Touching Base Inc is a charitable organisation, based in Sydney NSW Australia, that has been active since October 2000. Touching Base developed out of the need to assist people with disability and sex workers to connect with each other, focusing on access, discrimination, human rights and legal issues and the attitudinal barriers that these two marginalised communities can face. Information for people with disability or their carers on how to access the sex industry and the Touching Base Referral List is contained in the Clients section of this website. Information for sex workers including training workshops, resources and information about disability is contained in the Sex Workers section of this website. We also regularly offer training workshops tailored to Disability Service Providers. Please click here for more information. This website contains some material of a sexual nature suitable for adults only. Currently, Touching Base does not receive any government funding.
Catch up with all our news and events
Our first newsletter for 2016 is now available – Newsletter No. 1 2016
Call to Action!
You may have heard that a select committee has formed to review sex industry regulation in NSW.
Decriminalisation in NSW is under threat.
Sex work in NSW was decriminalised in 1995 as a result of the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption. Decriminalisation is seen worldwide as the best practice model of sex industry regulation, especially for sex worker health and safety.
Touching Base have prepared this information kit for sex workers who work with people with disability, people with disability who access the sex industry and supporters. We encourage you to have a say in the inquiry. Submissions are due by 19th August 2015. Submissions can be as simple as a 1 page letter.
You can view the Touching Base info kit here: http://www.touchingbase.org/wp-content/2012/07/Touching-Base-INFO-KIT-NSW-Brothel-Inquiry.pdf
Our info kit is based on an information pack for sex workers produced by Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association, and the Sex Workers Outreach Project NSW (SWOP).
The Touching Base information kit on the 2015 NSW inquiry into the regulation of brothels includes:
Our next Service Provide Awareness Training workshop will be held in Wollongong on 11th June. Follow this link to the flyer (PDF) for this workshop or go straight to the registration form on the Family Planning NSW website.
Catch up with the all the news about our recent activities and some upcoming workshops in our 2nd Newsletter for 2015.
Due to requests for us to provide more training in regional centres we have four Service Provide Awareness Training workshops already planned in different locations for NSW in 2015.
Follow this link for more info: http://www.touchingbase.org/workshops-and-training/spat
Catch up with the all the news about our recent activities and some upcoming workshops in our 1st Newsletter for 2015.
We have a lot on out plate for 2015. Stay in touch by signing up for our Newsletter.
The dates for two Professional Disability Awareness Training (PDAT) workshops for experienced sex workers have been announced.
Sex workers who would like to attend our next workshops in Canberra (28th Oct) or Sydney (19th Nov) please go to our training page to access the flyer and registration forms.
Registrations are now open for our next 1 day workshop for disability service providers and carers – titled: Supporting people with disability to access the Sex Industry
See the flyer for more info and registration details about this very popular workshop to be held at Family Planning NSW, Ashfield, Sydney, on Thursday 9th October 2014 or follow this link to register now – Supported by Family Planning NSW and IDEAS (Information on Disability Education & Awareness Services)
Family Planning NSW Family Forum – On Saturday, 6th September Touching Base took part in an afternoon Sexuality and Relationships Forum for parents and carers of people with intellectual disability – hosted by Family Planning NSW. Follow this link for more info about this seminar.
Touching Base at SEXPO – come and join our Vice President Denise Beckwith and President Saul Isbister for our first presentation at SEXPO in Sydney on the 1st August. See TBASE_SEXPO_Aug2014_flyer for more details, like our Event FaceBook page and we hope to see you there.
Service Provider Awareness Training – for disability service providers and carers 1 day workshop – Supporting people with disability to access the Sex Industry
See the flyer for more info and registration details about our next workshop at Family Planning NSW, Newcastle on Thursday 29 May 2014 or follow this link to register now – Supported by Family Planning NSW and IDEAS (Information on Disability Education & Awareness Services)
Special Edition Newsletter No 2 2014 Patrons fundraising luncheon In this special edition newsletter catch up with what happened when 66 members and friends of Touching Base gathered to celebrate the inauguration of our Patrons (PDF 698 KB)
Visit our new Patrons page for all the details.
We had a wonderful afternoon and we will be putting out a Special Edition Newsletter soon with photos… Newsletter Catch up with all our recent and upcoming activities with our first newsletter for 2014. Newsletter No 1 2014 (PDF 239kb | Newsletter No 1 2014 (text doc 10.5kb)
Mardi Gras Come join Touching Base march in the 2014 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade with our queer friendly friends from People with Disability Australia Inc, Family Planning NSW and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. See the flyer for more details and RSVP to Pete Darby firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 13 January 2014. AGM 2013 Thanks to leading international law firm Ashurst – Australia, for again hosting our AGM this year. The President and Treasurer’s Reports for 2012-13 have been uploaded to our About Us page. New Referral List Contact details At the AGM a major announcement was made that Touching Base will be taking over operation of our Referral List from People with Disability Australia Inc (PWDA), now that we have the logistical and financial capacity to do so. Many thanks to PWDA for their long term support in managing our referral list, on our behalf, over the last decade. The new contact details for referrals to disability-friendly sex services providers are:
To ensure you receive a reply email please add our email address to your email contact list and check your Spam or Junk Mail Folder if you do not receive a reply in your Inbox.
Mobile phone: 0499 05 44 00
Professional Disability Awareness Training – for sex workers only
If you would like to go on our list of sex workers wanting to be notified of our next PDAT workshop – please send us an email on email@example.com
In Senior Moments , Peter Munro presents a very respectful, balanced article in the Good Weekend magazine (Sydney Morning Herald), with a small reference to Touching Base. The Reporter has published an interesting article where a judge has authorised an insurance company fund sex workers for a man injured in a car accident.
NEW GROUPS INTERNATIONALLY This year it is very exciting to see new groups start up with similar aims to Touching Base in other countries. After screenings of the documentary Scarlet Road local stakeholders have formed Paths Together in New Zealand https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paths-Together/552620361438711 and EASE (Equitable Accessible Sexual Expression)in Canada http://easecanada.org/
Touching Base is thrilled to be associated with a new short film by Spencer and Lloyd Harvey that explores aspects of our work at Touching Base. The Gift looks at our work from the perspective of a family supporting their son to lose his virginity to a sex worker at their home. It was great to find out that The Gift would be featured on “The Project” on Channel 10 [6:30 – 7:30pm]. If you missed it on Thursday night, it will also be available on their website. The Gift will be screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival on the 1stAugust @ 9:00 PM
Touching Base to present at a Parents Forum run by Family Planning NSW Saul Isbister will be presenting to a Sexuality and Relationships forum being run by Family Planning NSW in Ashfield on the 15th June. The forum is for parents and carers of people with intellectual disability of all ages. See more information about time and cost etc in the flyer for the forum (PDF 992kb) or on the Family Planning website
See all the latest news about Touching Base recent activities and upcoming events in our April Newsletter (Word doc 2.45 MB) | April Newsletter (PDF 284 KB). Read all about the three student projects we have for the first half of this year, news on the worldwide journey of the documentary Scarlet Road and much more. Touching Base at the PossABLE IDEAS EXPO 2013 – Newcastle Touching Base has been invited to run 3 workshops at the IDEAS EXPO in Newcastle. We will be running a stall during two day expo – so if you are in the area pop along and visit us at stall 87. We arethrilled to have GLYDE HEALTH & GLYDE TOTAL PARLOUR SUPPLIESas our generous sponsors and partners for the IDEAS Expoin Newcastle. See more info about the Expo and our workshops in our April Newsletter (Word doc 2.45 MB) | April Newsletter (PDF 284KB)
We topped off the year having our AGM at The Rocks, Sydney – with a meeting room and lunch generously hosted by Ashurst Australia, one of Australia’s leading law firms. An overview of the year’s activities can be found in The President and Treasurer’s Annual Reports – now available on our About Us page. At the AGM members of our Committee of Management were re-elected unopposed. We will be running more workshops in 2013 than any previous year, so keep an eye out for announcements of the dates and locations. Or send us an email if you want to be put on our waiting list – just remember to let us know if you want to attend the SPAT workshop for disability service providers or the PDAT workshop for sex workers. Thanks to all our volunteers, partners, friends and supporters who have made 2012 our most successful year to date. Wishing you all the best for the holiday season and we look forward to having a great time with you all in 2013.
Touching Base hosted the New Zealand Premier of the Director’s Cut of Scarlet Road in Wellington on Tuesday 6 Nov. This led to some great media covering the documentary and our work at Touching Base. While in NZ, Rachel and Saul were also invited as international guests to speak at a special gathering celebrating the 25th anniversary of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Rob Hardy and Saul provided workshop to the Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability Annual Conference which was held at the Wellington Town Hall. The release of the new movie The Sessions, starring Helen Hunt as a sex surrogate working with a client with polio, has unleashed another layer of acute interest in our own work at Touching Base – from many important media players and outlets. We are working on making the most of these opportunities and will update our Media page as more articles and broadcasts become available.
In Oct we held two very successful one day Disability Service Awareness Training (SPAT) workshops in Tasmania – in conjunction with Oak Community Services. These workshops were so popular they were sold out before the flyer had even been distributed! As a result we now have two more workshops in Tasmania completely booked out for June 2013. Interest has also built up for our next Professional Disability Awareness Training workshop for sex workers, so the next one is likely to be held in Sydney in early 2013. Any sex workers who have asked to be kept informed will be advised by email as soon as the date is finalised. The documentary Scarlet Road continues on its relentless journey around the world, having been screened at film festivals in Norway, Germany and the USA within the last month alone. Scarlet Road was also unexpectedly replayed on SBS in Australia on the 25 Oct 2012 – releasing another round of enquiries from stakeholders all around the country.
Touching Base gets busier every year and 2012 has certainly been our busiest yet. Our regular Sept SPAT held at Family Planning NSW in Ashfield was fully booked and we continue to receive great feedback from participants via their evaluation forms. Keep an eye on our website for dates for our 2013 workshops.