The Women’s Disability Action Plan Advisory Committee seeks new members

shot of the hospital exterior
16 June 2021 |
The Royal Women’s Hospital is seeking expressions of interest from individuals with lived experience of disability to join the hospital’s Disability Action Plan Advisory Committee.  

The Women’s is encouraging former and current patients and carers with lived experience of disability to have their say on how the hospital can improve the experience for staff and patients with disability and provide advice on the hospital’s current and future Disability Action Plan.

These are voluntary positions and Disability Action Plan Advisory Committee members will be asked to serve for a two-year term.

The Women’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy, Michelle Schwensen, said it is an exciting time for the Committee.

“As Australia’s first and largest specialist hospital for women and newborn babies, we want to ensure that our hospital is a supportive and inclusive space for people with disability,” she said.

“Over the past two years we have been able to draw on the valuable insights and perspectives of women with lived experience of disability. They have enabled us to make significant progress towards the goals of our Disability Action Plan. We want to continue this momentum with our new Committee members.”

About the Women’s Disability Action Plan

Created with community and staff members, the Women’s Disability Action Plan has four goals:

  1. Reduce barriers for women with lived experience of disability to access the Women’s services.
  2. Support the Women’s staff with lived experience of disability and people with lived experience of disability to work with us.
  3. Celebrate and include people with lived experience of disability in all the Women’s does.
  4. Change attitudes and behaviours that discriminate against people with lived experience of disability.  
Information about the Disability Action Plan Advisory Committee

The Committee meets every three months. Due to COVID-19, meetings are being held via Zoom and the Women’s will support any identified accessibility needs to enable Committee members to attend. The next meeting is Tuesday 13 July, 4pm to 5.30pm.

Committee members are required to do some pre-meeting reading and the Women's asks that everyone come to meetings prepared to contribute by sharing perspectives and insights. 

In recognition of Committee members’ valuable time, the hospital provides a $50 gift voucher for attendance at a meeting. Transport costs to and from the hospital, including car parking costs, will be covered in cases where face–to-face meetings are held.

The initial commitment would be for two years. There will be an option to continue, based on the member’s interest and the needs of the Committee at that time.

Skills and experience needed

The Women’s is looking for the lived experience, insights and perspectives of Committee members, rather than specific qualifications. Committee members should have a:

  • Commitment to support the hospital to improve the patient experience for women with lived experience of disability 

  • Previous or current care experience at the Women’s as a patient or primary carer of a patient

  • Commitment to do pre-meeting reading and preparation

  • Willingness to participate thoughtfully and actively in meetings
  • Willingness to share the perspectives and insights that have come from your lived experience; as the Disability Action Plan is an important priority for the Women’s, Committee members may be asked to participate in internal and external hospital communications such as brochures, website, and social media.
How to apply

Please submit your expression of interest, including brief information about your knowledge, experience or interest in joining the Committee, via email to by Friday 2 July 2021.

Any questions can be directed to Michelle on 03 8345 2837.

All expressions of interest will be reviewed and the Women's will inform you of the outcome no later than Friday 9 July 2021.

Read the Disability Action Plan here [link to PDF].
Read the Easy English version here [link to PDF].
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