Rights Information and Advocacy Centre (RIAC) is a not-for-profit organisation that builds the capacity and wellbeing of individuals, families, carers and communities through advocacy and support services. Thanks to Australian and Victorian Government funding, RIAC is currently able to empower communities across 22 local government areas spanning throughout regional Victoria and southern New South Wales.
From grass root beginnings, RIAC was initially founded in 1984 as a self-help group under the banner Council for the Disabled Goulburn Valley. Two years later they secured their first instalment of short term government funding to provide advocacy services; enabling them to set up their first office in Shepparton. Unfortunately the funding was not renewed and as a result, the organisation reverted back to its roots, as a self-help group.
In the early 1990s government funding was once again secured for advocacy services and the Shepparton office was established. A combination of dedication, community connection and impactful progress saw the organisation extend its advocacy services and funding into the Loddon Mallee region in 1998, upon which they re-branded as Council for Disabled. Two years later after a further brand update, RIAC was born.
Continuing to grow their services into Bendigo and Mildura, in 2005 RIAC celebrated their 21st birthday. With a team of dedicated staff and volunteers, RIAC’s impact continued to spread and in 2013 they were appointed with the task of supporting National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) participants within the Barwon region. Soon after, they opened their fourth office in Geelong.
Since then RIAC has gained both Australian and Victorian Government funding in which they are externally audited each year and certified every three years. This funding facilitates their six office locations, and in addition to donations, bequests and partnerships, enables them to empower communities across 22 local government areas spanning throughout regional Victoria and southern New South Wales.
With almost 20% of Australians living with a disability, whether mental or physical, and many specialists predicting this number to rise, there has never been a more crucial time for RIAC than now.
To build the capacity of people with disability to learn, understand and assert their rights, to express their choices, and to have control over their own lives.
People have the advocacy support they need to live the life that they choose and to thrive in their community.