Working Alongside People with Intellectual and Learning Disabilities

Biographies - Paperbag Lunch Forum: Intellectual Disability and Domestic Violence

Paperbag Lunch Forum: People with Intellectual Disability Living with Domestic and Family Violence
7th August 2015


Biographies of Speakers


Meryl Ehrenberg – Caboolture Regional Domestic Violence Service (CRDVS)

Meryl has worked in the Domestic & Family Violence sector for over 20 years, most of that time at CRDVS. Meryl is very passionate and committed in working for the prevention of violence against women and children. The CRDVS has recently opened offices in Pine Rivers and Redcliffe as part of its regional services.


Tamieka Treblico & Deb Turner

Tamieka has worked for Anglicare for about 4 years in various roles, from managing Alina Service and Anglican Women’s Hostel, and is now the Co-Ordinator of Anglicare Homelessness Services Women and Families. Deb has worked as key worker at Alina for 5 years as Case Manager and Senior Case Manager. Homelessness Services Women and Families - Alina Service, have recently started supporting Service Users with Therapeutic Models based on Trauma Informed Practice, Recovery Orientated Practice and Housing First principles. The understanding of trauma and its impact, the real and individual journey of recovery and the needs of safety within stable housing are part of what HSWF believe to be the basis in assisting people to re build their lives.

In responding to Domestic & Family Violence Alina Service (who work with families and singles who have intellectual disabilities)  have found these frameworks to be useful tools on the journey from trauma to recovery.

Sue Salthouse

Sue Salthouse has worked in the area of social justice since 1996, playing an active role in the systemic advocacy for women with disabilities. She lives in Canberra where runs her own consultancy company that specialises in work in the disability sector and conducts social research, policy analysis and advice in a number of areas beyond disability advocacy, including project development and management, conference facilitation and TAFE teaching. She has worked extensively with Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE) to develop leadership training projects for women, including women in Aboriginal communities. She currently works hard in a voluntary capacity for Women with Disabilities ACT and Rights International (Australia).



Is it just behavioural? biographies

Biographies of speakers and services involved in the 2014 Paperbag Lunch seminar 'Is it just behavioural? People with Intellectual Disability and Effective Mental Health Management'.


A DVD of the event is available to order for services outside Brisbane. Please look under Upcoming Events or Contact Us to order a copy.


Dr Niki Edwards (Senior Lecturer QUT School of Public Health and Social Work) Niki graduated in Social Work from the University of Queensland (UQ) in 1982, completed a Bachelor of Arts in 1992 (UQ), a Master of Public Administration in 2000 (UQ) and a PhD in Epidemiology in 2007 (UQ). She has worked in health, disability and human services for more than 20 years: initially working in psychiatric services as people with disabilities moved from institutional care/community development, then clinical work in hospital and rehabilitation settings, public policy and public administration across government portfolios including family services, community services, disability and mental health, and in recent years, medical education. Niki has been involved in academia for more than a decade, undertaking mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) research and teaching responsibilities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including teaching of medical students and trainee psychiatrists. She recently worked for government developing mental health policy and undertook community partnership work but is more specifically interested in the mental health needs of vulnerable people, including people with disabilities (particularly those with intellectual and developmental disability). Niki is one of the few accredited international trainers in the psychiatric assessment of adults with intellectual and developmental disability. Other focused research and teaching interests include disability in the international setting, human rights, women’s issues and clinical communication between allied health professionals and medical practitioners. Niki is appointed as a Senior Lecturer with the School of Public Health and Social Work and from 2014 was appointed as the Coordinator of the Social Work undergraduate degrees. Regardless of her academic career and working life, Niki considers her greatest achievement to be parenting her five beautiful children and three “pesky” dachshunds with her partner of 30 years.


Dr Luke Hatzipetrou (BA, P/Grad Dip Psych, DCP, Intellectual Disability Outreach Service) is a clinical and forensic psychologist with expertise in delivering treatment services to people with intellectual disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders and mental illness. Dr Hatzipetrou has published and delivered workshops regarding the psychological treatment of persons with developmental disorders. He provides forensic reports to the Mental Health Court and the Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal.


Services supporting self advocates:


Community Living Program, (Community Living Association) has been supporting people with learning, intellectual and cognitive disabilities since 1989. CLP supports its constituents to live in their local community by working with its constituents to improve their safety and security, resources such as income, housing etc, physical and mental well-being, safe and positive relationships, and their role and contribution to community. CLA/CLP has also engaged in a number of research and development projects in the areas of homelessness, criminal justice, mental health, sexual assault, literacy, employment and housing. One of the services that developed was the At Risk Research Outreach Service (ARROS) to provide outreach services to young people with intellectual disabilities who were homeless. It has also fostered the development of a workers’ co-operative, housing co-operative, literacy programs and a range of other initiatives. The WWILD-SVP Association was also a program that developed out of CLA research project in 1994.


WWILD-SVP Association Inc. works with women and men with intellectual or learning disabilities who have been victims of sexual violence, other crime or exploitation, or who are at risk. Originally formed in 1995 by a group of women with intellectual disabilities, WWILD has grown to a funded organisation that works alongside women and men with intellectual or learning disability, and provides specialised counselling, groups, support, information, advice and referral, community education and professional training. WWILD .has two programs, the Sexual Violence Prevention Service and the Disability Training Program - Victims of Crime. At WWILD we strive to achieve social justice and systemic change that will uphold the rights of people with intellectual and learning disabilities to live free from violence. We have a vision of a society that values people with intellectual difference and acknowledges their abilities. Our goal is that people lead good lives.


Roundtable 2015 Biographies

Biographies of speakers at the 2015 Queensland Roundtable on Issues for People with Intellectual Disabilities 

Creativity and Collaboration for ‘Choice and Control’ - Australians with Intellectual Disabilities: Who is Leading the Way and Who May be Left Behind Under the NDIS


Leslie Chenoweth BSocWk, MSocWk, PhD, is the inaugural Professor of Social Work and currently Head of Logan Campus at Griffith University.  She has decades of experience as a social work and human service practitioner, academic and activist chiefly in the disability area.  The theme of addressing social and economic inequalities has strongly underpinned and continues to influence all her practice. Her current role sees her working on building aspiration and widening participation in higher education in the Logan community which is one of Australia’s most diverse but also most disadvantaged areas. Lesley is passionate about how education can transform lives and indeed whole communities.


Jim Simpson will lead a discussion in relations to the needs of people with intellectual disabilities who live on society’s fringe, not qualify for Tier3 NDIS support and still rely on state government support. Jim is a lawyer and advocate who have worked in the disability field for thirty years. Jim had a central role in establishing the Intellectual Disability Rights Service in Sydney and currently works as a Senior Advocate for the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability.  Over the last fifteen years, this has been particularly focused on:
o    Improved access to human services for people with intellectual disability who come into contact with the criminal justice system.
o    Improved health care for people with intellectual disability.
o    Equitable access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme for people with intellectual disability, particularly people who live isolated lives on society’s fringe.


Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative, established in 1999, is a not-for-profit social enterprise that works specifically to provide training opportunities and sustainable meaningful employment to people withan intellectual/cognitive disabilities. The people who work there are keen to work but have struggled to find work due to the pace at which they learn, and unwillingness of employers to employ them as they see their disability as a financial burden on the business. It currently has 2 business arms – Espresso Train Café & Catering and the Parks and Maintenance Division.



Donna Best has been a spokesperson for self-advocacy for more than 20 years, and was a member of the Intellectual Disability Council in the late 80's. Donna has been involved in various community networks and organisations including: The Queensland Disability Network, Community Living Program, and Speaking Up For You. Donna was also involved in the early development of WWILD Sexual Violence Prevention Service. Donna is an active member of the Hot Topics group, and is passionate about self-advocacy, and improving the life experiences of people who have a disability.


IYHG Propriety Ltd was established in 1989 as a not-for-profit company. The main goal is to provide stable housing for low income earners. They presently own 11 properties and house 15 people. All of these people receive the Disability Support Pension. The company is run and maintained by its members.


Resources for families, carers and support workers

The Centre Against Sexual Violence in Logan, Qld has a great brochure for family members and supporters of survivors of abuse: Supporting Adult Survivors of Sexual Assault. It is not specific to people with disability, but the information and advice is relevant to all survivors and their supporters. It includes information about: What is Sexual Assault?, Responding to the Survivor, and How you might be feeling and the impact this can have on her. This information is relevant to survivors who are male and female, but uses the term 'her' to acknowledge that the majority of victims are female.


Download the brochure Supporting Adult Survivors of Sexual Assault here.


WWILD has created a list of Easy Read resources for people with intellectual and learning disabilites to help them know their rights, and information on various topics. As a supporter it may be your role to provide information and reassurance. Please see our Easy Read Resources page for resources you can download to go through with someone.


Click here for the Easy Read Resources page.


Enable Scotland have created an excellent resource for families, carers and support workers on supporting adults with intellectual disabilities who have experienced sexual abuse. Please be aware however that it is placed in the Scottish context, so the information about the law is not relevant to the Australian context.


Download Enable Scotland's Unlocking sexual abuse and learning disabilities. Supporting adults with learning disabilities who have been sexually abused: A guide for family carers and support staff here.


You may wish to help the person seek legal advice or to get an advocate to help them negotiate systems like police, disability services or housing.

Please visit our Links pages for listings of Legal Services, Disability Advocacy Services and more.


Credit card payments

When you use our online booking system for events, you are given the option at checkout to pay offline (bank deposit or cheque) or using PayPal.


You DO NOT have to have a PayPal account to use this system, just a credit card.


When you confirm to pay with PayPal, you will be redirected to the PayPal website, which will look like this:



Note that underneath the option of 'Pay with my PayPal account', there is the option 'Pay with a credit or debit card'.


If you click on it, it will look like this:



You can then enter your credit card details using PayPal security to pay for your purchase.


PayPal uses industry-leading security and your credit card details are not shared with WWILD Sexual Violence Prevention Association Inc.


If you elected to make an offline payment, and changed your mind and would like to make a credit card payment, please contact WWILD and we can create a PayPal invoice so you can pay via credit card.


If you have any issues with this system please do not hesitate to contact us.

WWILD Sexual Violence Prevention Program is funded by the Department of Communities, QLD. & the WWILD Victims of Crime Disability Training Program is funded by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, QLD

WWILD Phone: (07) 3262 9877 Email: Address: 211 Hudson Road, WOOLOOWIN QLD 4030 Contact hours: Monday to Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm