Moody's Message: Many sticks together...
Where we've come from.
‘This has been one of the best connections that we have made in this space. Our consultant provided the information we needed.’
‘The information provided can be implemented immediately.’
‘Exciting to see the information rolling out in our region … validating things we’ve had to teach ourselves.’
In Year Two, working with Victorian disability and community mental health service providers - and with funding provided by the Victorian Government through its Transition Support Project (TSP) - NDS delivered 105 NDIS information and capacity building events across Victoria. These events were attended by 3,375 individuals from 554 different organisations and 31 per cent of the events were held in regional Victoria.
The second year of Victorian NDIS roll out saw NDS expand our NDIS Readiness Networks to all NDIS regions. We also found time towards the end of Year Two to host the NDS Board Summit. This event attracted more than 220 attendees from organisations across Victoria and other states and territories, and received very positive feedback from most attendees (although we also heard those of you who wanted more scenarios and information to support small and medium-sized providers).
Our NDIS Helpdesk users nearly doubled to more than 600 people in Year Two. The Helpdesk was so successful in assisting providers to get your heads around the NDIS that we made the decision to ‘take it national’ in 2018-19. We launched our highly-popular NDIS Sector Development podcast series and published four new Practical Guides, including one on NDIS Travel and Transport which continues to be referred to by the NDIA as the single source of truth on the topic.
Year Two was always going to be what I persisted in calling (queue wincing from the whole NDS team here) ‘The Big Kahuna’ for NDIS roll out in Victoria!
The NDS team is completing an outcomes-focused evaluation of our NDIS Sector Development Project (SDP) to investigate the outcomes for disability organisations who have participated in our SDP activities and organisation’s challenges and needs post-NDIS transition. If you haven’t already, please complete the survey before 25 October.
What we're doing in Year Three of NDIS Victorian roll out
In Year Three - the final year of NDIS roll out in Victoria - NDS will be continuing the work, with thanks again to Victorian Government funding, to support Victorian disability and community mental health providers to transition successfully to the NDIS.
Our plan for Year Three recognises that it will be another year of considerable challenges for NDIS participants and providers.
During this year, NDS will be focusing on three key elements:
- Legacy building and communication by developing a suite of online tools, resources and case studies that will be useful for providers even after the Sector Development Project ceases
- Amplifying good practice by putting an even stronger focus on identifying and communicating examples of good practice, as does the focus on strategic capacity building for providers
- Clarifying when SDP offerings will cease (or will become available to NDS members only beyond the end of the Sector Development Project)
NDS will also, of course, continue to offer a full suite of SDP sector transition services in Year Three, including access to our NDIS News newsletter, the national Helpdesk, Readiness and Implementation Group Meetings, professional Communities of Practice, CEO and Senior Managers Workshops, and our sector support consultants.
And what NDS will doing for Victorian members in the future
When/if the Sector Development Project winds up, NDS in Victoria will be focusing on the needs and expectations of our members only, as you would expect of Australia’s national peak body for non-government disability service providers. The benefits of NDS membership have been pretty well-ventilated in other posts, and are available on our website, but if you still need convincing, consider this:
Even on the (potentially false) assumption that sector transition in Victoria is finalised by 30 June 2019, the following day the new National Quality and Safeguarding Framework commences in Victoria. This means a new regulatory regime for the Victorian sector, which, while not completely different to what we already have in Victoria, is sufficiently nuanced to require your organisation to have access to up-to-the-minute information and intelligence on how to understand and navigate it.
In regard to the Scheme itself, the best estimates coming out of the NDIA are that the NDIS will take 10 years to reach maturity, from the time that roll out commenced (which would make it the year 2026). During this period, we can expect a lot of change nationally in terms of Scheme strategic and operational policies, guidelines, rules, codes, service innovation, quality and safeguarding rules and regulations ... Need I go on? In the midst of this change will be a variety of opportunities for our sector to influence outcomes and political/policy choices (both nationally and in Victoria), for the benefit of participants and providers.
Do you and your organisation really want to be trying (and failing in most cases) to do this by yourself? Or do you want to consider again the benefits of NDS membership or organisational associateship (for ‘for profit’ disability and community mental health providers) now?
Working together through NDS, providers have the opportunity beyond the end of NDIS transition to: influence national policy discussions; share information across the sector for the benefit of everyone; create and nurture networks that support professional development; and access new products to support you in your efforts to deliver quality services and supports for people with disability. And as providers, under the NDS umbrella, we have the ability - through our ongoing and strong relationships with Australian Governments, and other peak bodies, including those representing people with disability, families and carers - to ensure that a mature and functional NDIS, one that works for all Australians, becomes a reality.
As individual organisations, disability and community mental health providers may be able to achieve some of these things. But as Aesop’s fable reminds us, we are much more powerful when we band together to support one another than when we try to achieve the same things as single ‘sticks’.
See you next month!
*From Aesop’s fable, ‘The father, his sons and the bundle of sticks’