Skip to main content


DDA25 anniversary

Disability Disability Rights
 Equality before the Law panel


The 25th anniversary of the commencement of the operation of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DDA) occurred on 1 March 2018.  To celebrate, the Commission hosted an event at PWC’s Barangaroo Offices in Sydney.

The theme of the event was Equality before the Law, as outlined by Article 5 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  The event included a facilitated panel discussion on the successes and challenges of the DDA.

The panel included:

  • Catia Malaquias, Starting with Julius, Attitude Foundation, Down Syndrome Aus, Lawyer WA Govt.
  • Damian Griffis, CEO First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN).
  • Professor Helen Meekosha, Honorary Adjunct Professor Helen Meekosha, School of Social Sciences UNSW
  • Therese Sands, People With Disability Australia

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar, was also be in attendance.

The MC for the event was Wendy Harmer.

Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar is a lawyer and human rights advocate with extensive experience in disability issues at both national and international levels. Before becoming the first Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Ms. Devandas Aguilar worked in Strategic Partnerships with the Disability Advocacy Fund and at the UN Secretariat unit responsible for the CRPD.

Ms Devandas Aguilar has focused on the rights of women with disabilities and the rights of indigenous peoples with disabilities, and wishes to promote the importance of supporting states to fulfil their obligations under the CRPD.