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Diocesan Council for People with Disabilities and their Families

  • Assists parishes seeking practical ways to become more inclusive of people with disabilities and their families.
In May 1998 the Council for People with Disabilities and their Families was established under the office of Bishop Phillip Wilson.

The council was established to advise the Bishop on issues relating to the inclusion of people with Disabilities and their families within Church Life.

The council’s formation had been informed by a statement from the Catholic bishops’ conference of England and Wales which stated that “we must recognize that part of the body of Christ is missing when any individual is excluded from Church life.”

During 2007 The Council became a Standing Committee of the Centacare Advisory Council. This was a decision made by Bishop Peter Ingham to ensure a more seamless approach to the management of services and advocacy for people with disabilities and their families.

Under its terms of reference the Committee for People with Disabilities and their Families is comprised of representatives of people with disabilities, parents of children or adults with disabilities, representatives of the Bishops Office, Catholic Education, CCD and other church agencies including the Diocesan disability Advocate based at Centacare Wollongong. In addition members are drawn from a variety of community agencies involved in providing services to People with disabilities and their families.

The work of the committee over the last few years has resulted in the appointment of a Diocesan Disability Advocate. This position works to promote awareness in Parishes of the needs of people with disabilities and to provide advocacy to people with Disabilities and their families when they are experiencing difficulties accessing services within the church or community.

The Committee is currently working on the development of a strategic plan consistent with the current Centacare plan. This plan will inform and give direction to their work over the next 2-3 years. Two working parties are also currently examining a variety of issues.

Overall, the committee works towards a vision of Parish life in which all who want to have a role are included and valued for the unique gifts they have.

Contact details

  • Address: Xavier Centre, 38 Harbour Street, Wollongong NSW 2500
  • Postal: PO Box 1239, Wollongong NSW 2500
  • Tel: 02 4222 2400
  • Fax: 02 4222 2417

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