People with Disability Australia

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People with Disability Australia
A blue square with PWDA in white text in the middle of the square. People with Disability Australia in large text next to it in blue and green.
MottoA voice of our own
PurposePeak disability rights and advocacy organisation
Region served
Dr. David Abello

People with Disability Australia Inc (PWDA) is a national Australian disability rights and advocacy organisation founded in 1981 and based in Redfern, New South Wales. The current president of PWDA is Dr. David Abello.[1]

PWDA is a Disabled Persons Organisation, with an elected board of people with disability, and a national membership of people with disability. PWDA is one of the funded national disability representative organisations for people with disability in Australia.[2]

History and mission[edit]

PWDA was founded in 1981, the International Year of Disabled Persons to provide people with disabilities a voice of their own. In 2002, PWDA’s membership approved a repositioning of PWDA as a national disability rights and advocacy organisation. The organisation’s name was changed from "People with Disability New South Wales" to "People with Disability Australia"[3] to reflect this new positioning on 2 May 2003.[4] The principal reasons for the change were to position PWDA to undertake work on national policy issues.[3]

Between 2003-2006 PWDA played a valuable role in the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), organising national consultations and consultations with members, making submissions, hosting seminars, and supporting delegates to attend sessions of the UN Ad Hoc Committee. Through this work PWDA gained Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.[5]

From 2009 onwards, PWDA continues to play an ongoing role in monitoring the implementation of the CRPD in Australia, and is part of the NGO CRPD Shadow Report Project Group.[6] Along with the organization's national work, PWDA has undertaken international development work in the Pacific since 2004.[7] This non-profit, non governmental peak organisation has been described as "the only national, cross-disability organisation representing the interests of people with all kinds of disability" (which includes mental illness).[8]

Craig Wallace, a former president of PWDA,[9] was commended in Parliament on the occasion of his resignation in June 2016. Jenny Macklin MP credited Wallace for the organization's contribution to he development of a National Disability Insurance Scheme and for elevating "PWDA to the status of a leading disability advocacy body".[10]


PWDA provides the following services:[11]

  • Rights-related information, advice and referral services for people with disability and their associates
  • Short-term individual and group advocacy assistance to people with disability and their associates
  • Advocacy for reform around systemic issues that adversely affect people with disability and their associates
  • Representation of the sector of interest constituted by people with disability and their associates to government, industry and the non-government sector
  • Coordination of the sector of interest constituted by people with disability and their associates
  • Disability rights-related research and development around issues of concern to people with disability and their associates
  • Disability rights-related training and education for people with disability and their associates, service providers, government and the public.This work is supported in part by grants of financial assistance from both the State and Commonwealth Governments.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ PWDA Board and staff
  2. ^ "National disability representative organisations | Department of Social Services, Australian Government". 2016-10-10. Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  3. ^ a b "PWDA - Our History". People with Disability Australia. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Search: Organisation & business names > "People with Disability" > Details View". Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  5. ^ "List of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council as of 1 September 2016 (E/2016/INF/5)". United Nations - Economic and Social Council. p. 88. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Endorse the Shadow Report on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD". Disability Advocacy Resource Unit. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  7. ^ A sample of Asia-Pacific activity by PWDA:
  8. ^ Internship Opportunity Hosted by the People with Disability Australia (PWDA), UNSW Law, 4 February 2014
  9. ^ Budget savings should not be found at the 'expense' of Australians will disabilities, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 March 2014
  10. ^ Macklin, Jenny (July 12, 2016). "Statement on resignation of PWDA's Craig Wallace". Parliament of Australia.
  11. ^ "What We Do". Retrieved 2017-07-18.

External links[edit]