Young Disability Leaders Join UN Conference
11 June 2014 at 11:17 am
The Australian Human Rights Commission has sent a delegation of young people with disabilities to the United Nations Conference of States Parties (COSP) in New York.
The delegation is led by Therese Sands, Co-Executive Director, People with Disability Australia and Rosemary Kayess, Chairperson, Australian Centre for Disability Law (ACDL).
“These young Australians are considered to be emerging leaders in the disability movement in Australia. This trip is a unique professional development opportunity where the delegates are provided with training and mentoring as the next generation of young disability rights advocates to represent the Australian disability sector at the UN,” Therese Sands said.
The delegation consists of:
Ace Boncato, National Ethnic Disability Alliance
Cashelle Dunn, Women With Disabilities Australia
Lauren Henley, Blind Citizens Australia
Desiree Johnston, Speak Out Tasmania / National Council on Intellectual Disability
Bonnie Millen, People with Disability Australia
Joel Wilson, Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Australia & New Zealand / People with Disabilities Western Australia
Brendan Pearce, Deafness Forum of Australia
The Human Rights Commission program provides funding for representatives of disability peak and advocacy organisations to participate in overseas conferences related to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the DisCo).
The Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, said he received dozens of applications.
“More than 30 talented young Australians applied for one of seven positions to be part of the delegation. Competition was fierce, but I believe we have chosen the most experienced and enthusiastic delegates and I am very much looking forward to seeing how they will use this experience to enhance disability advocacy in the future,” he said.
“The COSP meeting is for countries who have ratified the DisCo, and gives delegates the chance to discuss progress on implementation. The young Australians will be included in the NGO delegation.
“The delegation is also being supported by contributions from Benevolent organisations and other disability organisations and individuals.
“It’s important that we tap into the remarkable young talent in this country and invest in their future as leaders in the disability sector.”
The Commission acknowledged the support of the following organisations:
Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation
The Ian Potter Foundation
My Place (WA) Pty Ltd
National Council on Intellectual Disability
Women With Disabilities Australia