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Having a Say Conference

Having a Say conference 2021 date to be advised

About the Having a Say Conference

The Having a Say conference is the largest conference for people with disabilities within Australia where people can find their voice, to speak up, to be heard and to be respected. This is the conference where people listen to each other, not just to the speakers on stage. This is the conference where people respect each other’s views and opinions, and celebrate their common cause. The aim of the conference is to empower people with a disability with the opportunity to ‘have a say’ about issues that affect their lives and to celebrate ability and achievement.

People enjoy coming to the conference for a range of reasons. Some are keen advocates for people with disability and want to debate about issues, others find the whole environment empowering and some just want to have fun! Many people come to the conference to have a say, such as open microphone to present or perform. We often get comments on the Evaluation Forms saying things like “It was great I felt important because everyone listened to what I said”.

There is always be a need for people to get together to share experiences and to celebrate achievements. The inaugural Having a Say Conference, held in Maryborough in 2000, was attended by 190 people and the enthusiasm generated each year has inspired the conference to grow. There are now over 1,000 participants from across Australia, and often from the international community, attending the conference each year.

The conference gets fantastic support from local disability services, the Local Reference Committee, City of Greater Geelong, Tourism Greater Geelong and Bellarine and local Geelong businesses.

Download the Having a Say Conference 2020 Report here

Download information on how to apply for NDIS funding to attend the conference here

Become a Sponsor

VALID conducts the Having a Say conference on a break-even basis.

As some of our sponsors have moved across to the NDIS funding system and are no longer able to support us, we now need new ways to fund activities within the conference either in-kind e.g. attendant care or sponsorship of the costs of the activity such as:

  • Come and Try Activities
  • Art Competition
  • Printing of the Program
  • Volunteer Support
  • Conference DVD
  • Attendant Carers

Sponsorship and Partnership Opportunities


Volunteer at Having a Say

The Having a Say conference attracts hundreds of delegates from across Australia and overseas and we are looking for volunteers to support participants with different activities at the conference.

The conference is a place where people with disability can speak up and have their voice heard, be respected and empowered and it’s a lot of fun!

What are the benefits of volunteering?

  • See the achievements of people with disability
  • Certificate of appreciation
  • Letter of Reference
  • Learn about inclusion
  • Be inspired and have lots of fun
  • Make new friends

If you are interested in volunteering at the Having a Say conference please contact the

VALID office on 03 9416 4003 or email [email protected]

Please note that all volunteers are required to have a current Police Certificate.  If you already have a Police Certificate send a copy with your Volunteer application. It is also a requirement that all volunteers complete a Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme form.

Having a Say Feedback

Your feedback is important, it helps us to make the conference better.

Download the Having a Say Conference Evaluation form here


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