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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Advocacy powering forwards

Rights in Action, a Cairns-based non-profit advocacy organisation, has received part of the $5.9 million funding boost from the state government after meeting with Minister Crawford.

General Manager Raoul Wilson from Rights in Action, an Independent Advocacy for People with disabilities based in Cairns, has seen the fruits of the organisation’s hard labour. Last year Mr Wilson and a James Cook University placement student went to Disability Services Minister Craig Crawford’s office and sat down and asked where their funding was and explained why more funding was required.

Thanks to their open meeting this month, the Minister has announced people with a disability will have better access to disability advocacy support services under a $5.9 million funding boost from the Palaszczuk Government.

Mr Wilson said the funding would go a long way to help the people of Far North Queensland.

“The funding will allow us to do independent advocacy for people with disabilities, which includes people with mental health issues,” Mr Wilson said.

We work alongside people with disabilities and mental health issues and empower them with opportunities, help them promote and protect their human rights according to the Queensland Humans Right Act.

“We help them and support them through their various representations with appropriate service provisions,” he said.

Rights in Action provides advocacy assistance to people with disabilities who live in Cairns, Yarrabah, Mareeba, and Atherton. 

“Our state funding will allow us to where we can opportunistically work elsewhere in the Far North Queensland region, but because we live in such a transit demographic where locals may travel from community to Cairns. This funding will allow us to provide advocacy to them when they’re in the Cairns catchment,”

Rights in Action may be a small organisation, but they are brimming with passion, dedication, kindness and understanding for people living with disabilities and mental issues.

“We are a small organisation, and we have a full list of volunteers and have gone on to hire serval of the volunteers. We pride ourselves on hiring volunteers.

We take volunteers with a disability, but we also take university students doing their placements. In turn, we can leverage their expertise to improve our systems and frameworks.

“We have eight paid staff members at the moment. They come from a range of different backgrounds including, First Nations and culturally linguistic diverse backgrounds. We also have an 80 per cent female workforce as well of which we are proud.”

Disability Services Minister Craig Crawford announced funding for eleven organisations – prioritising tailored support for children, First Nations peoples and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

“Every single day, Queenslanders with a disability, their family members and their carers are reaching out to advocacy services,” Mr Crawford said.

“They seek support to help them to speak out, understand their rights, and overcome barriers”.

Connect rightsinaction.org

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