What We Do

DANA is the national representative body for a network of independent disability advocacy organisations throughout Australia.


DANA’s vision is to ensure a national network of adequately resourced disability advocacy organisations that promote the rights, and meets the needs, of people living with disability.


DANA’s purpose is to strengthen and support independent disability advocacy organisations across Australia.

What we do to achieve this

DANA will do this by:

  • promoting the role and value of independent disability advocacy,
  • giving our members a collective voice,
  • supporting communication and the sharing of information between disability advocacy organisations,
  • developing the capacity of the disability advocacy sector,
  • building the evidence base to demonstrate the value of advocacy, and
  • promoting the human rights, needs, value and diversity of people with disabilities.


Our members are independent Australian community-based organisations that advocate for and with people with disability. We are governed by a Board of Directors, who are employees and office holders of member organisations. We have set up a national secretariat in Canberra and maintain strong links with each of the Australian state and territory advocacy networks and with the peak organisations for people with disabilities.


In 2007 the Victorian Disability Advocacy Network (VDAN) sponsored the first National Disability Advocacy Conference in Melbourne. At this Conference a motion was passed that VDAN take the lead in establishing a working group to develop a national disability advocacy network. The working group was formed and set about creating Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA).

DANA held its first annual general meeting as an unincorporated body at the 2nd National Disability Advocacy Conference in October 2008. This Conference was a joint venture between DANA, VDAN and the Victorian Disability Advocacy Resource Unit. An interim Board was elected, and this group of people became the first Directors of the newly established Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) Ltd when it was registered as a company in May 2009.

In 2009 DANA received an establishment grant from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (now, the Department of Social Services). In June 2010 DANA conducted the 3rd National Disability Advocacy Conference. A Chief Executive Officer was appointed in July 2010 and the DANA secretariat established shortly thereafter.

DANA’s first annual general meeting as an incorporated body was held on 9 November 2010.