World Autism Awareness Day will be held on April 2 and members of the autistic self-advocacy movement are campaigning for basic services and social acceptance. Autistic activists from groups like the Geneva-based Autistic Minority International, Wrong Planet and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network are organising to be heard as a community rather than being primarily represented by experts and professionals in the field.
Hundreds of blind people and their supporters have linked white canes in front of Vision Australia Enterprises in support of blind manual workers facing the sack at the end of this month. The white cane chain stretched more than 200 metres, doubling back across the length of the Kensington worksite. It received widespread media coverage. The crowd, which gathered on September 15, chanted, “people before profits” and “have some vision, change your decision”, referring to Vision Australia’s decision to close its supported employment program because it failed to make a profit.
The Victorian Blind Workers Union and United Voice Queensland have stepped up the fight to save the jobs of 73 vision-impaired workers. The workers are due to be sacked within three months by Vision Australia Enterprises in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. Not-for-profit organisation Vision Australia plans to cease its supported employment program due to financial problems.
The Victorian Blind Workers’ Union and United Voice Queensland are battling to save the jobs of 73 vision-impaired workers employed by Vision Australia Enterprises in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
World War Z Directed by Marc Foster Starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale & Matthew Fox In Cinemas now It’s movie time — winter is upon us, kids are home for two weeks and there’s a glut of new releases at the cinemas. While providing the necessary action and suspense for my kids’ age group, the US$190 million production World War Z also glorifies US-style international relations in the fight against a futuristic global zombie takeover.
Representatives of the taxi industry have urged the Victorian Taxi Industry Inquiry to adopt its proposal for centrally booked door-to-door share ride minibuses as an alternative to many regular bus routes. Peter Erwin and Douglas Clark, who describe themselves as having extensive experience in the taxi industry, made a joint submission to the inquiry on August 13. Erwin and Clark have approached community groups and local media in the Yarra Ranges, Whittlesea and East Gippsland seeking support for a trial of share ride minibuses.
With impeccable smiling customer service staff motioning to myki readers and swarms of grinning, armed, uniformed officers pursuing passengers for a chat, the Victorian Liberal government hopes to win support for its public transport agenda. Public Transport Victoria stopped selling weekly, monthly and yearly Metcards on July 2. More than 80% of Metcard machines have been removed from train stations. The expensive and unpopular myki system will soon take over.
Residents of the newly established Mount Cooper Estate in Bundoora in Melbourne’s north are fighting to save local parkland and restore their bus services. In early April residents discovered that the 563 bus service which linked them to Plenty Road, Northlands and Greensborough was about to be withdrawn by the Ted Baillieu Coalition State Government. Residents of the estate now have to cross Plenty Road to access public transport, which exposes school children from the estate to increased traffic hazards and is too far for many elderly residents to walk.
The world’s largest workforce is on call 24-hours-a-day and receives no wages. Domestic workers and carers for children, ageing or ill members of society or those with disabilities are usually women living within family units. They are most often the partners, mothers or daughters of the people for whom they provide this care. Most of these tasks are performed out of love for their family members. But female carers and domestic workers are often deprived of freedom of choice in their living and working conditions.
Workers with disabilities are speaking out against the Supported Wage System (SWS), which encourages employers to legally underpay workers with disabilities. The federal government’s Job Access program markets SWS as a progressive innovation by burying it among more egalitarian policies such as funding improvements to workplace accessibility. The Job Access website says the SWS is “a process that allows employers to pay less than the award wage by matching a person's productivity with a fair wage”.
Workers with disabilities are speaking out against the Supported Wage System (SWS), which encourages employers to legally underpay workers with disabilities. The federal government’s Job Access program markets SWS as a progressive innovation by burying it among more egalitarian policies such as funding workplace accessibility improvements. The Job Access website said the SWS was “a process that allows employers to pay less than the award wage by matching a person's productivity with a fair wage”.
In the lead-up to the November 27 Victorian state elections, the Council of Single Mothers Action Group has expressed its concern about the right of religious institutions to legally discriminate against gays, lesbians and single parents. Until amended last year, Victorian Equal Opportunities legislation granted religious bodies many exemptions. This meant they could discriminate against many groups of people in employment and service provision. The amendments did not remove the right to discriminate against gays, lesbians and single parents.
Liberal member for Dunkley, Bruce Billson, has been left fighting for his political life after the recent federal election. The Council of Single Mothers and their Children (CSMC) Action Group targeted his electorate during the election campaign.
A dozen women filled the public gallery of Whittlesea City Council chamber on July 27 to oppose an ALP council back-down on the appointment of a part-time women’s policy officer. The women were mostly part of the council-sponsored “Women Matter Two” network, which seeks to enhance women’s participation in public life and politics in Melbourne’s working-class, outer-north suburbs. In June, council voted almost unanimously to set aside $50,000 in the council’s annual budget to create this part-time position: 2010 is the Year of Women in Local Government.
The Council of Single Mothers and their Children (CSMC) has taken a stand, in solidarity with Indigenous single mothers in the Northern Territory, against the income management and Basics Card scheme. These policies were part of the NT intervention, rolled out across Aboriginal communities in 2007. Legislation passed in the Senate on June 21 amended the Social Security Act to allow income management to also be applied to non-Aboriginal people, across the NT and then eventually across Australia.
Our children are still being fed racist messages by toy manufacturers and stockists. A recent browse through Northlands K-Mart toy department led me to wonder: If all Baby-Borns are white, where did Wrestler Action Man come from? Despite catering to one of the most multicultural parts of Melbourne, Northlands K-Mart does not have a single non-white baby doll in its massive display.