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Media Releases

Media Release 25 Jan 2017

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) is again questioning the policies of the Department of Immigration and that of the Minister after fresh reports of yet further discrimination against people from our culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities living with disabilities.

Suresh Rajan NEDA President said, “this current example of a family facing deportation based on the disability of a child is offensive and unacceptable; it further demonstrates that this Government has little concern for those people that have chosen Australia as a place to live; choosing to discriminate against them based on their disability”.

“It is disgraceful that so close to Australia day, a day when we celebrate all that is good about being Australian and the diversity of this wonderful country, that we would discriminate against a family based solely on the disability of a child” stated Dwayne Cranfield, NEDA CEO.

SBS news reports that Sumaya Bhuiyan, a Bangladeshi teenager who has lived in Sydney for eight years, is facing deportation and could be expelled from Australia as soon as Friday of this week. 16-year-old Sumaya has been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. She only knows Australia as her home.

Sumaya’s parents are both medical practitioners working in the community, with their employer considering them to be valuable assets to the Australian community. Sumaya has the support of her family and the wider community; she attends a “special needs school”, and her parents have been pushing the case that the costs of her disability are minimal and will be met by her family.

Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke declined to intervene in the case and has stated that the minister is not compelled to intervene and that he is not obligated to defend his decision.

NEDA has in the past advocated for families in similar circumstances and notes that a number of these rulings have been overturned. We call on the Assistant Minister to show compassion and do the decent thing in allowing Sumaya to stay in Australia.

“Again we see people being devalued based on the discrimination of disability. They are being reduced to a mathematical formula with regard to cost and burden. People are much more than numbers on a page” said NEDA President Suresh Rajan. NEDA calls on Minister Dutton to overturn this callous decision., For further information follow the link below and sign up to the campaign.


Media Release 8 Dec 2016


The National Ethnic Disability Alliance “NEDA” holds grave concerns for the many people living with disability who are eligible to access the NDIS given the recent developments in Western Australia with the WA Government deciding to “go it alone” with their own scheme.

“I have every reason to believe that if WA had followed the national model and not a hybrid state version, we would have a truly national scheme that will be appropriately resourced, funded and administered. One word of caution must be issued at this point. Whatever disability system is adopted in WA it is imperative that people with disability are included in designing and implementing the system” stated NEDA President Suresh Rajan.

Another issue that is significant is that of the portability of benefits PWD’s can achieve across States and Territories. Assurances that this portability will be assured by way of agreement across the Premiers of each state have to be viewed with concern. WA’s experience in the allocation of GST revenues is a very troubling precedent. We have already seen the NDIA within the ACT, state that they are at capacity; will this be magnified in WA if they have an independent scheme? 

WA is already cash strapped with the economy feeling the downturn from the mining sector. If WA opts out of the national model, it will seriously put at risk the well-being of people with disabilities. If the state is not able to match the Commonwealth scheme because of its economic woes. 

“Of additional concern for NEDA is involvement of disability consumers from within the CaLD community. The NDIS is already investing in and developing strategies to engage parts of the community that are difficult to connect and engage with due to such things as Language difficulties; Will WA now need to develop all of these tools “in-house” or will the national body share these strategies and engagement process nationally? If WA were to go it alone, it might be many years behind in targeting those people most at risk because of a lack of policy development and engagement strategies” stated Mr Rajan.

If you require any further information, please contact the NEDA CEO Mr Dwayne Cranfield on 02 62626867 or Suresh Rajan NEDA President on 0413436001.


Media Release 2 Dec 2016

Logo of Disabled=

International Day of People with Disability

Celebrate, Reflect, Act


The 3 December each year is the United Nations International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD).  This IDPwD, Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia) celebrates the achievements and contributions of people with disability, reflects on our gains in creating equity and inclusion, and continues to act to make our human rights a reality.

IDPwD 2016 coincides with the ten year anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and along with the recent UN adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it underpins this year’s IDPwD theme - “Achieving 17 goals for the Future We Want”.

“People with disability have been critical to the development of the CRPD and the SDGs, and we continue to focus on making our rights a reality in Australia to achieve the future we want,” said Therese Sands, Director DPO Australia. “People with disability fought for the development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and shaped government measures to achieve an inclusive society through the National Disability Strategy (NDS).  We now need to ensure that we remain central to the implementation of the NDIS and NDS.”

“There remains much more to be done to address ongoing human rights violations that expose the reality of our lives.  Almost half of people with disability continue to live in poverty and are half as likely to be employed as people without disability.  People with disability still live in segregated, institutional environments, continue to experience high levels of violence and abuse, can be indefinitely detained in prisons without conviction, face discrimination in immigration policy, and still face significant barriers to inclusive education, our communities and services”, continued Ms Sands.  “DPO Australia will continue to take concerted and comprehensive action, and work with Australian governments to address these human rights violations”.

DPO Australia has set out its priorities for action in its Activity Work Plan 2016-2017

A call to action and 13 policy priorities for a commitment by political parties are set out in the 2016 Election Platform.





Therese Sands: 0412 935 128



Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia) is an alliance of four national Disabled People’s Organisations (organisations made up of and led by people with disability). DPO Australia 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 culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability, 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)