The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations inaugurated

In line with the information received by the FIMITIC liaison partner in the Asia-Pacific-Region - PDCA - (Physical Disability Council of Australia) the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations was built up earlier this year in Canberra.

Maurice Corcoran, President of the Physical Disability Council of Australia - PDCA - was nominated Chair to the new Federation representing all people with disability in Australia.

The Communiqué of the inaugural Board meeting of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations reads as follows:


Inaugural Board Meeting of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations Held in Canberra

The inaugural board meeting of the Directors of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (the Federation) took place on Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th January in Canberra.

The aim of the Federation is to champion the rights of people with disability in Australia and help them to participate fully in community life.

Maurice Corcoran was elected as the first Chairperson of the Board and will be supported by three Deputy Chairpersons Diana Qian, Robert Altamore and Roy McAlpine as well as Treasurer Kyle Miers.

"The diversity, skills and experience that exists on the Board is fantastic and will serve the Federation very well. There is a terrific range of age, disability, gender and ethnicity that provides a solid foundation for the Federation to draw from" Mr. Corcoran said today.

The founding members and their organisations are:

  • Kyle Mier - Australian Association of the Deaf;
  • Robert Altamore - Blind Citizens Australia,
  • Maria McGrath - Brain Injury Association,
  • Ruth Fotheringham - Deafness Forum Australia,
  • Roy McAlpine - National Council on Intellectual Disability,
  • Diana Qian - National Ethnic Disability Alliance,
  • Ros Sackley - National Indigenous Disability Network,
  • Maurice Corcoran - Physical Disability Council of Australia; and
  • Samantha Jenkinson - Women with Disabilities Australia.

Membership will be opened up to other national consumer based disability bodies following the 2004 Annual General Meeting.

The Federation is the newly formed national peak body funded and recognised by government as the peak body in Australia representing people with disability.

The Federation is unique because it is the first cross-disability national body in Australia whose Constitution specifies that all its Directors and staff must be people with disability.

"It is this very factor that is the source of the Federation's legitimacy because for the first time there is a national peak that is for people with disability that will be run by people with disability" Mr. Corcoran said.

For too long people with disability have been forced to accept representation on their behalf by people with no personal experience of disability.

The Federation is now in the process of hiring a Chief Executive Officer and Directors are now very much looking forward to tackling some of the major issues affecting people with disability across Australia. However, before this can happen administrative systems need to be established as well as communication and consultation strategies. Interested parties can contact Enterprise Care on email: or by telephoning 03 9819 2169 in the first instance.

In the meantime, information about the Federation and its on-going development will be distributed via regular communiqués and will also be available at