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With so much going on with NDIS reboots and reviews, a recent Federal Budget and new faces at the NDIA, the DSC conference was the place to be last week.
The event, held in the first week of June, definitely lived up to expectations, with each speaker contributing their views on how, together, we can make the NDIS into the vision of what was planned for the ‘revolution’ almost 10 years ago.
Bruce Bonyhady and Lisa Paul from the NDIS Review, NDIS Minister Bill Shorten MP, NDIS Commissioner Tracy Mackey, NDIA Chair Kurt Fearnley, NDIA CEO Rebecca Falkingham, Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr Ben Gauntlett and advocates from the disability sector shared their hope and inspirations for the NDIS and our community.
Highlights from the DSC Conference
Here are some of the highlights from the conference:
- The intimate chat between Kurt Fearnley and Todd Winther (and 2,000 rapt members of the audience) where Kurt spoke about the NDIS and how we were supposed to get a revolution, but what we got was a “revolution in a vacuum”.
- It was great to see Mable’s Independent Disability Advisory Council Chair, Dr George Taleporos, up on the big screen interviewing Rebecca Falkingham, getting to the heart of the budget and future direction at the NDIA.
- Minister Shorten focused on plans for his ‘reboot’ and where he saw the most pressing needs for reform. He touched on the issues of registration, and no, he won’t make it compulsory, but he plans to make it easier and less costly to register. Minister Shorten is also investigating ways to ensure that ‘twin pricing’ — one price for NDIS participants and one for everyone else — is made illegal.
- Australian journalist Stan Grant’s Inclusion panel put the spotlight on lived experience advocates, who discussed what ‘Disability Pride’ means to them.
- Natalie Wade assured our community that it’s ok to take a break from “the fight” when you feel exhausted. Such an important message to communicate.
The thing that became clear from the conference was one of the critical factors to the success of the NDIS and the goal of better outcomes for participants is the workforce.
By ensuring workers can regain that sense of ‘joy’ of working in the industry, we can deliver for participants quality services and a good interconnected life with the community.
Written by Clare Conroy, Stakeholder and Policy Manager at Mable.