ACT in Focus by Jo Huxley, August 2022
August always seems to be a bit of a milestone in the midst of a long Canberra winter. September is not far away, and the frosty mornings will soon give way to warmer weather. As we all keep the scarves handy for now, I wanted to introduce myself as the new ACT Manager and provide an update on what’s been happening in the sector and what we have in store over the coming month or so.
I’ve been working in the ACT disability sector for the past five years and have had the opportunity to get to know many of you. For those I haven’t had a chance to meet, I will be visiting all our ACT members over the coming months so look forward to getting to know you better and discuss how NDS can best support you and your organisation moving forward.
It has certainly been a busy first couple of weeks! The ACT Committee met in my first week and we were able to formally thank Kerrie Langford for all her work as the ACT Manager. Kerrie has been an integral part of the ACT disability sector for many years, and I’m so pleased that she will continue to provide us with guidance and support as she focuses on her role as Head of Employment for NDS.
It is an exciting time to come into the role. Bill Shorten’s appointment as Minister for the NDIS was welcomed by the sector and he is moving quickly in a range of areas. We recently held a member-only Q and A session with the Minister where he outlined his priorities. If you didn't get a chance to attend the event, I would highly recommend you view the recording.
The big news this week was the handing down of the 2022-23 ACT Budget. The budget focused on healthcare, education, infrastructure, and housing initiatives. From the disability sector’s perspective, the government is committed to working in several areas including the ACT Disability Strategy and support for carers. Investment in expanding the supply of affordable and public housing was also welcome.
Our next Quarterly Forum is booked for Thursday, 22 September. Registrations are now open so please book your Quarterly Forum tickets as soon as possible. Agenda details will follow shortly.
In other event news, don’t miss the opportunity to join our Essential Conversations series of online briefings. These will take place over two weeks in August and will cover a range of topics. Visit Essential Conversations for more information and to register.
You may have also seen information circulated recently regarding our new Communities of Practice. This is your opportunity to collaborate with leaders from across the country on a range of specific topics and ensure that the ACT sector’s experience is represented. Make sure you subscribe to any Community of Practice on your NDS member profile to contribute to the discussion.
A big thanks to all those who have been so generous with their time over the past couple of weeks, it has really helped me settle in. I’m especially looking forward to seeing many more of you in person at the upcoming Quarterly Forum.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything I can help you with.