Bass Coast,

Enabled women celebrate graduation


Nine women from Bass Coast and South Gippsland Shires graduated from the ‘Enabling Women in Gippsland’ program last Tuesday.

The leadership program was developed by Women with Disabilities Victoria, to bring women with disabilities together to share their experience of disability, find solutions to problems they experience or see in their communities and build their leadership skills.

This year, the program was delivered by three Gippsland women with disabilities, one day per week for six weeks.

The program covered self-identity, human rights and communication, advocacy, engaging with the National Disability Insurance Scheme and leadership and was held at Mitchell House in Wonthaggi.

The program was delivered by a partnership between Bass Coast and South Gippsland Shire Councils, Women with Disabilities Victoria, Gippsland Women’s Health, Gippsland Disability Advocacy Inc, Victorian Women’s Trust and RuralAccess Gippsland with funding provided by the Victorian Women’s Trust.

At the graduation ceremony, some of the participants gave presentations about the positive impacts participating in the program had on their lives. Participant Stacey commented, “This program has given me somewhere safe and fun to go every Tuesday for the past six weeks. I have met some wonderful women at this group.”

Other participants spoke about having greater confidence in advocating for their own and other’s rights as a result of participating in the program.

Facilitator Bec said of the program, “I have really enjoyed working with all of the women; teaching them the skills to be strong leaders, stand up for their rights and be proud of who they are.”

Plans have already been discussed among participants and facilitators about coming together as a group early next year. It is hoped the participants will form a collegiate group to support each other into the future.  

The partnership group is currently investigating funding opportunities to deliver more sessions of this program to women with disabilities across Gippsland in 2019.

For further information about this Program, please contact Council’s Community Facilitator – RuralAccess Kathryn Pryor on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211. If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment you can contact Kathryn via the National Relay Service on 133 677 or visit