On September 1st, members of VALID's Frankston Peer Action Group and the Southern Self Advocacy Network were invited to meet with Linda Burney (Federal Shadow Minister for Family and Social Services) and Peta Murphy (ALP candidate for the local federal seat of Dunkley) to discuss issues that were of importance to them.
As residents living in contributing to the local community, people with disabilities at this meeting were able to talk about the kinds of local barriers and disadvantages they are currently addressing together in Frankston and surrounding districts.
These include accessibility and the cost of transport, the need for more options for community participation and social connections on evenings and weekends, better support to find a job, limited housing choices and options for adults wanting to move out of their family home and choose who they live with and their desire to feel more welcome and included in their community.
Some of those who attended the meeting were able to speak about the positive benefits of having their first NDIS support package and how this is assisting them to achieve personal goals.
However, there was also an opportunity to share some of the problems and challenges of the transition from current service models to how supports and services are funded under the NDIS. We were impressed by the interest and understanding shown by both Linda and Peta and the commitment they made to sit down and listen to the stories and aspirations of the group at this meeting.
Our thanks to Michael and Phil from Focus Life who supported people to attend this meeting and who have been valuable partners in our work with the Frankston Peer Action Group.