Single-day rates:
Attend Sunday only for $100*,
and/or attend Monday only or Tuesday only for $200*. 

(*Tickets for the Sunday and/or Monday evening meals are also available at $60.00 each)

Also note: Reserve your accommodation at the Jasper at our special rate!

In addition to the outstanding keynote presentations, 40 excellent Abstracts have now been accepted – see the list on our “Program” page. Some of the topics covered: practical examples of inclusion, NDIS issues re spirituality, theological interpretations of disability, and personal stories of exclusion and embrace.  Timings for parallel sessions and more will be published soon. 

“This multi-faith Conference recognises the importance of spirituality in the lives of many people with disabilities, and the role it plays in connecting people to a range of community contexts”. (Professor Rhonda Galbally AO).

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Easy English


Andy Calder Conference Convenor

This multi-faith Australasian Conference reflects a growing interest in issues of faith and meaning in the lived experience of disability. The name of the Conference is drawn from a book with a similar title, written by Miroslav Volf, and acknowledges the struggles and joys that are found in the experience of disability and faith.

Some of the themes being explored during the conference are ethics, care, inclusion in faith communities, friendship, discrimination, love, justice and liberation.

In Australia an increasing number of people are actively exploring the intersection of disability and spirituality. An excellent Conference program will present perspectives across the faith spectrum, with opportunities for dialogue and formation of new networks. It will appeal to people who live with a disability as well as families, carers, academics and practitioners (volunteers and staff).

The Conference has the support of a wide number of organisations including the Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA) and the Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV). The Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania is providing the Conference Secretariat.

Prior to our Conference the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) Congress is being held in Melbourne. Two esteemed speakers from the Congress will be keynoters at our Conference: Prof Hans Reinders is Chair of Ethics at VU University, Holland, and editor of the journal Religion and Disability. Rev Bill Gaventa is Director of the Summer Institute of Theology and Disability and President-elect of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).

We are also delighted that an Australian cast of presenters are also on board: Prof David Tacey an interdisciplinary scholar who is widely published for his knowledge of Australian spirituality and Dr Lorna Hallahan who will offer her perspective on the place of spirituality within the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The title of David’s keynote for this conference is: ‘The contours of Australian spirituality’ and the title of Lorna’s keynote is: Not simply a functional issue: spirituality considered in the NDIS?

A feature of the conference will be a tribute to the late Rev Dr Christopher Newell AM. Christopher was a visionary social activist and disability advocate widely published across fields including ethics, telecommunications, pastoral care and spirituality. For more information click here Tribute Rev Canon Dr Christopher Newell.

There will also be an exhibition of artworks to be launched by Libby Byrne that reflect people’s experience of disability and spirituality, as it relates to the conference theme.

Join us for this unique event in Melbourne and at the same time treat yourself to what the city voted ‘The Most Liveable in the World’ has on offer.

Andy Calder, Conference Convenor

Rev Dr Christopher Newell AM

Rev Dr Christopher Newell AM


View and download Brochure.

The Conference will have a maximum number of 160 people.



* The running program and speakers list is subject to change.

The Conference thanks all organisational sponsors, and individuals.

The Conference is endorsed by:


Statement from one of our sponsors:  “The Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV) is a proud supporter of the ‘Exclusion and Embrace’ multi-faith Australasian conference. FCCV endorses that individuals with disabilities have the right to choose their own expressions of spirituality, to practice those beliefs and expressions, and to participate in the religious or spiritual community of their choice. Not only do faith communities need to be more inclusive of individuals with disabilities, they need to move their thinking away from the idea of inclusion towards the experience of belonging.”