Professionals with Spinal Injury Network – April 2018
Since their last meeting at the end of 2017, and approximately one year after they formed, the Professionals with Spinal Injury Network decided to develop a strategy for next 12 months. A small governance group met for two planning workshops that took place in May and April, where they discussed the core purpose of the group, and some tangible actions moving forward.
At the end of two planning workshops two main purposes for SCIP were outlined:
- To help people in all stages of employment with a spinal-related injury – to gain employment, manage and adapt workplaces, supports and entitlements available, rights, etc.
- This will be the primary focus of the group which can be driven by making sure people are aware of the group and developing the membership.
- By welcoming new members to the group, one-on-one peer-support, hosting group sessions at WoT Days, forums etc.
- To influence the broader professional workspace (our contribution to the workforce) – advocacy, changing corporate attitudes to SCI/disability, influencing senior leaders, creating opportunities for SCI professionals, etc.
- While this is an incredibly important goal, the group will look to delving deeper into this as membership grows and becomes more known within the community.
With SCIP group members having a wide range of skills themselves, including writing and editorial to networking, marketing and technology it was decided that a new and improved website would be designed, along with a flyer. The importance of ensuring the language is inclusive was discussed in detail which will be reflected in all content moving forward. This is to ensure the group comes across as open and inclusive to all levels of spinal injury – whether you use a wheelchair or not. The group has also been working on a code of conduct which is currently being finalised – this will then be housed on the new website. During this 12-month strategy, the group will also consider ways in which to measure its outcomes, achievements and goals.
To date, the group has been meeting quarterly, hosting guest speakers in areas such as accessing superannuation, benefits of Job Access, and members sharing their own personal experiences, tips and ideas. While this will continue, the meeting in August will be a follow on from the workshops outcomes, future content and events and inviting as many members as possible to attend. From this meeting, the group hope to gauge how much time and energy people are able and willing to commit to the group – small or large, all contributions being valuable and worthwhile.
For the following meeting in November, the group hopes to have someone from the Victorian Human Rights Commission speak to the group about the laws of people with disabilities in the workplace. Through implementing the 12-month strategy the group will first focus on advertising the group, developing its membership and continuing to help others with spinal injuries (as well as each other), in all stages of employment. From this, the group will then aim to develop the second part of the strategy – influencing the broader professional workspace.
Details of our next event:
DATE: Thursday, 16 Aug 2018, 4:00 – 6.00PM
WHERE: Lonely Planet Offices, 551 Swanston Street, Carlton
DETAILS: General meeting – discussing outcomes and actions from the planning meeting; future content, events and activities, peer support, outreach discussion etc.