Laurie Harkin AM retires as Victorian Disability Services Commissioner
With the announcement of his retirement, NDS acknowledges the contribution Laurie Harkin, Victoria’s inaugural Disability Services Commissioner, has made to the disability sector.
Laurie has headed the Commission since 2007. Many service providers will know Laurie from his frequent visits to services across Victoria, his presentations at many NDS state conferences, and his strong promotion of the ‘It’s OK to Complain’ campaign.
In 2013, Laurie was appointed as a member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to the community, particularly through the care and protection of people with disability.
Under Laurie’s leadership, the Disability Services Commission has undertaken a range of positive initiatives to strengthen safeguarding measures in Victoria. This includes the development of resources and training for service providers to promote positive complaints cultures, and the collection and analysis of complaints data through the Annual Complaints Reporting tool.
Since its creation, NDS has enjoyed a collaborative relationship with the Commission in regard to building the capacity of service providers to promote the rights of people with disability, including more recently through the Zero Tolerance Initiative. NDS looks forward to continuing to strengthen this relationship during the transition to new systems under the National Quality and Safeguards Commission.