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Disability Advocacy & Counselling, Working together

In Australia we live in a world of ‘Royal Commissions’. Currently, the conversations are around the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (known as the Disability Royal Commission).  To dive into this further, So…Podcast is joined by two prominent people in the disability advocacy and trauma-informed counselling space.

Mary Mallet is the CEO of the Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA), which is the peak body for independent disability advocacy in Australia.

Dr Cathy Kezelman AM is the President of Blue Knot Foundation which is the National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma. Blue Knot operates the National Counselling and Referral Service for people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation

The Disability Royal Commission emerged in response to the years of advocacy and self-advocacy work that aimed to create a platform where people could share their stories and have them heard.

It’s not surprising that a Royal Commission of this nature can cause many different reactions. Some people may feel empowered to make a submission, some may feel retraumatised as the Royal Commission opens up old wounds, and some may just feel confused and unsure of how to engage with it.

Mary Mallet and Dr Cathy Kezelman represent two modes of support that currently exist for people who are affected by the Disability Royal Commission: advocacy and counselling.

Mary says that “advocacy is doing the ‘doing’ work”. It’s supporting people with practical actions such as making a submission, or a phone call, or reading through a document.

Counselling offers support of a different kind, the emotional.

So how do you know what is right for you?

There is no one answer. Trauma can present itself in many different ways, and affects each person differently. What is important to know is that each service exists to understand an individual’s complex needs and support them as best they can.

It’s about providing trust, understanding and somebody to walk alongside you.

This episode may cover sensitive or triggering topics. If you feel that you need any support please use one of the below resources.

https://www.blueknot.org.au/

https://www.lifeline.org.au/

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

Options to access to the podcast episode are:

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*Transcript of this interview is also available*

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