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Government Expands NDIS Advisory Board


Wednesday, 28th June 2017 at 3:33 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor
The board overseeing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will draw on an expanded Independent Advisory Council (IAC) from July in a move to ensure broader representation for people with disability.


Wednesday, 28th June 2017
at 3:33 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor


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Government Expands NDIS Advisory Board
Wednesday, 28th June 2017 at 3:33 pm

The board overseeing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will draw on an expanded Independent Advisory Council (IAC) from July in a move to ensure broader representation for people with disability.

The federal government has announced that, for the first time, the council will include representatives with intellectual disability and deaf blindness, who will be 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,” 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.  

“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.”

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

The new council members from 1 July 2017 are:

  • Kerry Allan-Zinner, a disability advocate and former chair of the minister’s Advisory Council for Disability in Western Australia, chair of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Western Australia, who has a physical disability.
  • Kevin Cocks, Queensland Anti-discrimination Commissioner since February 2011, a prominent advocate for people with disability, and who has a physical disability.
  • Maurice Corcoran AM, who has worked in a range of social work, advocacy, management and strategic policy development roles including to help establish the National Disability Strategy, and has an acquired disability.
  • Judy Huett, an advocate and a member of the Premier’s Disability Advisory Council of Tasmania, who has an intellectual disability.
  • James Manders, a former investment banker, who has extensive experience in governance and regulatory matters, and is vision impaired.
  • Leah van Poppel, manager of the Youth Disability Advocacy Service and former CEO of Blind Citizens Australia, who is deaf-blind.
  • Liz Reid, director for Physical Disability Australia, a member of the Northern Territory Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability Reform, and has a physical disability.
  • Sue Salthouse, who 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:

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

The additions to the IAC come after the disability sector expressed “disappointment” at the number of “corporate heavyweights” which were appointed in January to lead the NDIS in place of those with lived experience. The changes included replacing the inaugural chair and the so-called father of the NDIS, Bruce Bonyhady.

New board chairman Dr Helen Nugent AO said the voices on the IAC would provide important input to decision making, as the board guided the NDIS through its transition to full scheme and worked 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,” 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:

  • Dr Ken Baker AM, chief executive of National Disability Services
  • Ara Cresswell, CEO Carers Australia
  • Ross Joyce, CEO Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
  • Alastair McEwin, Disability Discrimination Commissioner
  • 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.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.

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One Comment

  • Peter Batini says:

    I am pleased to see Kerry Allan-Zinner appointed to the IAC. A good choice. Congratulations to Kerry. Peter Batini

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