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29 Apr 2016
Australia Awards in Indonesia is proud to support the efforts of those who have dedicated their lives to advocating for the rights, understanding and well-being of people with disabilities. A talented group of 24 individuals across Indonesia participated in a Leadership Organisation and Management Practices for Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) short course at the University of Sydney’s Sydney South East Asia Centre in January 2016.
The course aims to build the confidence and capacity of emerging leaders in DPOs to enable them to better advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, and to strengthen their leadership in the face of social inclusion barriers, as well as to use the knowledge and skills gained to influence their professional fields and communities.
These are their testimonials gathered during post-course workshop in Jakarta, 26 April 2016:
Rini Rindawati works at Advocacy Center for Disabled Women and Children in Bantul, Yogyakarta Special Province.
“Great accessibility for all citizens makes it convenient to participate in activities outside the home. Children with disabilities, people with disabilities, and their parents can comfortably go out and mingle. They become intertwined with pedestrians, buses, trains, boats, bus stops and zebra crossings, and represent an example of successful advocacy through state regulations on accessibility standards.”
Notri Lidia is the Deputy Secretary of the National Paralympic Committee of the West Sumatra chapter
“I had the chance to see a sports event on Australia Day in Sydney, I was very impressed particularly on how the children with disabilities played sports by using adaptive wheelchairs to help their mobility. It truly was inspiring, to see parents who have children with disabilities supportive and encouraging. Sports can pull people together and it could bridge differences in religion, races and physical disabilities. I gained so much during the two-week course, it seems like I went studying for two semesters and inspired me to continuously change the stigma towards people with disability that disabilities are not a disease. It is a sign of diversity of human conditions. A person with disability has the potential to develop and be part of society. Aside from the personal development, the network I obtained from the course on a personal level and professional level with NGOs in Australia as well as with other participants from across Indonesia meant a lot for me.”
Hardiyo, Chairperson of Mitra Sejahtera, a Disabled People’s Organisation in Gunung Kidul regency in Central Java
“We could ride buses, taxis, trains and ferries ourselves. The experience there helped me gained confidence personally and to my surprise my stakeholders also put more trust in me. Since I came back to Gunung Kidul, the communications to the stakeholders and donors have significantly improved, enabling us to have more activities, donors and collaborations. In Australia, we learned how to identify the root of the problem and demonstrate ability to solve problem professionally. I’ve also been in touch with our local government to share my insights and experience. It may take 50 years to change Gunung Kidul into an inclusive community and I intend to be a part of that change.”
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