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Media Releases

Cross Disability Alliance Media Release Feb 15 2016






Alliance New

Australian Cross Disability Alliance welcomes appointment of new Assistant Minister for Disability Services 


The Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) welcomes the announcement of the new Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Mrs Jane Prentice MP.

The Alliance is pleased to see this renewed focus on disability from the Turnbull Government, with the first Minister with the Disability portfolio since 2013.

The ACDA was the successful tenderer last year for the Australian Government’s preferred model of representation of people with disability in Australia, with each member body being led by people with disability.

"The Alliance today has written to congratulate the new Assistant Minister, and we look forward to meeting with her to discuss a range of disability issues," said Rayna Lamb, President of Women With Disabilities Australia.

"One in five Australians have disability and the Australian Government has a range of responsibilities in the disability area including the overarching National Disability Strategy, income support, employment, discrimination law and important initiatives in education," said Craig Wallace, President of People with Disability Australia.

"While we await detail on how responsibilities for different disability reform areas fall out under the new arrangements, I hope that we can also work with the new Minister to progress the National Disability Strategy, overdue reforms to employment services and work to remove violence, abuse and discrimination," said Gayle Rankine, Chairperson of the First Peoples Disability Network.

"The Alliance will work closely with Assistant Minister Prentice to bring the voices of our members, people with disability, to the Government," said Suresh Rajan of the National Ethnic Disability Alliance.


Media contact: Sara Irvine 0402 982 002



The Australian Cross Disability Alliance is an alliance of four national Disabled People’s Organisations (organisations made up of and led by people with disability).The ACDA was founded by, and is made up of the First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDNA) representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) representing people with disability from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, People with Disability Australia (PWDA) a national cross disability organisation and Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA), the national organisation representing women and girls with disability.:

People with Disability Australia (PWDA)

First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN)

National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA)

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA)



Phone: 02 9370 3100

Toll Free: 1800 422 015

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


MEDIA Release Feb 15, 2016

Approval of VISA for Eliza Fonseka

NEDA is pleased to hear that the Minister for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), Mr. Peter Dutton MP, has approved a visa for young Eliza Fonseka thus allowing her to stay in Australia.

Read ABC’s story here:


For nearly a year now, NEDA has supported the Fonseka family’s cause, engaged in advocacy, calling for the DIPB to reconsider Eliza Fonseka’ s case to bring about a just outcome overturning the previous decision. Late last week, Minister Dutton intervened overturning the Government’s initial decision, granting Eliza temporary residency till the end of 2016.

Although this is a positive outcome for the Fonseka family, NEDA would like to keep the spotlight on this important issue as on a whole, people with disabilities (their families and carers) still experience immense policy and procedural discrimination when navigating the Australian migration system.

The Joint Standing Committee on Migration (2010) found that the exemption of Australia’s Migration Act from the Disability Discrimination Act unfairly discriminates against people with disability.

‘The way Australia treats migrants with disability is unfair’ stated Mr. Suresh Rajan (NEDA President). ‘It’s abhorrent that Australia’s immigration system assesses disability through a medical paradigm, where people are arbitrary costed,’ continued Mr. Rajan. ‘The system needs to meet its obligations as set out in the UNCRPD.'

Dwayne Cranfield (NEDA CEO) states that this outcome for the Fonseka family has highlighted the important of advocacy, arguing ‘access to advocacy support, in all its forms, is fundamental to ensuring people with disabilities are heard and their human rights maintained. Strong advocacy challenges systemic injustices and works to remove barriers to access and equity.’

For further information please contact NEDA CEO Mr Dwayne Cranfield on: 02 62626867 or NEDA President Mr. Suresh Rajan on 0413436001.



MEDIA Release Feb 10, 2016



NEDA endorses the position taken by the multicultural and community sectors and urges the Australian Government to allow the asylum seekers facing removal back to offshore detention centres to stay in Australia.

NEDA is of the strong opinion that the government has a duty to ensure the safety and wellbeing of these 267 vulnerable people, including 37 babies and 54 children.

NEDA President, Mr Suresh Rajan stated ‘allowing these asylum seekers, some of whom were born in Australia, to stay, is not only the moral thing to do: but it is also in line with our human rights obligations’.  

‘Australia has the capacity and responsibility to provide a safe haven and to immediately process asylum seeker applications. We are all well aware of the horrors these people are likely to experience if they are sent to an offshore detention facility. The impact of this has been well documented by a number of medical and mental health practitioners. Effectively, we are creating the mental health and psycho social issues for us as a society into the future’, said Mr Rajan.

NEDA is also disappointed with the national leadership on this issue and urges both major political parties to reconsider their stance on offshore processing and current asylum seeker policies.

NEDA calls upon individual members of parliament to take a personal stance that is more reflective of Australia’s human rights expectations.

For further information, please contact NEDA CEO Mr Dwayne Cranfield on 02 62626867 or NEDA President Mr Suresh Rajan on 0413436001.