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Having a Say Conference

Having a Say in 2023 is on!!

Having a Say conference key details including date and theme

The Having a Say Conference is coming back! First notice for Having a Say Conference 2023.

Having a Say (HaS) Conference is back in February 2023.  More information on what is on in Information Booklet



Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now closed

Although EOI to be in the Program are now closed, we often need sessions to go on the ‘waiting list’ to fill cancellations, so if you would like to submit your EOI to present, perform, tell your story it will go on the waiting list.  Download EOI form

Expo Registrations Now Open

Download Expo Registration Form here

Competitions Now Open

Red Faces

Red Faces Talent Show is back at HaS 2023.

  •  only 20 people can Audition on Monday 20th February 
  • three performers will be chosen as the finalists and the final will be held during the Closing Ceremony Tues. 21st Feb. at 3.15pm – 4.15pm

Download Red Faces Entry Form 

Art Competition 

Thanks to the sponsorship of the Victorian Senior Practitioner, the HaS Art Competition will be held.

All the details on Entry Form

More Information

If you have any questions at this time, you can contact Christine on 0475 698 884 or email [email protected]

Registration is NOW OPEN

Registration is open for both onsite live conference and online attendance. 

Please submit your Registration Form and then wait for an Invoice from VALID to pay. 

Registration Form download

You can start planning to attend and if you are using your NDIS funds to attend, this document may assist you.
How to use your NDIS funds for attending HaS.


Having a Say conference is looking for Sponsors to sponsor people who do not have funding to attend or to sponsor conference activities, such as Come & Try Activities, Red Faces, the Expo etc.
Sponsors Booklet now available 


Come and Try Activities
–  for onsite C&T’s
–  booking for online activities


Conference Dates and Times

•   Monday 10.30am to 4.00pm
•   Tuesday 9.30am to 4.15pm

The Conference Dinner and Disco Tues. 21st February 2023 from 6.30pm to 10.30pm


1.    Conference main venue is located at Costa Hall, Deakin University, Waterfront Campus, Gheringhap Street, Geelong.
2.    Dinner and Chat is at Wah Wah Ghee Restaurant, on the Pier, Geelong.
3.    Disco is at the The Pier Geelong, located on Cunningham Pier, Western Beach Foreshore Road, Geelong.


  • Available in November 

In 2020 and 2021, we tried to hold HaS, but Covid restrictions got in the way!

We have all made it through COVID and the difficulties this caused in the last few years. So the VALID Having a Say (HaS) Conference will be back to its usual February timeslot for 2023.

So everyone can be part of HaS, we will have two main streams online for those that can’t come ‘in person’.

So, we hope to see you all involved, because ‘We’re Still Standing!’

Our Choice Expo 

Limited places are available for exhibitors at HaS in the Our Choice Expo which will be held on both days of the conference.

Registrations are open to groups and organisations now. Registration Form available now

Email Christine if have questions or to return your Registration Form  [email protected]


ABOUT Having a Say Conference

The Having a Say conference is the largest conference for people with disabilities within Australia where people can find their voice, to speak up, to be heard and to be respected. This is the conference where people listen to each other, not just to the speakers on stage. This is the conference where people respect each other’s views and opinions, and celebrate their common cause. The aim of the conference is to empower people with a disability with the opportunity to ‘have a say’ about issues that affect their lives and to celebrate ability and achievement.

People enjoy coming to the conference for a range of reasons. Some are keen advocates for people with disability and want to debate about issues, others find the whole environment empowering and some just want to have fun! Many people come to the conference to have a say, such as open microphone to present or perform. We often get comments on the Evaluation Forms saying things like “It was great I felt important because everyone listened to what I said”.

There is always be a need for people to get together to share experiences and to celebrate achievements. The inaugural Having a Say Conference, held in Maryborough in 2000, was attended by 190 people and the enthusiasm generated each year has inspired the conference to grow. There are now over 1,000 participants from across Australia, and often from the international community, attending the conference each year.

The conference gets fantastic support from local disability services, the Local Reference Committee, City of Greater Geelong, Tourism Greater Geelong and Bellarine and local Geelong businesses.

Download the Having a Say Conference 2020 Report here


VOLUNTEERING at Having a Say

The Having a Say conference attracts hundreds of delegates from across Australia and overseas and we are looking for volunteers to support participants with different activities at the conference.

The conference is a place where people with disability can speak up and have their voice heard, be respected and empowered and it’s a lot of fun!

What are the benefits of volunteering?

  • See the achievements of people with disability
  • Certificate of appreciation
  • Letter of Reference
  • Learn about inclusion
  • Be inspired and have lots of fun
  • Make new friends

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at HaS have a read of our Volunteer Information Booklet and then fill out pages 7 and 8 (if you need a new Police Check you will also need to complete pages 10 & 11) of this booklet and return it to [email protected]

Please note that all volunteers are required to have a current Police Certificate and proof of double COVID vaccination. Please send your COVID vaccination certificate with your Volunteer Application. NOTE: VALID is a disability service and the government has made it mandatory for all staff and volunteers of disability services to be vaccinated for COVID.

If you already have a current ‘Worker Registration’ with either the NDIS Commission or VDWC (Victorian Disability Worker Commission) then send us proof of this and that’s all we need. 

If you aren’t a ‘registered worker’ you will need to send us a current Police Check Certificate with your Volunteer application.  If your Police Check is out of date (i.e. dated before 22nd February 2019) then VALID will pay for ‘volunteer’ Police Check for you – fill our pages 10 and 11 of the Volunteer Information Booklet to request VALID to do this for you.

Having a Say Feedback

Your feedback is important, it helps us to make the conference better.

Download the Having a Say Conference Evaluation form here

Become a Sponsor

VALID conducts the Having a Say conference on a break-even basis, that is, to covers direct costs only.

As some of our sponsors have moved across to the NDIS funding system and are no longer able to support us, we now need new ways to fund activities within the conference either in-kind e.g. attendant care or sponsorship of the costs of the activity such as:

  • Come and Try Activities
  • Art Competition
  • Printing of the Program
  • Volunteer Support
  • Conference DVD
  • Attendant Carers

A number of Sponsors did sign on for the June conference that was postponed, but we do need a few more sponsors.

Thanks to ALL our 2020-2021 Sponsors – they are all listed in this here

Sponsors Booklet download here

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