A society in which all communities and people are free from family violence

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RFVP Disability Inclusion and Safety Resource Hub

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

The Disability Inclusion and Safety Resource Hub has been developed for organisations and practitioners who are working with people with disability who are experiencing or using family violence. 

The Resource Hub provides ready access to important resources that promote safety, accessibility, equity and inclusion of people with disability which can aid in reducing barriers and increasing safety.  Resources are relevant to Organisational Leaders, Specialist Family Violence and Sexual Assault Practitioners, Disability Services, Health, Family Support, Education and others.


Disability within the Aboriginal community is often combined with the impacts of chronic disease and other health, social and economic challenges. These complex needs can amplify disability impacts for individuals and families requiring a holistic and integrated response.

The concept of disability within Aboriginal communities can mean many different things. In some communities a word or cultural definition for disability does not exist and for some Aboriginal people use of the generic term ‘disability’ is a devaluing experience. While culture and a collective sense of family and community is of utmost importance, Aboriginal people also recognise and celebrate the uniqueness and individuality of each Aboriginal person – their diverse aspirations, interests and chosen pathways. It is more responsive therefore to discuss and respond to specific disability impacts.

Because of a history of dispossession, removal of children, other discriminatory government policies and non-inclusive practices, many Aboriginal people may mistrust organisations and government. This can lead to self-exclusion from services. To overcome this, active engagement and outreach with Aboriginal families, communities and organisations is needed to ensure information is accessible, and that trust can be built through respectful relationships and patience over time.

When working with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person with disability, always be guided by the person to inform your understanding of their disability.

Source: Enabling choice for Aboriginal people living with disability, Department of Human Services, 2011.


Enabling choices for Aboriginal people living with disability: Promoting access and inclusion

About this resource: Provides guidance to community based organisations and disability service providers for designing, planning and delivering culturally competent and accessible services and supports.

Applying this resource: For all organisations and practitioners to inform work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a disability and their families in ways that recognise and respect Aboriginal culture.

Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way, Strong Culture, Strong Peoples

About this resource: Dhelk Dja is the key Aboriginal-led Victorian Agreement that commits the signatories – Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal services and government – to work together and be accountable for ensuring that Aboriginal people, families and communities are stronger, safer, thriving and living free from family violence. 

Dhelk Dja articulates the long-term partnership and directions required at a statewide, regional and local level to ensure that Aboriginal people, families and communities are violence free, and built upon the foundation of Aboriginal self-determination. 

Applying this resource: For all organisations and practitioners 

NDIS – Aboriginal Liaison Officers

About this resource: The Aboriginal Disability Liaison Officer (ADLO) program is a National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) funded program to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities to become active participants of the national Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) who are part of the ADLO program and will be able to assist with access to services under the NDIS when criteria is met in a culturally and safe manner.  

Applying this resource: For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who would like to apply for access to the NDIS.   

Research Report - Options to improve service availability and accessibility for First Nations people with disability.

About this resource: A report submitted to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of people with Disability by Deloitte (2023) outlining options to improve service availability and accessibility for First Nations people with disability.

Applying this resource: For organisations and practitioners

Research Report - Wangkiny Yirra “Speaking Up” Project

About this resource:A report submitted to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of people with Disability a literature review outlining First Nations women and children with disability experiences of family violence.

Applying this resource: For organisations and practitioners.

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