Building a Socially Inclusive Community

March 11, 2014 by Ayal Tusia
Read on for article

A vision and a plan that encourages everyone in our community to take action, to work together towards a more inclusive society was released by Jewish Care Victoria this month at the launch of its 5 Year Disability Plan for the Jewish community of Victoria.

From left: James O’Brien, Maureen Flaherty, Mike Debinski, Andrea Coote, Laurie Harkin, Bill Appleby and David Southwick.

From left: James O’Brien, Maureen Flaherty, Mike Debinski, Andrea Coote, Laurie Harkin, Bill Appleby and David Southwick

The plan was officially launched by Mrs Andrea Coote, Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community Services. She joined an impressive panel of experts from the disability services sector, who discussed and debated the many issues around disability services in Australia and the impact that the National Disability Insurance Scheme will have on the lives of people with disability, their families and carers.

Mike Debinski, Jewish Care President, explained that “Jewish Care is very passionate and committed to strengthening our services for people with a disability and their families, building a socially inclusive and accessible community and delivering best practice with the ultimate goal of enhancing the lives of people with a disability and their families.”

The Disability Plan was well informed and based on expert research and extensive community consultations. For three months during 2013, interviews were held with people with disability, family members, Jewish Care staff, Jewish community groups and State and Federal organisations external to the Jewish community.

Bill Appleby, Jewish Care CEO told those at the launch, “Our aspiration, as a lead Jewish communal agency, is to work together with other critically important organisations and businesses in the area of education, housing, transport, academia, employment, and sports & recreation, to actively promote inclusion as a key priority.  If we are truly ever going to achieve this aspiration, every leader needs to make inclusion a core activity, a core strategy, a core value of their organisation.”

The four main strategic aims of the Disability Plan are to:

  • Actively grow services for people with disability and their families
  • Build a socially inclusive society, through community committees and groups, community organisations, new networks and more volunteers.
  • Promote best practice in service delivery through continuous improvement and partnerships.
  • Be NDIS-ready

Following the address from Mrs Coote and Mr Debinski, the invited guest panel took questions from the audience and explained how the NDIS will affect individuals and families with disability. The panel included Mrs Coote, Mr Laurie Harkin AM, Disability Services Commissioner, Mr James O’Brien, State Manager for National Disability Services in Victoria and Ms Maureen Flaherty, General Manager, Community Services, Jewish Care.

In addition, Mr Debinski announced that Mr David Southwick, Member for Caulfield will Chair a Social Inclusion Leadership Committee; a new group set up to actively promote the inclusion of all Jewish people with disability in employment and community life in Victoria.

Mr Appleby concluded, “The journey we are embarking on is a vision for a whole-of-community approach to a collective goal – the genuine inclusion of people with disability in the Victorian Jewish community.”

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

    Rules on posting comments