, announced in an opening address to the Australasian Aid Conference, the development of a new disability inclusion and rights strategy to guide Australia’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).

The Minister highlighted that disability inclusion must be at the heart of Australia’s development program and that Australia will seek to work more with local organisations.

CBM Australia, the ADDC, Organisations of People with Disabilities (OPDs) and other stakeholders in Australia and around our region have consistently called for the development of a new disability inclusion and rights strategy to guide development efforts for more than a year.

This news, coming in the lead-up to the International Day of People with Disabilities on 3 December, means those calls have been heeded.

“Australia’s historic leadership on disability rights and inclusion in our development program has had a direct and tangible impact on many thousands of people’s lives,” said CBM Australia’s CEO, Jane Edge.

“Advocating for a new strategy for disability inclusion in the aid program has been a critical feature of CBM and ADDC’s communication with the government over the past two years.”

Related: CBM’s Miracles Day: Making miracles with the gift of sight

Kerryn Clarke, Executive Officer of ADDC shared that they are keen to work closely with Government to ensure that the new strategy is informed by, and led by, people with lived experience of disability, OPDs and local partners.

“The key to a successful strategy that builds on the foundations of Australian leadership in disability inclusion will be significant and substantive consultations with the representative organisations of those most affected by the cycle of poverty and disability.”

Australia’s international leadership on disability inclusion and rights is long-standing. In 2009, Australia became the first donor country to have a standalone strategy for disability-inclusive development.

This strategy was followed in 2015 by the more ambitious Development for All 2015–2020, furthering Australia’s commitment to the inclusion of people with disabilities. This provided the basis for Australia’s global leadership, along with consistent core funding of around $12.9 million per, and strong, visible international advocacy and influencing.

The announcement comes on the back of the Government’s decision to reverse the cuts and restore the core disability funding in the October Federal Budget. These announcements signal disability inclusion as a renewed priority for the aid program.

With the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic still reverberating around the region and the increasing incidence of extreme weather driven by climate change, it is those already marginalised and excluded who are feeling the effects most harshly and people with disabilities, perhaps most of all.

CBM Australia and the ADDC look forward to working with the Government, and with Organisations of People with Disability in Australia to develop an ambitious and progressive strategy with rights and inclusion at its heart.

Website | + posts

Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Stories

Next Up