Disabilities & Carers’ Officers’ Report – Week 3, Sem 1, 2017

NOA ZULman, MOLLIE Galvin and Hannah Makragelidis

The Disabilities and Carers Collective has been off to a strong and positive start in 2017. Prior to the beginning of the semester, we trialled a new method of holding collective meetings. We set up a Google Hangout, as a more accessible and flexible means for getting students with varying levels of mobility together. Save for a few technical difficulties in setting up video chat, it was a successful venture with eight people signing on to the chat! We had some important discussions around the direction of the Collective and some of the creative activist endeavours our members would like to undertake this year.

For the first time in the Collective’s history, we had a stall at O-Week which was a wonderful opportunity for Mollie, Hannah and I to meet many new faces and inform people about the important work that the SRC does and the crucial role the Collective plays in providing a social network and activist opportunities for students with disabilities and their carers. Despite the temperamental weather, O-Week was a great success and we signed up over thirty new members to our collective!
Last week Friday, we held our first social event of the year- a picnic on the lawns of Hermann’s. It was very successful, with over ten new members in attendance, and it was great to get to know such a wide variety of new students in a relaxed and informal environment. We enjoyed some delicious pizza and drinks, ending the first week of semester with gusto.

As Disabilities Officers this year, Mollie, Hannah and I aim to take a three-tiered approach to the Collective- with social inclusion, advocacy and activism as the core pillars of our engagement. Over the coming semester, we hope to host more collective meetings- both online and in person- and social events. Moreover, we have begun to establish a more positive relationship and communication with Disability Services and have begun a formal partnership with Carers Australia.
Overall, 2017 is shaping up to be a fantastic and active year for the Disabilities and Carers Collective!