2020 SL&RR virtual conference

On the 22nd May, we held the SL&RR conference online! We had so many people there, in fact we had 30! In the past we couldn’t have imagined our conference going ahead online in this way, but here we are. We did it!

Thank you all for stepping out of your comfort zone and, in fact, stepping up to the plate. The technology ran beautifully and it was so good to see everyone contributing! Thank you to those who took the time to plan and set up their zoom technology. Taking this time greatly helped the conference run smoothly, so thank you.

Who was present? In no particular order there was:

  • Donna, Paul, Holly, Cherie and Sarala from the Blue Mountains site,
  • Danny and Sonya F from the Synapse site,
  • Rhys, Nidhi and Ee-Lin from Western Sydney,
  • Yvette, John and Bec from Bendigo,
  • Ross, Ginger, Jess and Dagmar from South Eastern Melbourne,
  • Maria, Rachael, Fee and Alisha from Gippsland,
  • Amie, Patsie, Linda and Monica from Deakin, and students Sarah and Jess
  • and special guests Janice, John and Heather


Let’s recap- what did we cover?

We were welcomed to the conference by Patsie Frawley. Thank you to Rhys Nagas for acknowledging the various lands on which we were meeting.

We watched a presentation by Dr Claire Bates in the UK and the Supported Loving program. If you would like to watch the full presentation, you can see it here: https://video.deakin.edu.au/media/t/0_fktqmjcq

Linda led us through a group discussion. It was great to see so many connections between the Supported Loving program and SL&RR- particularly in the use of real life stories. A particular point of discussion is how we can create high level, systemic change in the SL&RR program. They do this so well in Support Loving- what can we learn from them?

Then we heard from each site. Now is the perfect time to get back together and begin planning your next program. How might you do this virtually?

After that was an update from Deakin. Two new projects include Sarah Driscoll (student) leading some research around learning partners and supporters. You might hear from her about this research soon. And Amie is beginning a project about information for LGTBIQA+ people with intellectual  disabilities.

The SL&RR program training is going online! This will be four modules- one for each session and be available through the SL&RR website. Stay tuned for updates on this

And lastly we recognised the work of two people in our community:

Thank you Ginger Ekselman. Although Ginger isn’t quite in the same Program Partner position as she was in the past, her work with SECASA has largely stuck with the SL&RR program. We look forward to future work with Ginger as well.

The 2020 recipient of the Janice Slattery award for excellent contribution to SL&RR went to Rachael Walters. Rachael has been involved in the Gippsland network since they began over 10 years ago! Alisha (Rachael’s colleague) says: “Rachael is a role model and an educator for people with and without disabilities. For meetings or program delivery, and whether the session be near or far, Rachael is always on time (or early), always prepared, always focused and committed to her work, and to contributing to a safer and more inclusive world for people with disability.” Congratulations Rachael!

There’s a few opportunities for you:

If you would like to stay up to date with Support Loving in the UK- you can get their regular emails by following this link: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=uTpSACUQX0-3ePIRKKsuXrUcEZ3hMvBLggoNGhMbHuFUNFlDUU04NjFFSkdDUjRaVDdDUkMxSVRVQS4u

If you would like to be involved in Amie’s research about LGTBIQA+ information, please get in touch Amie amie.oshea@deakin.edu.au

If you would like to be involved in videos for the SL&RR modules, please get in touch with Monica

If you would like to be involved in reviewing the content for the SL&RR modules, please get in touch with Monica

If you are interested, or know of someone interested in studying at Deakin, keep in mind the Graduate Certificate of Disability and Inclusion offered at a VERY discounted rate! Speak with Patsie if you have any questions: patsie.frawley@deakin.edu.au

Our friends in New Zealand have finished their project Mean As. They collected stories from Maori people with intellectual disabilities about their relationships and sexuality. And the stories are publically available! Check them out here: https://www.donaldbeasley.org.nz/projects/mean-as/

A very successful conference!

See you next time- maybe even virtually!

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