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Aug 13, 2012
James O'Brien

Professor Ron McCallum AO to address Melbourne disability forum this Thursday

The Xavier College Social Justice Network are hosting their Daring to be Different 2012 forum this Thursday 16 August from 7.30pm, under the theme of Disability – Breaking Down the Barriers.

Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO, Chair of  the UN Committee on the Rights of the Disabled Person and Senior Australian of the Year 2011 will give the key note address. He will be joined by a panel of speakers from across the disability sector. The evening will be facilitated by Lynne Haultain, former ABC broadcaster.

Disability is a social justice issue. While the NDIS is gaining support at government level, there is still a great deal to be done to change community attitudes and improve understanding of the issues faced by those with disabilities.

This will be an interactive forum and audience participation in the discussion is welcomed. We are keen to hear of the experiences of families who have children with disabilities.

Event details are:

Thursday 16 August 2012 – 7.30pm-9.30pm

Eldon Hogan

Performing Arts Centre

Xavier College, Kew


For further information contact: Jo Dunin on 03 9815 4528 or email:


  • I would like to know what consitutes a disability? It seems to me that the government is selective on who can be insured. What about Dyslexia? In many other countries this is considered a disability and it certainly stops a large percentage of the population from leading a fulfilling life unaided. I know a man who has to take his eight year old son with him to fill in forms at centrelink. How can you say that is not a disability?

    • Easy. When I refer to a physical disability (in relation to the NDIS) I am referring to people with serious mobility problems, serious intellectual problems and serious behavioural problems – with the emphasis on serious. Ergo, people who are unable to walk, to feed themselves, to dress themselves, to toilet themselves, to participate in social or educational activities without support. People who are at extreme risk of isolation and of being disenfranchised of their basic human rights because they are continuously sidelined as a direct result of their inability to join in mainstream activities without physical support and assistance. Can you now see the difference now?.

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