ACT in Focus by Jo Huxley, October 2023
It’s been another very busy month here at NDS, and as the weather warms up and the end of the year approaches, I don’t think it is going to slow down anytime soon.
The big news recently was the long-awaited release of the Disability Royal Commission’s final report. With a total of 12 volumes and 222 recommendations, the report is extensive. The NDS Policy Team is working hard to digest the report and provide an in-depth analysis for our members. However, we have published our initial thoughts and key takeaways on our website.
NDS is fully committed to working collaboratively with government, people with disability, advocates and the sector to ensure that all Australians with disabilities have access to the safe, quality and culturally appropriate services they deserve.
The NDIA’s new PACE system was due to begin rolling out nationally at the end of this month, but it has just been announced that the full rollout has been postponed until February next year. So there is a little bit more time for providers to transition to the new system and, hopefully, for the NDIA to solve its issues.
NDS has held several webinars to help members prepare for the new system and we have now also consolidated a number of resources into a PACE hub on our website. Information includes frequently asked questions, links to the webinars, background to the system and the areas we are focusing our advocacy. Please take a moment to look through these resources, because the PACE rollout represents a major change for providers. If you have questions or concerns don’t hesitate to reach out.
The NDS Disability Sector Quarterly Forum is on 30 November at the Canberra Southern Cross Club in Woden. It will be a great chance for ACT members and the broader sector to consider not only the DRC report but also the outcomes of the NDIS Review, which are expected to be delivered to government later this month.
In other news, I recently attended a series of workshops hosted by the ACT Government to help design an ACT Social Recovery Framework. As we move into the official bushfire and storm seasons, it is the right time to consider how, as a community, we prepare for and respond to disasters. The sector has a critical role to play in ensuring that people with a disability are well-supported during a disaster response. But just as important is how we rebuild social connections after the emergency has passed. I look forward to seeing this work progress.
The results of the ACT Division Committee elections have been announced. We welcome a new member to the Committee, Robyn McKay from Marymead CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn. Also re-elected for further three-year terms were Donna Cosgrove from Aruma and Wayne Herbert from LEAD Disability Services. A full list of the Committee members is available on our website. I would like to extend my thanks to all the ACT Committee members; their guidance and support is invaluable.
Also on the governance front, the NDS Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Friday 24 November from 3:00pm (AEDT). The NDS Board Elections are open, and the results will be announced at the AGM.
I hope you all enjoy the warmer weather and look forward to seeing you at our November face-to-face forum.