News & Events

ADDC Panel at the ACFID Conference

by ADDC · 20 Nov, 2017

An inspiring group of women spoke on a panel at the ADDC-hosted concurrent session at this year’s ACFID Conference in Melbourne on 2nd November 2017. Under the theme of transformational leadership, the panel explored the intersections between development programming and overcoming barriers for people with disability to reach a diversity of leadership roles locally, nationally and internationally. The panel also discussed new strategies to support women with disabilities to reach leadership roles through inclusive development and mainstream programming.

Eka signing in American Sign Language her presentation on the transformation impacts of including people with disabilities as leaders of their community. Eka Lui, Rachel Rawlings, Kirsty Thomas, Christina Ryan, and Cathy Nasarua (left to right) formed the ADDC panel at the ACFID Conference, Melbourne, 2nd November 2017.


Cathy Nasarua, a Board Member of the Fiji Deaf Association shared her experiences as a woman with hearing impairment growing up in Fiji with no national sign language and the challenges she and others have to overcome to reach leadership roles with their communities, nationally and regionally. Eka Liu, from Indonesia challenged the audience to consider the positive and diverse impact people with disabilities can have within their communities as change agents when they reach leadership roles. Christina Ryan, the founder of the Disability Leadership Institute, provided an Australian perspective on strategies to support more women with disabilities into a diversity of leadership roles, including how to adapt the normative culture of leadership and recognising diversity within the disability population. Rachel Rawlings, from Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs Gender Division, shared strategies within the Australia aid program supporting women with disabilities to become leaders and importance of continuing such work.

Thank you Eka, Christina, Cathy and Rachel for your invaluable contributions on the panel and Kirsty Thomas from CBM Australia for chairing the session.