Politics and Activism

Politics affects every part of a woman with disability's life, from how much money can be obtained from Centrelink, to what services are available.

On this page you can learn more about politics and the different ways you can be involved.

Watch the WWDA Youth Network video from the 'International Women's Day Rally 2017':

Politics in Australia

Photo of two women holding protest signs in a park. One is using a cane and the other is using a wheelchair.

In Australia, there are federal, state and local levels of government. Each level is governed by elected representatives who make decisions about policies and laws that affect different aspects of your life.

People involved in activism are often trying to influence or have a say in how elected representatives act or vote on a particular issue.

There are lots of ways you can advocate for an issue you care about. Some common ways include:

  • taking part in a rally or protest in person or through an online site like Facebook (external link)
  • starting or signing a petition through a site like Change.org (external link) or Megaphone (external link)
  • contacting a government representative about an issue by phone, email or in person
  • sharing your views through infographics, videos and posts on social media
  • joining an online group that discusses political issues.
Did you know? 

The Australian Government is currently running a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Exploitation and Neglect of People with Disability.

You can learn more about this and how to take part on our page about the Disability Royal Commission.

Contacting an elected representative  

If you are advocating for an issue, it can be useful to contact members of Parliament by writing them a letter, calling their office to talk to them or requesting a meeting in person. It is important to identify what level of government you should direct your advocacy inquiry to. If you need some help finding out, you can call your local Member of Parliament and ask.

Who is my local member of Parliament?

Everyone has a local Federal Member of Parliament that represents the area where they live. You can find contact details for Federal Members of Parliament on the Parliament of Australia website (external link).

Local councils

If you have an issue you would like addressed in your local community, you can ask your local council to fix it by writing to them, phoning them, or going into the council office in person. All local council meetings are open to the public to attend.

Find your local council on the online list of Australian councils (external link).

Snap Send Solve app

You can use the Snap Send Solve app to raise issues with your local council. This app can be used on mobile phones or tablets. It allows you to easily take and send photos of issues needing attention directly to your local council. You can send photos of lots of different things, ranging from broken street lights to public toilets that are not accessible.

Learn more and download the Snap Send Solve app (external link).

Joining a political party

If you are passionate about making a difference in politics, another way to get involved is to join a political party that represents the issues you care about.

There are lots of political parties in Australia, but the three major ones are:

There are many benefits to joining a political party, including being able to have a say in issues you care about and building a network of people with similar values. However, it is important to do your research before you join.

You can have a look at a political party's website to find out about what they stand for. You may also want to consider how much it costs to join the party and other things like what support the party has in place for women and girls with disability.

Important Resources

Guides
WWDA Human Rights Toolkit
A toolkit split into 8 sections with information to help women with disability understand and stand up for their rights.
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Publications
WWDA Position Statement 3: The Right to Participation
Information from WWDA on the right of all women and girls with disability to take part in all areas of life.
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Listen Now
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Guides
WWDA Easy English Human Rights Toolkit
A toolkit split into 4 parts with information in Easy English to help women with disability understand and stand up for their rights.
Apple App Store
Google Play
Visit Website
Download Word (accessible)
Download PDF
Listen Now
Download PDF
Download PDF
Watch Video
Guides
Zoom Meetings
Zoom is a program that allows you to run or join a meeting online. This document explains how to download Zoom, create an account, host a meeting and join a meeting.
Apple App Store
Google Play
Visit Website
Download Word (accessible)
Download PDF
Listen Now
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Guides
Our Site Fact Sheet: Contacting Members of Parliament
A fact sheet about how to contact a member of parliament.
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Guides
Our Site Fact Sheet: Making a Government Submission
A fact sheet about how to make a government submission.
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Guides
Feminist Organising Toolkit: Planning Virtual Meetings
This toolkit was produced by Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF) to support women to organise online groups, meetings, protests and more.
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Guides
WDV: Easy English Guide to Facebook
An Easy English guide to Facebook written by Women With Disabilities Victoria.
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Google Play
Visit Website
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Listen Now
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Guides
WDV: Easy English Guide to Skype
An Easy English guide to using Skype written by Women With Disabilities Victoria.
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Where to next:

External website
Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
Information about the Disability Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, including how to make a submission.
Apple App Store
Google Play
Visit Website
Accessible Word File
Download PDF
Listen Now
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Download PDF
Watch Video
External website
Disability Clothes Line
A project that supports people with disability to tell their stories about violence and abuse through a creative form of activism.
Apple App Store
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External website
List of Australian Councils
A website that can help you find your local council.
Apple App Store
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External website
The Encyclopedia of Women & Leadership: Disability Rights Movement
A webpage about women in the disability rights movement.
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External website
Disability Royal Commission: Unofficial Information site
A website with information to help you take part in the Royal Commission.
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External website
Disabled People's Organisations Australia (DPOA)
DPOA represents four of the national disability organisations in Australia. This website includes information about these organisations and the work they do.
Apple App Store
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Visit Website
Accessible Word File
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External website
Apps
Snap Send Solve
An App to help you notify local councils of issues that need addressing in your community.
Apple App Store
Google Play
Visit Website
Accessible Word File
Download PDF
Listen Now
Download PDF
Download PDF
Watch Video
External website
Every Australian Counts
Every Australian Counts is the grassroots campaign that fought for the introduction of the NDIS – and won. It is now a community of hundreds of thousands of people with disability, their families and carers and those who support them.
Apple App Store
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External website
Cripples, Coons, Fags and Fems
A book about how four human rights movements have fought prejudice. It is a compelling book for those interested in or affected by discrimination and prejudice for being different. It costs around $30 on Amazon.
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External website
Women's Electoral Lobby
The Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) is a national, independent, feminist lobby group that aims to improve the position of women in society. WEL lobbies politicians, unions, employers, educationalists and other institutions on policies that promote equality and seek to change attitudes and practices that discriminate against women.
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Listen Now
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