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Peter Arndt smiles at the camera in front of a tree that is out of focus.

Inclusion of People with Disabilities

Director of OJEP, Peter Arndt, reflects on his experience working with guide dogs, and the challenges and discrimations people with disabilities still face in daily life.

A women with down syndrome is reading something from her laptop in a modern apartment.

The Church Is Our Home

Peter Arndt, Director of the Office reflects on Advent and particularly on seeing God with us each day. The hustle and bustle of this time of year can stop us seeing and hearing God in our day-to-day lives. He urges us to keep Christ in our celebrations of Christmas by remembering and including people excluded from society and our brother and sisters in the environment in our celebrations. Peter farewells Patrice Moriarty who is moving on from her support of the Office.

A women with down syndrome is reading something from her laptop in a modern apartment.

Pope Francis’ Message on the International Day of People with Disability

Pope Francis released a message on the International Day for People with Disability. In it he spoke of people with disability’s role in teaching the rest of the church about their own experience, on building a welcoming, warm and inclusionary church as well as gift of their strength and faith to the church. He said, “with regard to the disabled – there can be no us and them, but a single us, with Jesus Christ at the centre, where each person brings his or her own gifts and limitations.”

Picture of Damien Gardiner

New disability projects officer starts at Bishops Conference

Damien Gardiner has been appointed as the new Disability Projects officer of the ACBC. Mr Gardiner’s role will be to carry forward efforts to promote the full participation of people with a disability in the life of the Church. Bishop Tim Norton SVD, the Bishop Delegate for Disabilities Issues welcomed him, “Through his professional experience and through his personal faith commitment and practice, Damien is a wonderful addition to the Bishops Conference.”

Young woman sitting on a bridge and talks with young man sitting in wheel chair.

Disability workforce at breaking point

One in three disability sector workers report wanting to leave their job in the next twelve months and Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) report the sector is demoralised and at breaking point. Ms Monique Earsmon, Executive Director of CSSA is bringing the issue to the fore, “Disability workers are undervalued and this is having a devastating impact on the people they care for.”

Biru sits on the ground, smiling at something off camera. Biru is working with a metal wheel close by.

Project Compassion: Biru’s Story

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Biru has overcome many difficulties in his life. As a person living with a disability and part of a minority in rural India, keeping cattle to support his wife and four children was a challenge. So he taught himself to repair bicycles and through participating in an entrepreneurship and livelihoods training program, supported by Caritas has been able to set up his own business and be financially dependent.

A gentleman serving at a hospitality service

International Day of People with Disability

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The International Day of People with Disability is on 3 December. The theme for the day is ‘Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world’. Over 4.4 million people in Australia live with a disability and this United Nations observed day aims to increase awareness, understand and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements.