Chris Jennings

I'm proud that I've been able to put a focus on the issue of gender and this has created all sorts of opportunities for women.

Change Agent

Chris has been championing the rights and voices of women with disabilities for over 30 years. She introduced a gender focus into disability services, provided practical support and contributed to research, policy and management which resulted in improved services in both the disability and family violence sectors. She has created numerous platforms for this historically invisible group of women to be recognised and heard.

While working within the residential sector, Chris coordinated a STAR Victoria project to empower women with disabilities, identify their human rights and articulate their health needs. (STAR is an independent community organisation that advocates on a state-wide basis for the rights of people with an intellectual disability and their families.)

Chris advocated for and led projects aimed at informing and resourcing the family violence and disabilities sectors on how to identify and respond to violence experienced by women with disabilities. She sits on numerous committees including the State-wide Steering Committee to Reduce Sexual Assault and the Victorian Law Reform Commission Family Violence Reference Group.

Chris has also co-authored a research project for Women with Disabilities Victoria, Building the Evidence: A report on the status of policy and practice in responding to violence against women with disabilities in Victoria.

Chris says, "We are not always able to offer people what they need, but we should be able to work with them in a way that supports their dignity."