Expert knowledge and skills to support NDIS transition

Joint Media Release with:

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services

The Hon Jane Prentice

The Board overseeing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will draw on an expanded Independent Advisory Council (IAC) from July this year, ensuring broader representation for people with disability during this critical period for the NDIS.

For the first time, the Council will include representatives with intellectual disability and deaf blindness, working alongside other new and long-time members as well as a new panel of five expert advisors. The expanded Council, moving from 10 to 13 members plus the expert panel, will start work on 1 July 2017.

Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said the new model had been developed under the guidance of the IAC’s Principal Member, Professor Rhonda Galbally AO, to ensure a broad range of experience and advice to the NDIS Board.

“Since its establishment in 2013, the Independent Advisory Council has provided important advice to the Board overseeing the NDIS, bringing the views of participants, carers and sector experts together to the heart of the scheme,” Mr Porter said.

“I thank all States and Territories for their unanimous support for these appointments and Professor Galbally for her work to expand the IAC and broaden the representation, especially people with lived experience of disability.  I am pleased to announce her reappointment as Principal Member of the Council.

“Professor Galbally is also a member of the NDIA Board and has made a significant contribution to Australian and international social development, particularly for people with disability.”

Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Jane Prentice, thanked the outgoing Council members for their service and welcomed the new members.

“The Council comprises a majority of people with disability and I have confidence that the IAC will continue to provide valuable and timely advice to the Board,” Mrs Prentice said.

Professor Galbally will be supported by four continuing members and eight new members.

The new Council members from 1 July 2017 are:

  • Ms Kerry Allan-Zinner: A disability advocate and former Chair of the Ministers Advisory Council for Disability in Western Australia, Chair of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Western Australia, who has a physical disability.
  • Mr Kevin Cocks: Queensland Anti-discrimination Commissioner since February 2011, a prominent advocate for people with disability, and who has a physical disability.
  • Mr Maurice Corcoran AM: Has worked in a range of social work, advocacy, management and strategic policy development roles including to help establish the National Disability Strategy. He has an acquired disability.
  • Mrs Judy Huett: An advocate and a member of the Premier’s Disability Advisory Council of Tasmania, who has an intellectual disability.
  • Mr James Manders: A former investment banker, who has extensive experience in governance and regulatory matters, and is vision impaired.
  • Ms Leah van Poppel: Manager of the Youth Disability Advocacy Service and former Chief Executive Officer of Blind Citizens Australia, who is deaf-blind.
  • Ms Liz Reid: Director for Physical Disability Australia, a member of the Northern Territory Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability Reform, and has a physical disability.
  • Ms Sue Salthouse: Has worked in social justice and human rights for nearly two decades, is the co-chair ACT Disability Expert panel, Chair of Women with Disabilities ACT, and has an acquired disability.

The current Council members being reappointed from 1 July 2017 are:

  • Professor Galbally (Principal Member)
  • Ms Jennifer Cullen
  • Ms Janet Meagher AM
  • Ms Sylvana Mahmic
  • Dr Gerry Naughtin

Board Chairman, Dr Helen Nugent AO, said the voices on the IAC will provide important input to decision making, as the Board guides the NDIS through its transition to full scheme and works to improve the experience of participants and providers.

“The expanded Council will play a key role as we work to improve the planning process, to ensure the NDIS experience is the best that it can be, and respond with rigor and agility to any implementation issues that arise during the transition to full scheme,” Dr Nugent said.

“To supplement the individual Members during this unique period of transition, the Board is also engaging five Expert Advisers to provide advice to the IAC from the perspective of the key national disability and carer peak bodies and the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Commissioner.”

The Expert Advisers will be invited to participate in IAC meetings as representatives of their office, with the positions also commencing from 1 July 2017 as follows:

  • Dr Ken Baker AM, Chief Executive of National Disability Services
  • Ms Ara Cresswell, CEO Carers Australia
  • Mr Ross Joyce, CEO Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
  • Mr Alastair McEwin, Disability Discrimination Commissioner
  • Ms Therese Sands, Director Disabled People’s Organisations Australia

Appointments to the IAC are for three years, beginning 1 July 2017. The Expert Advisers will also be appointed for three years from 1 July 2017.