Coffee with…Jan Mattrow, Program Manager, Melbourne East Disability Advocacy (MEDA)

Describe the work of MEDA
MEDA promotes and protects the rights of people with disability through our individual and volunteer citizen advocacy programs.
Our individual advocacy program has paid advocates working short term alongside people with disability addressing issues where people don’t feel heard or experience discrimination.
Our Volunteer Citizen advocacy program matches volunteer citizen advocates alongside a person with intellectual disability where they uphold the rights of their citizen advocate partner and support inclusive practice and community access and options.

What sort of work were you doing prior to starting at MEDA?
Working in Community Health, managing a range of population health and health promotion programs and initiatives.

What excites and motivates you in your role?
The prospect of people with disability being recognised as valued and important members of our community.

What is most challenging about your work?
Managing a small organisation with minimal resources where over a day I can be responsible for strategic planning, staff, project and program management, volunteer co-ordination and vacuuming the floors.

What interested you in partnering with the Inner East PCP?
The value of collaboration, nurturing intersectorial partnership, and opportunity to raise the profile of disability advocacy.

If you could change one thing about the world right now, what would it be?
Greater respect and regard for all sentient beings and our environment.

If you weren’t working at MEDA right now, what would you be doing?
I am a wildlife carer and volunteer with Red Cross Emergency Services so I would be spending time serving these roles alongside nurturing and supporting my family

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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