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Rights & Inclusion Australia (R&IA) is a national Disabled People's Organisation promoting the rights and inclusion of people with disability, with a focus on accessibility in the built environment. R&IA activities include work with First Nations people and Asia Pacific programs. R&IA is a member of the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) and Asia Pacific Disability Forum (APDF).



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News & Updates

27 April 2023 - New Canberra community centre named to recognise Sue Salthouse

Image description: IMAGE: Attendees in a group pose, at the end of the naming ceremony for the new Salthouse Community Centre. All smiling at the camera. ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Luisa Fearnside are standing to the right of the Community Centre's sign. Image source: ACT Government

The ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Luisa Fearnside and other attendees at the naming ceremony of the new Salthouse Community Centre. 27 April 2023. Image source: ACT Government 

R&IA was delighted to be able to attend the formal naming ceremony of the new Salthouse Community Centre in Canberra, on Thursday 27 April. Named to honour recognise Sue Salthouse, a former director of R&IA, 'The Salthouse' is located in Braddon's Haig Park - just to the north of Canberra's CBD.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Sue Salthouse's daughter Luisa Fearnside both spoke at the ceremony, joined by a gathering of Sue's family, friends and colleagues, ACT Government ministers and staff, and others.

From the Chief Minister's media release: "The centre has been named the Salthouse Community Centre to recognise the late Sue Salthouse and her advocacy for people – particularly women – with a disability,” said Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

“Ms Salthouse was awarded the ACT’s 2020 Senior Australian of the Year for this work before sadly passing away in an accident later that year. This inclusive centre in Haig Park is befitting of Sue Salthouse’s important legacy. The accessible building reflects her tireless advocacy for people with a disability and ensures future generations will continue to be touched by her work."

You can read the Chief Minister's media release in full here. The ceremony was also covered on ABC Canberra 7pm News on 27 April.

The Centre will be open for community use from early May.

11 April 2023 - New ABCB Livable Housing Standard documents published, including Voluntary Standard 

Two new Livable Housing Standard documents were published by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) on 6 April. These are in addition to the ‘ABCB Standard for Livable Housing Design’ published last year. Their publication follows extensive discussions and negotiations. The documents can be accessed online at

The ‘ABCB Handbook for Livable Housing Design’ provides guidance on the NCC requirements for liveable housing design, including the ‘ABCB Standard for Livable Housing Design’; refer:

The ‘ABCB Voluntary Standard for Livable Housing Design: Beyond Minimum’, is a set of non-mandatory technical provisions that if complied with will enable dwellings to better meet the needs of the community, including older people and people with mobility limitations; refer: This Voluntary Standard has been adapted from the ‘Gold’ level provisions of the ‘Livable Housing Design Guidelines’ (LHDG), fourth edition, 2017, which were first published by Livable Housing Australia.

The ‘ABCB Standard for Livable Housing Design’ takes effect for the construction of new dwellings from 1 October 2023 on, with Tasmania implementing from 1 October 2024. Disappointingly, the NSW and Western Australia Labor Governments are not adopting the Standard at this time. R&IA continues to advocate for adoption of the ‘ABCB Standard for Livable Housing Design’ in NSW and WA, as part of the ongoing push for universal housing design.

30 September 2022 - Release of Productivity Commission's Report on Housing and Homelessness Agreement Review

The Productivity Commission has published its Study Report In Need of Repair: The National Housing and Homelessness Agreement. The report examines how well the Australian, State and Territory Governments have achieved the objectives, outcomes and outputs set out in the Agreement, and the suitability of the Agreement for the future. You can access the In Need of Repair: The National Housing and Homelessness Agreement and shorter overview document here.

Importantly, the report makes significant reference to people with disability, and the challenges they disproportionately face due to the current housing crisis in Australia.

31 May 2022 - Sue Salthouse AM’s tireless work further acknowledged through awarding of Honorary Doctorate by University of Canberra

We were delighted to be able to attend a ceremony at the University of Canberra on Wednesday 25 May, where Sue was posthumously awarded  an honorary doctorate  in recognition of her many contributions. The award was received by Sue's daughter Luisa Fearnside. This is the first honorary doctorate conferred posthumously in the University’s 32-year history, and is further to Sue's being awarded as a Member in the general division of the Order of Australia earlier this year. As the University noted, Sue's life was one of dedication, service and commitment to others , whether by supporting individuals through difficult times, mentoring young and emerging leaders or by working for systemic change at local, national and international levels to promote and advance the rights and freedoms of women with disabilities.  You can read more of the University's awarding of the honorary doctorate to Sue here.

Please consider subscribing to R&IA’s monthly eNewsletters, and eBulletins. We will send out eBulletins as we have relevant time-bound information to share - this includes discrete eBulletins for the Opening the Door project.


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Opening the Door Project

The Opening the Door project aims to support people with disability to achieve choice and control with their housing options. To learn more about the project and to access useful links and resources, go to the Opening the Door project page by clicking on the logo.

Click on the thumbnail below to see the ‘Introduction to the Project’ video. Other project videos can be viewed on the Opening the Door page, including an overview of the Australian housing context.

Introduction to the Opening the Door project (Video 1)


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Building Better Homes - A National Building Code for All Australians

The NSW and WA governments are yet to commit to implementing accessible housing to the new 2022 National Construction Code. This will take effect in other states starting from 1 October 2023. To contact either government to let them know how important accessible housing is for ALL Australians click on the Building Better Homes logo.  Rights & Inclusion Australia is an active partner in the Building Better Homes campaign.


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