AFDO First Nations Disability & Cultural Consultant Jody Barney has been inducted into the 2021 Victorian Honour Roll of Women. The momentous achievement held annually by the Victorian Government celebrates the outstanding contributions made by women from all walks of life and pays tribute to the numerous ways they have made a profound impact on the state of Victoria. Jody is one of 23 inspirational women this year recognised for their significant leadership, excellence in their field of interest, endeavour or through their commitment to the community.
Jody is a proud Birri-Gubba/Urangan deaf woman from Queensland and has resided in Yorta Yorta Country in Victoria since 1999. Working periodically for AFDO since 2007, Jody has consulted on several projects relating to the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people living with disabilities across local, state, and national issues. With over 35 years of experience working with Deaf Mob Communities, Jody is an expert in the cultural engagement of First Nations people with Disabilities.
Jody has been a fierce advocate for First Nations women with disabilities through her practical cultural approach that instils confidence and trust for them to adequately participate and tell their stories. Her multifaceted approach has assisted in overcoming complex barriers of communication that limits a person with a disability ability to contribute to pervasive issues impacting their communities. She has considerably enhanced the capacity of First Nations women with disabilities utilising a combination of the lived experience of disability and cultural methods of knowing, doing and being.
As a valuable expert consultant of AFDO’s Expert Advisory Group, she has consistently provided AFDO and its members with key cultural advice, evidence and support when engaging Traditional Owners, Elders and communities. She has supported AFDO and its members in its National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Engagement Strategies as well as increasing their participation and rapport with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, organisations, and services.
AFDO CEO Ross Joyce said, “we’re very proud to have Jody as an expert advisor for AFDO and we acknowledge the significant contributions she made in amplifying the voices of First Nations people with disabilities over the past 35 years”.
The official 2021 Victorian Honour Roll of Women announcement by the Victorian Government can be found here.