What We Do

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

Our Vision:

DANA’s vision is of a nation that includes and values people with disabilities and respects human rights for all. 

Our Purpose:

DANA’s purpose is to strengthen, support and provide a collective voice for independent disability advocacy organisations across Australia that advocates for and with people with disability. 

We achieve this by

  • promoting the role and value of independent disability advocacy 

  • providing a collective voice for our members 

  • providing communication and information sharing between disability advocacy organisations 

  • providing support and development for members, staff and volunteers of disability advocacy organisations 

  • building the evidence base to demonstrate the value of disability advocacy 

  • 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.