ACT in Focus by Jo Huxley, April 2023
I hope you all had a lovely break over Easter and are staying warm as the Canberra weather starts to cool.
Along with several ACT members, I was pleased to attend the recent National Press Club address by Minister Bill Shorten, who outlined his six-point plan to reboot the NDIS. It was clear from the minister’s speech that he is passionately committed to the Scheme and improving the lives of people with disability and their families. It was also positive to hear the minister acknowledge the hard work and commitment of the many thousands of providers across Australia, who work every day to do the right thing and ensure that the NDIS delivers on its promise to support people with disability now and into the future. As the sector continues to undergo major reform, it is critical that government partners with industry to develop long-term solutions. We look forward to continuing to work with both the Commonwealth and ACT Governments as the reform process unfolds.
In late March, members and sector colleagues met for our first Disability Sector Quarterly Forum for the year. The forum was well attended, and sessions predominantly focused on workforce and quality service provision. We also heard from the NDIA, who provided an update on their PACE IT system trial in Tasmania. Thank you to all members who joined us, and I hope to see you at our next forum in June.
We have a number of great events coming up, including a webinar featuring international expert Sara Murphy, who will be talking about how to successfully transform services and staff to deliver meaningful lives in the community for the people they support. NDS is proud to deliver this webinar in partnership with Koomarri, IDV, Yooralla, MiLife, Brotherhood of St Laurence (Ticket to Work), with the support of the Centre for Social Impact (Swinburne University).
Members are also invited to an inclusive governance series that we are hosting in conjunction with the Council for Intellectual Disability. This series will provide practice advice on how organisations can prepare now for the changes that are expected to come from the Royal Commission.
Our first Disability Hot Topics Breakfast will be held on Tuesday 23 May. Minister for Disability, Emma Davidson, will be our keynote speaker, before NDS CEO Laurie Leigh discusses key issues facing the sector as we gear up for the outcomes of multiple reviews in the second half of the year. Get your tickets today.
The ACT Government has opened a review into laws, introduced in 2021, adding protections for vulnerable adults with a disability and older Canberrans. The review wants to know if the new law is effective.
I hope you all stay safe and warm, and I look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming events.