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Browsing articles in "Look who’s counting now"
May 2, 2014
Geraldine Mellet

Dont Mess with the NDIS on the airwaves

In addition to thousands of emails that reached the Prime Minister, State Premiers and Chief Minister in the last 24 hours,  campaigners took to the media to spell out the effects of  the recommendations of the Commission of Audit to people with disabilities and their families.

Among the most vocal were EAC’s Fiona Anderson and WA campaigner Jo Russell who talked about what it means at the frontline of disability and family life to hear the timeline and funding of the NDIS called into question yet again. Fiona also referred to the fact that in the last quarterly review individual funding packages were actually coming down which begged the question of why there needed to be talk of capping, particularly at this early stage of the process.  Click on the bottom two links to listen.


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Aug 5, 2013
Geraldine Mellet

WA Campaigners speak about sign up

There’s been some great media awareness created in the last 24 hours by WA campaigners celebrating their state’s sign up to DisabilityCare launch sites.

Listen to how the ABC covered the news with campaigners Sue Ellen Bull and Neeva Steven after an explanation by the Premier Colin Barnett.

Read the Australian article here featuring the Guilfoile family.

Aug 4, 2013
Geraldine Mellet

WA makes DisabilityCare truly National

 Both the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the WA Premier Colin Barnett today announced that the State government had reached an historic agreement with the Commonwealth which will see approximately 8,400 West Australians covered in 2 launch sites from July 2014.

The deal resolves differences over how the scheme is administered with a unique combination of 2 launch sites that will be co funded but run separately. The My Way trial sites in the Lower South West and Cockburn/Kwinana will be boosted to cover 4,100 people and will be run by the WA Disability Services Commission. The launch site in the Hills will cover 4,300 people and be run by DisabilityCare Australia.  Both sites will be independently monitored and evaluated so that the learnings can contribute to the best possible version of the scheme in the future.

Its a great result for campaigners in West Australia who have never stopped putting their case to the State government for the urgent introduction of the scheme. One longtime campaigner said today that she had  burst into tears when she read the news as it finally gives her and her husband some hope for the future. ” We’ve had so many set backs as a family & life has been extremely hard. So this news finally give me the hope I needed to carry on”.

Every Australian Counts wants to congratulate both the campaigners who kept on going and the WA and Commonwealth governments who heard them and put aside their differences for a compromise that is a great outcome for both the state and the country.

Read what the PM and Minister for Disability Reform said here:

Nov 2, 2012
Geraldine Mellet

An excellent nomination. Congratulations Samantha Jenkinson

“When I was young I thought activism was a sprint ! Then later I realised activism was a marathon… And now, finally, I know the truth: Activism is a relay race.

WA disability activist Samantha Jenkinson not  only likes this quote but lives it every day of the week. In recognition of her years of bringing disability issues to the fore,  proposing solutions and creating disability networks, she is a National Disability Award finalist in the category of Minister’s Award for Excellence in Disability Reform.

Samantha sustained a serious spinal injury in a car accident 20 years ago in which she  became quadriplegic.  She then went on to get a degree in social work and has been active both professionally and personally in the disability sector ever since, working in both the West Australian and Victorian systems. In the latter she was employed first by a small service provider breaking new ground in providing brokerage for housing and support, and then by the Human Services Dept as a project officer for direct payments in their transition to individual support packages.

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Oct 19, 2012
Geraldine Mellet

Matt Cowdrey asks Australia to support the NDIS

As Australia’s greatest ever Paralympian with a whopping 13 gold medals, swimmer Matt Cowdrey knows a lot about effort, determination and what is possible.  Now he’s on radio Australia wide telling the nation that it is possible to get a better disability support system and end the struggle most disabled Australian face on a daily basis.   And he’s asking everyone to support both the DisabiliTEA day and the campaign.

Matt has just voiced 3 community service announcement about the NDIS and DisabiliTEA which will be played on Austereo around the country starting Monday 21st October.

Have a listen here to Matts version  NDIS-MC-30-26-1  and the one voiced by another of our champions Professor Fiona Stanley


Sep 25, 2012
Geraldine Mellet

Disabilitea on wheels in NT

With close to a thousand Disabiliteas across Australia there are some wildly different variations.

The Northern Territory is taking out the earlybird prize for their version of Disabilitea on wheels.

Patriots Australia NT Chapter Motorcycle Club is inviting all motorcyclists to join them in supporting the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) campaign with a DisabiliTEA ride on Sunday 21 October 2012, leading the pack as one of the first of the 2012 DisabiliTEA events to be held across Australia.

The Patriots are a motorcycle club for regular, reserve and ex-serving members of the defence force (Army, Navy and Air Force.

The Patriots NT Chapter will meet at Caltex Berrimah at 10.00am for a 10.30am departure, riding through Darwin city centre and joining NDS NT at 11am for a sausage sizzle, complete with cups of tea, on the Nightcliff foreshore.       For more details contact Bec on 0439858770

If you have a point of difference about your Disabilitea let the coordinators know so we can promote it –;; ;

Sep 14, 2012
Geraldine Mellet

Every Australian Counts at the City to Bay

The Every Australian Counts campaign will be on the run on Sun Sep 16 in Adelaide.

1000 wheelers, walkers and runners will don their red Every Australian Counts tshirts as they unite under the NDIS banner and go the distance in the annual fun run which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Thanks to Bedford for taking the lead and also to Autism SA; Leveda; SCOSA; Dignity for Disability; SASRAPID; CARA and MINDA.

Jun 20, 2012
Geraldine Mellet

Having a choice – Julie Guilfoile & Professor Barby Singer

At last night’s launch of the WA Parliamentary Friends of Disability Reform MPs heard EAC Campaigners Julie Guilfoile & Professor Barby Singer speak out about the personal consequences of a system that leaves individuals and families little choice over the most important issues in their lives and were issued a challenge to right this. You can read their speeches here  :

Julie Guilfoile speech ; Barby Singer Final


May 1, 2012
Geraldine Mellet

12 y old Perth campaigner asks Tony Abbott to keep his promise


She may only be twelve years only but Neve Guilfoile has been a hardworking member of the EAC campaign in WA with her brother Eamon, mum Julie and dad Jim. Yesterday she was allowed the day off school to attend the Perth march and rally and away from the crowds she spotted Tony Abbott and took the opportunity to ask if he would keep his promise to be Dr Yes to an NDIS and help her 16yr old brother Eamon and all the other people who need support. See the story here

Apr 24, 2012
John Della Bosca

Former Deputy Prime Minister joins fight for national disability scheme

Media Release: Tuesday 24 April 2012

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer AO has joined forces with the Every Australian Counts campaign to secure a comprehensive National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Today, Mr Fischer has been appointed Campaign Patron. His first major role will be next Monday (April 30) at the Make It Real: NDIS 2012 rally at Olympic Park.

Tim Fischer surprised his colleagues in 1999 when he resigned as National Party leader and as a Minister, announcing he would not contest the 2001 election. His bold decision was motivated partly by the demands of his family – in particular his son Harrison who has autism.

John Della Bosca, Every Australian Counts Campaign Director, said although he and Tim worked on different sides of politics, it was important for today’s politicians and the community to continue to work together on this vital issue.

“The bipartisanship we’ve seen to date at the national level must be maintained and also replicated among the States and Territories for the NDIS to succeed.

“It is a huge boost to our cause to have an individual of Mr Fischer’s calibre on board.  He has been a champion for improved support for people with a disability and their families his entire public life and is continuing that passion.

“We are at a critical point of the campaign – the time has come for the Australian Parliament to take action to make the NDIS real.

“And I believe Mr Fischer is strongly placed to further build a case for the NDIS both to politicians and to the community. Tim knows Canberra, he knows politics and he knows how to convince ordinary Australians to support big ideas”.

Mr Fischer said: “My family has been touched by disability and I know first-hand our disability system is broken. In regional Australia it is even worse. Families have limited access to respite, can wait years for equipment and often have to move long distances to find a place for their children to live.”

“Disability can touch people in the city and the country and large and small families in various financial circumstances. It is an issue for every Australian and we have a once in a generation opportunity to fix it.

“The NDIS will enable people with a disability to aspire, achieve, put back into the community and get the support they desperately need. I believe 2012 is the year to make the NDIS real and am looking forward to being part of the campaign to finally make this great idea a reality,” Mr Fischer added.


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