Launch of the WWDA Youth Network

Elizabeth Broderick (left), Carolyn Frohmader, Rayna Lamb, Senator Michaelia Cash, Cashelle Dunn, Megan Mitchell

Elizabeth Broderick (left), Carolyn Frohmader, Rayna Lamb, Senator Michaelia Cash, Cashelle Dunn, Megan Mitchell

On Thursday 30th July the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash in conjunction with WWDA officially launched the WWDA Youth Network at the Australian Human Rights Commission in Sydney. WWDA’s Youth Network has been created by and for girls with disability in Australia in recognition of the need for a stand-alone initiative that builds the capacity of girls and young women with disability to realise their human rights. The launch was attended by over 6o people and it was fabulous to see so many women and young women with disabilities, their families, friends and allies, coming together to share and celebrate the launch of this innovative network.

WWDA Youth Network Launch Photography by Margherita Coppolino and Belinda Mason.


Aunt Yvonne Weldon

Aunt Yvonne Weldon

Attendees were honoured to receive a welcome to country from Gadigal woman, Aunt Yvonne Weldon, followed by an introduction to the network from Cashelle Dunn, WWDA Vice-President and WWDA Youth Network coordinator. Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash then formally launched the network.

Senator Hon Michaelia Cash launches WWDA Youth Network

Senator Hon Michaelia Cash launches WWDA Youth Network

The Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) Youth Network goes to the heart of what we are trying to achieve, which is to empower girls and young women […] I have said before that women’s road to equality has been long and winding – the road to equality for women and girls affected by disability is sometimes a longer and harder one […] Women and girls with disability are more likely to face disadvantage when it comes to education, employment and family and reproductive rights. — Michaelia Cash

Minister Cash applauded the WWDA Youth Network for creating a platform that supports young women with a disability to participate fully in economic, social and political life.

Elizabeth Broderick, Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner

Elizabeth Broderick, Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner


Following the official launch of the network from Senator Michaelia Cash, the outgoing Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick was invited to speak on the significance of the WWDA Youth Network. In her brief speech, Ms Broderick expressed her pleasure in being invited to the launch of the network and described the WWDA Youth Network as a transformative tool for young women with disabilities.

Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell

Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell

What we are launching today, the Youth Network, will transform the ability for younger women with disabilities to connect. That really matters. — Elizabeth Broderick

Australian Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell also spoke at the launch about the importance of young people and children understanding their rights.

One of the most powerful tools is education. I am delighted to see this network has been created for young women with a disability, to educate and inform each other about their rights and freedoms, and support each other in their achievements, and the enjoyment of their rights. — Megan Mitchell


WWDA President Rayna Lamb then presented a heartfelt speech on behalf of WWDA and made particular reference to the hard work of all those involved in bringing the WWDA Youth Network to fruition, and particularly the work of Cashelle Dunn:

WWDA President, Rayna Lamb

WWDA President, Rayna Lamb

our Vice President, who seems to have boundless initiative and energy, is the founder and driving force behind the WWDA Youth Network. In the few years that Cashelle has been with WWDA, she has been a wonderful advocate for the rights and interests of young women and girls with disabilities.  I feel very privileged and lucky to be working with her in leading WWDA. Cashelle embodies and represents the future of WWDA, and of disability rights in this country. — Rayna Lamb

WWDA Youth member, Bonnie Millen, speaks to audience about the importance of leadership and education.

WWDA Youth member, Bonnie Millen.

Rayna’s speech was followed by a brief speech from Bonnie Millen, a young woman with a disability and member of WWDA. In her speech Bonnie described her vision for the network as a central front for girls and women with disability to come together, share stories and experiences, advocate and become our next generation leaders for WWDA.

Leadership doesn’t mean being at the top – but it does mean education. Educating others in individual expertise is vital to ensuring that young girls and women living with disability come to the front of the room, not fade to the back. — Bonnie Millen

Cashelle Dunn, WWDA Vice President/ WWDA Youth Network Manager

Cashelle Dunn, WWDA Vice President/ WWDA Youth Network Manager

Cashelle Dunn wrapped up the event by providing an overview of the WWDA Youth Network Website and invited attendees to share in morning tea, browse the resource table, sign the ‘Banner of Dreams’ and have their polaroid taken in front of the WWDA Youth Banner to go in the WWDA Youth Network ‘Polaroid Attendance Book’.

Welcome to the beginning. We are excited to continue growing our content, expanding our reach, and innovating new ways to empower girls and young women with disability. Let’s challenge stereotypes, increase education on fundamental human rights; and take inclusion a step forward. — Cashelle Dunn


WWDA and the WWDA Youth Network would like to thank all who attended the Launch and helped to make it such a success. In particular, thank you to Senator Michaelia Cash, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell, Rayna Lamb, Bonnie Millen, our Australian Cross Disability Alliance partners, Sara Irvine, (Sazcom), AI Media, Margherita Coppolino, Belinda Mason, and most importantly, our WWDA members.


PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE WWDA YOUTH NETWORK LAUNCH

Photography by Margherita Coppolino and Belinda Mason.

WWDA Youth Network banner

WWDA Youth Network banner

Rayna Lamb (left) and Cashelle Dunn (right)

Rayna Lamb (left) and Cashelle Dunn

WWDA Youth Network audience

WWDA Youth Network audience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June (left), Poppy (middle), Tracey (right)

June (left), Poppy (middle), Tracey (right), Aboriginal Disability Network NSW

Michaelia Cash (left) hugging Carolyn Frohmader

Michaelia Cash (left) hugging Carolyn Frohmader

Carolyn Frohmader, WWDA CEO (left) and Damien Griffis, First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) CEO.

Carolyn Frohmader and Damien Griffis (First Peoples Disability Network)

Bonnie Millen talking to Therese Sands, People with Disabilities Australia (PWDA) CEO

Bonnie Millen talking to Therese Sands (People with Disabilities Australia)

Rosemary Kayess

Rosemary Kayess

Senator Cash getting her polaroid taken for the 'Polaroid Book of Attendance'

Senator Cash getting her polaroid taken for the ‘Polaroid Book of Attendance’

Damien Griffis (Left), Donna Purcell (middle), Darren Yesberg (right)

Damien Griffis (Left), Donna Purcell (middle), Darren Yesberg (right)

Guests excitedly signing the Book of Attendance

Guests excitedly signing the Book of Attendance

 

 

Senator Michaelia Cash sits amongst audience.

Senator Michaelia Cash sits amongst audience at WWDA Youth Launch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BANNER OF DREAMS (guests wrote and drew on the banner)

Banner of Dreams with Close Ups

“WWDA Youth Network Launch … What do you dream for WWDA Youth?”

POLAROID ATTENDANCE BOOK (excerpts)

WWDA Youth Network Polaroid Attendance Book [front page]

Front Page WWDA Youth Network Polaroid Attendance Book

"Team work makes the dream work" (Carolyn, Cashelle and Rayna)

“Team work makes the dream work” (Carolyn, Cashelle and Rayna)

Cashelle Dunn in front of WWDA Youth Network Banner

Pages from the Polaroid Attendance Book

Pages from the Polaroid Attendance Book

Ace Boncato & Susan Baxter

Ace Boncato & Susan Baxter

Elizabeth Broderick

Elizabeth Broderick

Senator Michaelia Cash "way to go"

Senator Michaelia Cash

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