Wednesday 28 February 2018

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar, will be joining the Australian Human Rights Commission for a unique event to mark the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DDA) on 1 March, 2018.

The event – a panel discussion on the successes and challenges of the DDA – will be hosted at PwC’s Sydney headquarters and facilitated by ABC broadcaster, Wendy Harmer.

Disability Discrimination Commissioner Alastair McEwin says Ms Devandas Aguilar will be speaking ahead of the panel discussion, sharing her extensive experience in international disability advocacy.

Damian Griffis
First Peoples Disability Network Australia

Catia Malaquias
Starting With Julius
All Means All
Attitude Foundation
Down Syndrome Australia

Honarary Associate Professor Helen Meekosha
School of Social Sciences UNSW

Therese Sands
People With Disability Australia

Commissioner McEwin says the panel will explore areas in which we have stagnated or progressed under the DDA and look at ways the legislation can be fortified.

“The DDA was Australia’s first federal, uniform legislation to recognise the rights of people with disability, symbolising a major national step towards ensuring that people with disability have the same rights as other citizens,” said Commissioner McEwin.

“Over the past quarter of a century, the DDA has been instrumental in social change in a number of areas of life, and has been harnessed by individuals with disability to fight against discriminatory practices in these areas.  Examples include access to public transport and access to telecommunications.

“Notwithstanding these successes, I am of the view that the DDA would benefit from moving beyond its current scope to be extended to a wider area of public life; one area could be protecting people with disability against violence and abuse.  We should also give consideration to how the DDA can be supported by a compliance regime,” said Mr McEwin.

Thursday 1 March 2018
Media to arrive at 1:30pm for 2pm start. Event concludes at 4:30pm.
PwC Barangaroo
Level 15, One International Towers
Watermans Quay
Barangaroo, NSW 2000

More information can be found at:

Media contact: Sarah Bamford 0417 957 525