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Cheryl Critchley
+61 3 8344 8065
0466 322 872


A world-first centre led by the University of Melbourne will address the health and wellbeing of working-age Australians with disabilities.


The Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health (CRE-DH) brings together researchers and stakeholders to produce a knowledge base that will inform major policy reform.

While 15 per cent of the world’s population live with a disability, they have generally been ignored by public health research, practice and policy.

Disability affects almost everyone at some stage and in some way, either through direct experience or family and friends. Approximately 1 in 5 Australians (4.2 million people - 18.5 per cent of the population) identify as having a disability.

This lack of knowledge, understanding and recognition has created a silence in the health space.

Professor Anne Kavanagh, Lead Investigator and Co-Director of the Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health said the health of people with disabilities is worse across most health outcomes, including those unrelated to their impairment.

“Australians with disabilities fare particularly badly in global terms; they have the lowest relative income and one of the lowest levels of labour force participation out of all the OECD countries,” she says.

“What is not well understood is that their poor health may be unrelated to their impairment and there is a lack of data around health impacts. We need to be working across a range of areas such as health economics, epidemiology, health and policy,” Professor Kavanagh says.

The collaboration brings together advocacy groups across Australia with international and national academics.  The CRE-DH will also be actively involved in training early career researchers to further build upon the research.

The CRE-DH will be launched by Disability Discrimination Commissioner Alastair McEwin with a panel discussion chaired by media personality Julie McCrossin and featuring writer and activist Carly Findlay and performer Emily Dash discussing health and wellbeing from a disability perspective.

Partners in the new centre include The University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, UNSW Canberra, RMIT University and Monash University.

WHEN:           Tuesday 27 June 2017, 5.30pm

WHERE:         Ian Potter Auditorium at Melbourne Brain Centre
The University of Melbourne, Kenneth Myer Building, 30 Royal Parade, Parkville Vic 3010