Statewide Disability Network

ECCV established a Statewide Disability Network in September 2021 to help identify key advocacy issues and support COVID-19 recovery for people with disability from migrant and refugee communities.  

The network provides a unique leadership platform that captures the voice of people with disability from migrant and refugee backgrounds to address systemic gaps and barriers and improve access to support for people navigating the COVID-19 environment.  

Key focus areas include the vaccine rollout, lack of accessible health information, digital literacy, economic challenges and emerging health, social and psychological challenges caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The network engages with various levels of government, health professionals and key agencies across Victoria to advocate and inform policies and processes. It also promotes information and resource-sharing opportunities that embrace diversity and inclusion.  

The network, which meets monthly, has a wide membership base and is chaired by Margherita Coppolino.

Membership is open to:  

  • People with lived experience from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including carers, parents, and families of people with a disability.  
  • Representatives from culturally diverse support groups and disability-specific providers, ethno-specific, multifaith and community leaders from diverse backgrounds.  
  • Mainstream, ethno-specific and multicultural organisations, Victorian state government representatives who engage with and represent people with disability from culturally diverse backgrounds. 

Stories of lived experience

Nyrob lives in Melbourne and acquired her disability due to a serious car accident in 2008. She shared her journey of recovery and being diagnosed as an alcoholic two years after her accident.

You can watch Nyrob and others talk about managing their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic while living with a disability.


Uli was born with a number of chronic health conditions and given zero chance of making it past his second birthday. He was also born with fifty percent lung function.

He talks about the need for service providers to question their assumptions around disability and mental health.

Forums & Workshops

The Statewide Disability Network led a series of online events and workshops to support people with disability as part of the COVID-19 recovery process.

Our forums brought together disability advocates, mental health specialists and people with lived experience.

Further Information  

To learn more about the Network, contact Policy Advisor Jennifer Borrell.

Phone: (03) 9354 9555 


The Statewide Disability Network is funded by the Victorian Government.