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Dissecting the National Disability Insurance Scheme

16 March 2011 at 4:13 pm
Staff Reporter
ACOSS2011 | The upcoming ACOSS National Conference will examine the challenges and opportunities for national reform to disability support brought about by the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Staff Reporter | 16 March 2011 at 4:13 pm


Dissecting the National Disability Insurance Scheme
16 March 2011 at 4:13 pm

From government policy through to public rhetoric, there is a widespread expectation that people with disabilities should contribute to society as best they are able. Yet historically, Australia’s support for people with disability has been driven by benevolent compassion according to welfare peak body ACOSS.

ACOSS says people living with disabilities have the same rights and entitlements, expectations, opportunities and responsibilities as non-disabled citizens. The only difference is the support people with disabilities need to exercise these rights and responsibilities.

ACOSS says the Productivity Commission’s current inquiry into a long-term care and support scheme for people with disabilities presents the opportunity for a wholesale review of the support currently provided to people living with disabilities in Australia. More importantly, it has the potential to introduce lasting reforms to improve those supports and the capacity of people with disabilities to participate socially and economically.

John Walsh, Associate Commissioner on the PC inquiry, will be delivering this message personally at the ACOSS National Conference on 29 March. Walsh will be followed by Lesley Hall of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, and Fiona Kumari Campbell of Griffith University, in a panel devoted to considering the opportunities and challenges for reforming Australia’s support for people with disabilities.

The panellists will be followed by questions and discussion with the audience including disability advocates and service providers, in this most important and topical of sessions.

About the speakers:

John Walsh is a Partner in the Advisory Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he has worked for almost 18 years. He is also part of the PricewaterhouseCoopers National Health practice, with consulting responsibilities in the areas of health, disability and accident compensation – particularly lifetime care and support. Walsh is an Associate Commissioner working on the Commission's inquiry into a Disability Care and Support.

Lesley Hall is the Executive Director of the Australia Federation of Disability Organisations, the primary national voice to Government that fully represents the interests of all people with disability across Australia. The mission of AFDO is to champion the rights of people with disability in Australia and help them participate fully in Australian life.

Dr Fiona Kumari Campbell is Senior Lecturer in Disability Studies at the School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University, and Adjunct Professor in Disability Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.

  • ACOSS 2011Challenging Inequality: Social action in an ever-changing world
  • Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
  • When: 29 – 30 March, 2011

Another highlight of the 2011 ACOSS National Conference will be a panel discussion addressing the policy challenges of productivity, population and participation to be hosted by the ABC's Peter Mares and aired on Radio National's The National Interest program. Panelists for this session include Federal Minister Jenny Macklin; Opposition Finance Spokesperson Andrew Robb; the ACTU’s Ged Kearney; Maria Tarrant from the Business Council of Australia; and economist Saul Eslake.

The conference will culminate with a lively panel discussion featuring well-known journalists, social commentators and community sector representatives to be chaired by ABC Melbourne Local Radio personality Jon Faine and broadcast on Radio National's Big Ideas show.

In addition to this packed two-day program, ACOSS will also stage various pre and post conference workshops and forums in specialised areas such as mental health; energy and cost of living; media and communications; and income management. For full details, including sessions, speakers, and program visit the website:

As official media partner of the ACOSS National Conference, Pro Bono Australia News will be reporting live from the conference, with a news desk setup on-site to keep our readers informed of all the conference happenings.

We will be writing news, taking photos and promoting the use of social media at the conference to encourage debate and discussion and keep those unable to attend informed.

  • Keep up to date with all that is happening and join in the conversation on twitter by using the hashtag #ACOSS2011

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One comment

  • Leah says:

    I am all for supporting REALLY disabled people. People who are severely disabled in wheelchairs or intellectually so disabled they can barely function and who need constant care with daily living BUT it makes me so ANGRY that people who have kids with mild handicaps like Aspbergers and have several kids who are on autism spectrum are trying to jump on the band-wagon. If you have a kid who goes to mainstream school and you arent caring for them 24/7 you DONT need ‘respite’. Everyone who has kids has to care for them 24/7 thats called being a parent.

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