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Tasmania in Focus by Lizzie Castles, November 2023

Tasmania in Focus by Lizzie Castles, State Manager Tas


Welcome to the November edition of Tasmania in Focus.  

Like many of you, NDS spent October reviewing the recommendations of the Disability Royal Commission (DRC). In addition to DRC webinars — which can be found at the NDS Royal Commission Hub — NDS has prepared a series of briefing papers on employment, workforce, housing, First Nations people, quality and safety, and promising practices.  

We now eagerly await the publication of the NDIS Review, which we expect in the first week of December. NDS believes many of the top 10 priorities for reform we identified earlier in the year will be echoed in the final report.     

NDS continues to work closely with the state and federal governments to explore how recommendations from both the DRC and the pending Review can be achieved. We are mindful that the Bilateral Agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Tasmania on the NDIS is not due for review until 2028. So, although we are expecting the recommendations to significantly change the sector, including improving the regulatory environment for providers, we think change will be slow.  

Flip the Search       

On 7 November, NDS partnered with TasTAFE to host Flip the Search. This was a fabulous opportunity for students who are close to completing their Certificate 1 in Work Education to present themselves to disability employment services and open employment recruiters.   

In their presentations, the eleven students spoke about what they had learnt in their studies and work experience, their interests, and the types of roles they could see themselves working in. Everyone then networked over afternoon tea prepared by the students.  

Seventy per cent of students said they thought the event would help them get a job and they especially valued meeting employers and employment services.  

Every employer or employment service said there were students they believed they could help to find a job. Seeing the student presentations, they said, helped them to understand more about the students’ capacity and willingness to work.    

Child and Youth Safe Organisations Framework  

The Department of justice has released an interim compliance guidance for organsiations to support organisations in enacting the Child and Youth Safe Standards and the Universal Principle for Aboriginal Cultural Safety. From January, disability providers that engage with children and young people will need to comply with the Child and Youth Safe Organization Framework.  

Co-design workshops — Pathways from School to Work project 

The Pathways from School to Work project is identifying the gaps in the pathway for young people with disability as they transition between school and work.  

NDS will be holding two community co-design workshops in December, run by lived experience consultant Heidi La Paglia Reid. Through co-design with young people with disability, disability employment services, educators, employers, and parents and carers, the workshops will come up with solutions for improving the pathway and set the priorities for the Pathways project in 2024. 

We are seeking participants for the workshops and other co-design activities. Young people with disability who participate will be paid $200 in recognition of their lived experience and can be supported in their preparation. 

If you are interested in participating or would like to know more, email Roen Meijers at submit enquiry/feedback or call on 6212 7305.  

We are committed to running an accessible process. If the workshops are not accessible for you, get in touch; we can find another way for you to participate. 

Workshop details 

Workshops will be a balance of young people with disability and other participants. Each workshop has a capacity of 15 people, including support people.  

Workshop One

Tuesday 5 December
10:00am to 12:30pm 

Face-to-face at KickStart Arts, Building 1831 North, 12 St Johns Avenue, New Town. 
Morning tea will be provided. The Art Room at KickStart Arts has wheelchair access and quiet chill-out spaces. 

Workshop Two

Wednesday 6 December
4:00pm to 6:00pm 

Online via videoconferencing. Participants will be sent a link to join. 


On 9 November, the Director of Public Health issued an alert following an increase in COVID-19 cases across the State. A decrease in people taking up the COVID-19 booster is thought to be a contributing factor.  

The current advice is: if it has been six months since their last dose, adults aged 65 years and older should get a 2023 COVID-19 booster, and those aged 18 to 65 should consider a 2023 booster.   

A second 2023 COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be of most benefit for people who have a disability with significant or complex health needs. For more information visit:  Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Tasmanian Department of Health  

Worker screening checks 

While it is not yet clear if the NDIS Review will align with the DRC recommendation on a national worker screening scheme, NDS has again heard about delays with worker screening checks. 

We will be raising this with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission when we meet again this month. Since delays affect recruitment, NDS is pushing for regulatory change to streamline the checks as soon as possible.  

Tasmania’s sustainability strategy 

The NDS submission to Tasmanian Positive, the state’s sustainability strategy, can be found at: Policy Library.  

Thank you to those members who contributed to this submission.    

For those heading to Melbourne for the Executive Leaders Conference on 11 and 12 December, I look forward to seeing you there and having a chat about how you are going.  

Have a great month.     

Contact information
Lizzie Castles, State Manager Tasmania, 03 6212 7300, submit enquiry/feedback