Ross Vasta throws support behind Save our Seton

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP has thrown his support behind Save our Seton, a group of parents and students committed to saving Seton College following the announcement by Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) to close the school in 2024.

Mr Vasta and LNP Candidate for Mansfield Janet Wishart held a teleconference with BCE today, declaring he would do whatever it takes to keep Seton College open.

“Unfortunately, the decision to close this wonderful institution will have a devastating impact on our local community,” Mr Vasta said.

“I’ve been contacted by many parents who are so upset about the closure and had been told it was a “compliance issue” or “funding issue” with the Australian Government.

“I can confirm I have received a letter from Education Minister Dan Tehan to clarify that is not the case, and the department will work with the school to assist in any way possible.

“The good news is BCE advised there are no plans for the site to be repurposed so that means we have an opportunity to save Seton College.”

Ms Wishart said as a parent of a child with a disability, she knows firsthand just how hard these families fight every day for their kids.

“The decision to close Seton College is devastating for our local community and to date, the current Palaszczuk Labor Government and local member have refused to speak with families, and they simply deserve better,” Ms Wishart said.

“Working with Ross I’ll be fighting to ensure the voices of local families are heard, local families who have been let down by this decision and Labor’s inaction.”

Read More

Sailability Bayside awarded Volunteer Grant

Salaibility Bayside volunteers have been able to obtain their First Aid and Resuscitation certification thanks to a $3000 Morrison Government Volunteer Grant.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said while the work of volunteers was unpaid, it was not unrecognised and the Volunteer Grant program went a long way to supporting organisations and their volunteers through what has been a trying year.

“Sailability is a fantastic volunteer organisation that offers a fun, safe and welcoming environment for people with disability to enjoy sailing and other water-based activities,” Mr Vasta said.

“I was very pleased to secure $3000 for the club as part of this program, which has funded their First Aid and Resuscitation certification.”

Mr Vasta said covering the out of pocket costs for Sailability volunteers to obtain their first aid would better support the organisation and clients who selflessly give their time to create a fun experience for people with disability.

“It takes a special kind of person to become a volunteers and help people with disability to enjoy a hobby like sailing,” Mr Vasta said.

“Sailability Bayside is a very deserving recipient of this Volunteer Grant.”

Nationally, volunteering has an estimated annual economic and social contribution of $290 billion.

The awarded grants are between $1000 and $5000 and this funding recognises the sacrifices volunteers make to help deliver vital services to those who need it most.

Read More

Submissions open for review into Disability Standards for Education

The Coalition Government is calling for public submissions into a review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the standards played a key role in ensuring students with disability could access and participate in education without any barriers.

“It’s incredibly important we review these standards regularly to make sure they are doing their job to give equal access and opportunity for students with disability,” Mr Tehan said.

“The standards help students with disability and their families know their rights and make clear the obligations of all education providers – from preschool and kindergarten through to vocational education providers and universities.

“This could include making reasonable adjustments in the classroom, such as additional learning support and modifying homework tasks, or adjusting the classroom environment to suit a student’s mobility needs.

“An extensive community consultation process will be held from 16 July to 25 September, providing an opportunity for the public to share experiences and ideas.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he strongly encouraged current, former and prospective students with disability, their families and carers, educators, and other members of the public to share their thoughts on the standards and their implementation.

“People can have their say by completing an online questionnaire, making a submission, participating in a webinar, or by expressing their interest in a focus group, one-on-one interview, or an online discussion,” Mr Vasta said.

The first webinar on 23 July will centre on schooling.

The standards are reviewed every five years.

For more information, visit the Consultation Hub at

Read More

Vasta represents Foreign Minister at UN Disability Rights and Inclusion event

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP represented Foreign Minister Marise Payne at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly reception on Disability Rights and Inclusion.

Mr Vasta attended the reception to celebrate the launch of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS) at the Global Disability Summit one-year progress report.

“I was very honoured to represent the Foreign Minister at this important event which was co-sponsored by the Australian Government and hosted by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Disability Alliance (ISA),” Mr Vasta said.

“As well as launching the UNDIS, it was a great opportunity for UNICEF, IDA and partners of the UN community to renew their commitment towards disability rights and inclusive development.”

Mr Vasta said the UNDIS provided the foundation for sustainable and transformative progress on disability inclusion through all the pillars of the work of the UN.

“Australia is a strong advocate for disability inclusive development and disability rights,” Mr Vasta said.

“Speaking at the event, I shared how in Australia, all levels of government are working together to improve the lives of Australians with disability, their families and carers in line with the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020.”

Mr Vasta said he also shared a story from a local constituent in Bonner who had benefited from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“When Tricia contacted me crying with gratitude because her 15-year-old with Aspergers and NF1 had been approved for the NDIS, it really hit home the impact our Government is having on people with disability and their families,” Mr Vasta said.

“It was an important message to share at the UN reception on Disability Rights and Inclusion because it puts a face and emotion to the cause we are championing.

“Australia has been a steadfast supporter of the UNDIS since its inception and it was an honour to represent Australia at this UNGA event.”

Read More


I had a great experience recently connecting a local not-for-profit with local business, all for a great cause.

Makeables Tingalpa, which is part of Multicap, is a not-for-profit disability employer. Since 1991, Makeables has provided employment, job skills, and lasting working relationships for people with high needs disability.

Multicap business manager Joshua Walsh recently reached out to me asking for help connecting with businesses in the area. Makeables offers fantastic services for local businesses. This includes manual assembly, packing, or finishing services such as packaging, bag sealing and labelling. This can save businesses in employment costs and warehousing space.

Makeables employees also benefit from these arrangements. It gives employees life-changing skills and training. I had the great pleasure of meeting these employees at Makeables Tingalpa this month and seeing their work firsthand.

I thank my good friend David Bateson from Wynnum Business for putting Makeables in touch with Little Images, a local childcare photography business. Owner Leigh Farley says Makeables employees have done great work putting together a promotional mailout for Little Images.

Makeables employees folded letters and brochures for Little Images, and inserted them into a windowed envelope to be sent to prospective clients. They also included a chocolate drink so people could read over everything with a nice cup of hot chocolate!

I’m glad to have helped make this arrangement possible. I want to thank Multicap CEO Joanne Jessop for her time last week to discuss this, and also giving me a tour of their Eight Mile Plains facility where I got to meet more of their wonderful employees.

Read More

Honouring our disabled community at the 2014 Special Care Central Recognition Awards

Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, today said it was an honour to present at SpecialCare Central’s 2014 Recognition Awards on Friday, 12 September.

 “These awards recognise the hard work and achievements of worthy members of our community who have a disability, as well as businesses that employ people with a disability,” Mr Vasta said.

 “SpecialCare Central is to be commended for their excellent Disability Awareness and Opportunity Expo this year, which was their sixth annual event.”

 “Every year, the Expo brings together members of our community to offer support and recognition to those living with a disability.”

 The team at SpecialCare Central said they felt the Recognition Awards were the highlight of the Expo.

 “We are blessed to have the opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful people that make up our community,” Yvonne Campbell, organiser of the Expo, said.

 Ross Vasta said he was touched by the story of Ronald Sheehey, who has autism and who currently works as a kitchen hand for Greenmeadow Court, one of the Nominee Certificate recipients for Best Employer.

“Ronald once lacked confidence, and was quite shy and withdrawn – now through his work at Greenmeadow Court, he has gained the confidence to catch public transport to and from work, and has recently passed his Provisional Driver Licence exam,” Mr Vasta said.

 “It was wonderful to see employers like Greenmeadow Court, who have given so much support to their disabled employees, receiving the recognition they deserve.”

 “I look forward to hearing more from the award winners in future, as well as seeing more of the great work SpecialCare Central does for our disabled community.”

 To see more photos of the Expo and to read more about the event, visit

Read More