“Advocacy” refers to the efforts of an individual or group to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert the interests, desires, needs and rights of yourself or another person.

An advocate is . . . a person who speaks up for, and defends the rights of him or herself, or of another person.

A self-advocate is . . . a person who speaks up for him or herself, and defends his or her own rights.

Parent-advocates are . . . people who speak up for, and defend the rights of their children, and are willing to work with a school or other service provider to make sure that their children get the services they need and deserve.

The following organisations provide information, advice or service to support people with a disability to be heard.

Disability Advocacy Resource Centre (DARU)

DARU is a statewide service established to resource the disability advocacy sector in Victoria. The resources that DARU provides aims to support the Disability Advocacy sector and Disability Advocates through disseminating relevant and up to date information, organising forums around the state so that there is a coordinated approach to issues of concern, providing professional development opportunities and undertaking capacity building projects on behalf of the sector. 

Disability Resources Centre

Disability Resources Centre being a member & agency of Disability Rights Victoria, we are funded by the Department of Human Services to provide individual advocacy to adults with disabilities across greater Metropolitan Melbourne including the Mornington Peninsula.

We provide individual advocacy to adults with physical, sensory, intellectual, psychiatric, neurological and multiple disabilities. The disability may be obvious or hidden. Our service is free of charge and available to adults with disabilities.

We help adults with disabilities understand the choices available to them, to make their own decisions, & we support them to speak up for themselves. We make representations on behalf of people with disabilities to service providers, government & non-government organisations as the issue requires.

Contact Details

DRC Head Office

Address: 3rd Floor, Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone: 03 9671 3000

E-mail: [email protected]

Office hours: 11:00am – 5:00pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.

Outer Southeast Outreach Service

Address: 186 Foster Street East, Dandenong VIC 3175

Phone: 03 9791 4870

Fax: 03 9792 1111

E-mail: [email protected]

Office hours: 9:30am – 4:30pm, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday.

Disability Justice Advocacy

Disability Justice Advocacy Inc DJA provides advocacy support to people who have ongoing support needs as a result of disability. DJA is governed by a Board of Management comprised of elected persons from its’ general membership. It has been in existence since 1990 and is primarily funded by Commonwealth Department of Social Services (DSS).

Our focus is about working with the person with a disability and supporting their needs, rights and interests to address and resolve issues they identify. We are independent of all other services and free of conflicts of interest. There is no charge to use the service.

Contact Details

Address: Unit 2, 28A Albert Street Preston, Victoria 3072

Phone: 1800 808 126 or 03 9474 0077

Email: [email protected]

Melbourne East Disability Advocacy (MEDA)

MEDA is a not for profit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the rights and interests of people with intellectual disabilities.

Contact Details

Address: 1059 Riversdale Road, Surrey Hills VIC 3127

Post Box: P.O. Box 302, Surrey Hills VIC 3127

Phone: 03 9808 8633

Email: [email protected]  

Office of the Public Advocate

OPA is an independent statutory body established by the Victorian State Government. OPA works to protect and promote the interests, rights and dignity of people with a disability

Contact Details

Address: Level 1, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton 3053 VIC

Phone: 1300 309 337 or 1300 305 612 (TTY)

Fax: 1300 787 510 

Regional Ethnic Disability Advocate

The Regional Ethnic Disability Advocate program provides support to people with a disability and their families, who are from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

This support aims to assist them to assert their rights as valued members of society and to
participate in making decisions about their lives.

Contact Details

MRC North West

Address: 45 Main Road West, St Albans, 3021 VIC

Phone: 03 9367 6044 or 0431 478 258

Fax: 03 9367 4344

Email: [email protected] 

Self Advocacy Resource Unit

It is the job of the Self Advocacy Resource Unit to resource and assists Victorian self-advocacy groups in Victoria for:

  • People with an intellectual disability
  • People with an acquired brain injury
  • People with complex communication support needs

Contact Details

Address: 1st Floor Ross House 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000 VIC

Phone: 03 9639 6856

Email: [email protected]

Youth Disability Advocacy Service

YDAS is the only advocacy service in Australia which exists specifically to work on issues of concern to young people with disabilities. YDAS offers individual advocacy to young people aged 12-25 who have a disability, as well as systemic advocacy on issues that are important to them.

YDAS was established in 2006 and is funded by the State Government of Victoria.

Contact Details

Address: Youth Affairs Council of Victoria – Level 2, 180 Flinders Street, Melbourne 3000 VIC

Phone: 03 9267 3755 (Manager) or 03 9267 3733 (Advocate)

Fax: 03 9639 1622

Email: [email protected]