Several NGOs were represented on the Panel.
Advocacy, Disability, Ethnicity, Community (ADEC)
ADEC empowers people with disabilities from ethnic backgrounds, their carers and families to fully participate as members of the Victorian community. Its Mission states that the way to achieve full citizenship is to assist people with disabilities from ethnic backgrounds, their carers and families to access services and ensure that service systems are inclusive and responsive to their needs.
Advocacy for Inclusion
The mission of Advocacy for Inclusion is to provide information, education and representation to effectively advocate for positive and inclusive outcomes for people who have a disability. We act with and on behalf of individuals in a supportive manner or assist individuals to act on their own behalf, free of conflicts of interest and motivated only by a desire to obtain a fair and just outcome for the individual concerned. We act to influence systemic change (e.g. to government policies, agency practices and societal structures), which enable people who have a disability to be included as valued members of society. We are an amalgamation of two former organisations, Advocacy Action Inc and People First ACT Inc; families, friends, advocates and others actively involved in contributing to/ supporting the principles that make Advocacy for Inclusion work; and individual and systems advocacy funded by the ACT and Commonwealth governments.
Australian Services Union (ASU)
Representing the interests of approximately 120,000 members across the country, the Australian Services Union - better known as the ASU - is one of the largest trade unions in Australia. Formed in 1993 as an amalgamation of a number of unions, including the FCU, the MEU and the MOA, the ASU operates in areas as diverse as local government, energy, water, public transport, , shipping, travel, ports, social and community services, information technology and the private sector clerical and administrative area.
Equality Rights Alliance (ERA)
Formerly known as WomenSpeak, ERA is a national non government network advocating for women’s equality. Working with over 50 member organisations, ERA brings women’s voices to both priority issues for the Australian Government and to emerging issues that women and communities are facing. ERA is led by the YWCA Australia, a women’s membership organisation and movement.
Global Sisterhood Network (GSN)
Founded in 1996, the Global Sisterhood Network largely consists of feminists from around the world who work hand-in-hand, irrespective of class, colour or creed, in a collaborative effort to create improved lives for women.
GSN operates at several levels, but in the main as an information resource centre via the monitoring of media and institutional reports which seek emerging developments in agriculture, economics, employment, environment, health, law, militarism, politics, technology, trade and science, and which either directly and indirectly impact on the realities of women's lives. To meet this goal, GSN's electronic list places considerable emphasis on issues have which attracted sparse attention and/or analysis from a feminist perspective.
National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Women’s Gathering (NATSIWG)
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Gathering (NATSIWG) is a forum for Indigenous women across Australia. Held as part of the Ministerial Conference on the Status of Women, the NATSIWG is an opportunity for Indigenous women to discuss issues of importance for them with Women's Ministers from the Australian, state, territory and New Zealand Governments.
The gathering has occurred annually since 2002, when hosted for the first time in Darwin.
NATSIWG STAKEHOLDERS are COAG – The Council of Australian Government is the peak intergovernment forum in Australia; MINCO – The Commonwealth, Sate Territories and NZ Ministers Conference on the status of women; MCATSIA – The Ministerial Councils on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs; and WAM – Women’s Advisory Meeting
National Federation of Australian Women (NFAW)
The National Foundation for Australian Women is dedicated to promoting and protecting the interests of Australian women and ensuring that the aims and ideals of the women’s movement and its collective wisdom are handed on to new generations of women. NFAW is a feminist organisation, independent of party politics and working in partnership with other women’s organisations. It is not affiliated to any political party and is independent of government funding.
National Rural Women’s Coalition (NRWC)
The NRWC is a coalition of national rural and women's organisations and an aboriginal woman, which directs the Australian Government funded National Rural Women's Alliance. This is a conduit for information between rural women and the Government on key policies affecting women. The Alliance is funded by the Office for Women and joins three other Alliances representing business, young and older women to the Australian Government. A key objective of the NRWC is to ensure better social and economic outcomes for women living in regional, remote and rural Australia. We seek input from women regularly in a wide variety of ways (meetings, personal contact, conferences, mail and email) to determine policy direction. The NRWC acts only on issues brought forward, and agreed on, by rural women.
Older Women's Network Australia (OWNA)
The Older Women’s Network Australia is a not for profit organization, it was set up to provide an independent forum in which the special needs of older women could be specifically addressed. It is committed to promoting the dignity and well being of older women who have a right to be recognized for their contribution to the economic, political, social and cultural areas of life. OWN believes in a society rich in social capital where mutual respect and trust are paramount, where diversity and debate are valued and where people and their networks have a legitimate voice.
Security4Women (S4W) believes that lifelong economic well being is a high priority for Australian women – it empowers women to make choices and live independently. It enriches all aspects of women’s lives including their education, health, employment, personal, safety and financial security over their life time. S4W engages with Australian women to identify the issues they face and establish those of primary importance. The outcomes from our consultations contribute to national policy reform relevant to the lifelong economic well being for women.
UNIFEM Australia began in 1989 and since evolved to include the National Committee based in Canberra, six chapters including Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and International Women’s Day (IWD) events across Australia.
UNIFEM Australia is one of 17 National Committees including the U.S., United Kingdom, Sweden and Canada. The National Committees support UNIFEM through membership programmes, raising public awareness of gender and development issues and supporting regional programmes through fundraising.
Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition (VIRWC)
In 1994, an assembly of 200 immigrant women at a conference entitled "Voicing our Diversity" at La Trobe University Abbotsford Campus, mandated an interim committee to work towards setting up a statewide advocacy body that would take up issues that specifically concern immigrant and refugee women. The call was finally realised by a group of 25 women who met on July 23, 1997, and formally set up the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition (VIRWC) by approving its constitution and electing four interim office holders prior to its first annual general meeting. The VIRWC held its first AGM on November 26, 1998, attended by more than a hundred women representing many cultures. A committee of Management comprising 11 women was elected. Since then, the VIRWC has grown substantially and includes a variety of organisations and individual members and has completed many exciting projects and intiatives.
Women's Electoral Lobby (WEL)
WEL was formed in 1972 to ensure that women's rights became an issue in the Federal election campaign of that year. It achieved great success and has been active at every election since, and maintaining the pressure on political parties between elections. Lobbying occurs at national, state and local government levels. WEL aims to improve women's access to decision-making bodies in order to give women input into those things that affect their lives.
YWCA Australia is a women's not for profit community-based organisation. YWCA Australia is the national association for YWCAs in Australia. YWCAs work hard to improve the lives of women and girls, their families and communities and to promote gender equality. In Australia, YWCAs do this by developing women's leadership, providing on-the-ground programs and services in local Australian communities, and by speaking out about the issues that affect women and girls in Australia and internationally. YWCA Australia is part of the World YWCA, a global network of women advancing peace, justice and human rights in more than 120 countries and reaching 25 million people worldwide.