Having a Say

Vivid was proud to have representation at this year’s ‘Having a Say’ conference in Geelong.


The conference is the largest of its kind – dedicated to people with disability in Australia and hosted by VALiD (an advocacy support organisation). Hannah Hunt, Michelle McCaffery and Rikki Parsons-Gregson packed their bags, and with much anticipation, headed to Geelong with support worker Denise McInnes.

The three women have all been involved with MHS’ Client Representative Council (CRC) and this was an amazing opportunity for them to extend their skills in advocacy on behalf of people with disability.

Michelle is a true trailblazer, having attended the conference once before. A few years ago, she took it upon herself to write to Rick Ruiu at VALid asking him why there was no advocacy conferences held in Echuca. In response, Rick travelled to Echuca to attend a CRC meeting, and a lasting relationship with VALiD was established.

The trio returned to Echuca after the conference with an ignited passion for advocacy and we are so pleased to have been able to offer them the opportunity to go. This was all thanks to the generosity of our very own FUNRaising Committee who were keen to allocated some of their donation towards the trip to Geelong.

Since its inaugural conferences in 2000, the event has grown to over1,000 participants from across Australia, and there are also international representatives who attend each year. The conference provides a forum for keen advocates of people with disabilities to network, learn and find their voice, empowering people with disability to speak up, be heard and be respected.

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