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National Disability Summit
• On-Demand Playback

Dates for 2021 TBC

• Watch the 2020 event On Demand Playback •

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The 11th Annual National Disability Summit will return this year on the 29-30 October 2020. We will continue the discussion and review the progress and initiatives in supporting people with disability and their families to maximise independence and participation by creating greater choice.

Topics to be addressed include:

  • The Royal Commission
  • Defining what is Reasonable and Necessary
  • Living with Disability in Australia
  • Support for people with disability in the wake of COVID-19 and the 2019 bushfires
  • COVID-19 and the Health/NDIS Interface
  • The Royal Commission and what this means for services providers
  • Applying for the NDIS and how this affected my mental health
  • Mental Health
  • Testifying at the Royal Commission
  • Building belonging in the community
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Groups
  • Best Practice Framework
  • NDIS self-management
  • Children with disability in the schooling system
  • NDIS appeals process
  • Ensuring the sustainability of the NDIS
  • Decision making, personal safety and preventing harm
  • Risk, quality and compliance
  • Specialist disability accommodation and technology

The health and safety of our delegates, speakers and staff is our top priority. That is why the National Disability Conference will now run as a virtually delivered event.


Why attend National Disability Summit Virtually?

Content is King: Enjoy Curated Content

With two days of expert sessions and industry leading speakers, delve into expertly curated content that you won’t find anywhere else.

Accessible from your devices

Learning and networking is now at your fingertips – the conferences and matchmaking platform is accessible from your laptop, tablets or mobile devices

Time Efficient and Cost Saving

Save on travelling time and accommodation costs while getting in touch with industry professionals without geographical boundaries

Business Matchmaking Live

Connect and meet with fellow attendees from all over the world by taking advantage of the AI powered matchmaking within the virtual platform

Live and On-Demand

Wherever you are in the world, view the presentations at your leisure – either live or on-demand you’ll never miss a session.

Engage with our expert speakers

Make the most of your virtual experience by keeping updated with the latest insights and discussions, all while engaging with speakers through live polls, Q&A and more!


Janine McIlwraith

Principal Lawyer, Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Joshua Dale

Partner, Carroll & O'Dea

Tom Ballantyne

Principal Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Thomas Banks

Managing Director, Centre for Access

Joel Townsend

Program Manager - Economic and Social Rights, Victoria Legal Aid

Olympia Sarrinikolaou

Lawyer, Economic and Social Rights, Victoria Legal Aid

Rachael Thompson

Team Leader – Advocacy & NDIS Appeals, Rights Information & Advocacy Centre Inc.

Adrian Munro

CEO, Richmond Wellbeing

Kai Sinor

Senior Lawyer MPS Law and former Assistant Director for NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission

Jim Simpson

Senior Advocate, NSW Council for Intellectual Disability

Professor David Gilchrist

Convener of the Not-for-profits UWA Research Team and Professor of Accounting, UWA Business School

Professor Christine Bigby

Director, Living with Disability Research Centre, Chair, Academic Board, School of Allied Health, Human Services & Sport, La Trobe University

Pauline Luchetta

Carer and Parent, Managing Director, The Cassidy Crew

Leonie Lee

Participant and Carer for her son

Megan Gilmour

Cofounder & CEO, Missing School Incorporated

Roxanne Higgins

Director of Services, Noah's Ark

Avalon Nixon

Director & Occupational Therapist, Qualia Occupational Therapy for Children

Kate Smith

Chief Operating Officer, CIVIC Disability Services

Sophie Dutertre

Senior Project Officer, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health

Melissa Elston

Executive Director, ADEC

Steven Davison

Director, Social Policy Implementation, Government Relations Branch, NSW Ministry of Health

Dr Gávi Ansara

Psychotherapist, Clinical Educator, & Clinical Director, Ansara Psychotherapy Clinic & Imanadari Counselling Victoria (Boon Wurrung country, Kulin Nations)

Christian Astourian

DnD Program Manager, Diversity and Disability, Migrant Resource Centre North-West

Diana Palmer


Dr Ben Gauntlett

Disability Discrimination Commissioner

Dr. Dinesh Palipana OAM

LLB, MD, Lecturer, School of Medicine, Griffith University

Jack Kelly

Inclusion Projects Worker, CID

Amelia Reid

Peer & Community Support Coordinator, Wellways Australia


Agenda timing is Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)

9:00 am

OPENING | Remarks from the Chair

Janine McIlwraith, Principal Lawyer, Slater and Gordon Lawyers

9:10 am

OPENING KEYNOTE ADDRESS | The National Disability Strategy, Human Rights and the Future

Dr Ben Gauntlett, Disability Discrimination Commissioner

9:40 am

  • Examining appeal decision within the AAT
  • Looking beyond the law and ensuring that clients are provided with the best plan possible
  • How advocacy plays a big part in this process
  • Challenging current plans
  • Proposing a time limit on a response from the NDIA and the internal review process

10:15 am

Dr Dinesh Palipana will provide an insight into how his NDIS application and carer support helps him to work as a Doctor with quadriplegia at Gold Coast University Hospital. This session will address the barriers that Dinesh has faced in his career along with providing valuable learnings into his work on the group and government advisory groups on how to ensure that people with disability, especially those in the healthcare sector, have the best access to support.

10:50 am

Stretch & Networking Break

11:10 am

The Royal Commission, What Does this Mean for Service Providers?

Tom Ballantyne, Principal Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

11:45 am

The application process for the NDIS is often an incredibly drawn out process that often is a lot of back and forward with the agency due to non-conformity. During my process, my mental health suffered immensely and even when I thought I would get a new plan, the NDIA threw in another hurdle. This session will bring together a multidisciplinary speaker faculty and will advise, recommend and suggest on how to prevent this happening again.

12:40 pm

  • Does ethical governance mean its ethical? How we can ensure it is ethical
  • Redefining parts of the NDIS to ensure belonging, recommendations, suggestions and advice
  • Ensuring innovative ways to make the most of the NDIS are at the forefront of the community to build belonging
  • Suggestions, advice and recommendations

1:10 pm

Lunch and Networking Break

2:10 pm

  • Achieving and understanding the limits of ‘cultural competence’
  • Variations on how different cultures understand disability and embrace the NDIS and understanding the barriers that may be involved
  • Integrating cultural humility with a ‘nothing about us without us’ approach within the scope of disability work in CALD communities
  • Respecting dignity of risk, autonomy, and individuality within “CALD” groups
  • Suggestions, advice and recommendations for improving the access to care in “CALD” communities from a service provider perspective
  • The importance of involving the family unit in care planning to increase participation rates
  • The importance of culturally informed methods of determining who counts as ‘family’ and integrating cultural kinship ties into care planning

3:05 pm

  • Presenting the evidence-based training materials for supporters of people with cognitive disabilities
  • Aiming to increase capacity to provide rights-based support by understanding the practice before the legislation
  • Furthering the rights of people with disability to make their own decisions through a free and online materials

3:35 pm

  • Addressing the problem – people with disability often do not have the correct mix of carers, so when a carer does move on, this can be very difficult to the participants / clients in both understanding and their mental health
  • Pauline will draw upon success stories which provide the participant / client with the flexibility and support of a continuity of services
  • Digitalising support groups in a COVID-19 society

4:15 pm

CLOSING | Closing Remarks from the Chair

4:20 pm


Agenda timing is Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)

9:00 am

OPENING | Remarks from the Morning Chair

Olympia Sarrinikolaou, Lawyer, Economic and Social Rights, Victoria Legal Aid

9:10 am

In the uncertain climate of COVID-19, policies and support systems have been put in place to support people with disability but how will this impact the future of the interface of the NDIS with health systems? Steven will provide an insight into how the NSW Ministry of Health are working alongside the NDIA to improve on the interface, strategies and initiatives in a physically distancing world, including the increased use of technology to improve access by PWD to services including health services.

9:50 am

Professor David Gilchrist will provide insights take from his recently published whitepaper into ensuring the sustainability of the NDIS, which will explore:

  • Looking beyond the NDIS and at the scope of disability as a whole system
  • How not-for-profits and charitable providers can assist within their capacity alongside consumer and advocacy
  • Advise, suggestions and recommendation on the way forward for the NDIS

10:25 am

Leonie, parent, carer and advocate will draw on the lived experiences of caring and self-managing her son. Leonie will share her knowledge on what it is like to live with disability and will provide practical tips on how she self manages the plans, adapting to COVID-19 as well as ensuring inclusivity and how to battle stigmas.

11:00 am

Networking Break

11:20 am

  • How are children with permanent disabilities covered by legislation?
  • The difference between a chronic illness and permanent disability for children and how this affects the their NDIS support and their school time
  • What if the disability isn’t permanent? How are the children covered then?
  • How we ensure that all children with non/permanent disabilities are supported to get the best education and if time is missed, this is given back

12:05 pm

This address will draw on the lived experience of Pauline Luchetta, advocate and mother to Cassidy. In understanding her story, attendees will have the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of NDIS self-management, how this is intertwined with partial plan management and when successful the achievements it can bring.  Pauline will also acknowledge the challenges faced and how these can be avoided through practical tips and advice for participants self-managing.

12:35 pm

  • The Interim Report and what this will mean for providers and recommended framework
  • Working alongside the Commonwealth to provide a solution-focused approach

1:10 pm

Lunch and Networking Break

2:10 pm

Opening Remarks from the Afternoon Chair

Joel Townsend, Program Manager - Economic and Social Rights, Victoria Legal Aid

2:15 pm

Navigating the NDIS Appeals Process

Joel Townsend, Program Manager - Economic and Social Rights, Victoria Legal Aid

2:40 pm

There are significant challenges for providers delivering services to participants with complex support needs. This session will discuss the operational risks and compliance challenges for providers working in this space, the impact of price controls on quality and safety, and the issues that shape supply and demand for complex supports.

3:15 pm

Stretch & Networking Break

3:30 pm

Join CIVIC as they facilitate a client led conversation about the journey (and challenges) face when finding the right home.

  • Specialist Concierge Service
  • Partner and working alongside existing frameworks
  • Pushing the boundaries and what other options that they can offer

4:00 pm

Diana will present recent research by UNSW Centre for Social Impact and IDEAS on Information Systems that support people with disability to make decisions.

  • Choice and control cannot exist unless it is informed choice
  • LACS (Local Area Co-ordinators) need information supports to preserve their independence and grow inclusion in communities
  • The NDIS can better support the information needs of their participants and other key stakeholders in the system, accelerating market change, and assist in safeguarding individuals

4:30 pm

CLOSING | Closing Remarks from the Chairs

Joel Townsend, Program Manager - Economic and Social Rights, Victoria Legal Aid



Packages Price
2020 On-Demand Access$395+GST

Important • Virtual Pass bookings

For virtual pass bookings, please read below before proceeding:

  • All delegate registrations must use their own email address to ensure each delegate receives a unique password to join the digital event. You cannot use one email for multiple profiles.
  • The flash sale rate is only for new attendees and current bookings cannot be amended to the flash sale rate
  • If your company is not based in Australia, check the GST box on the next page as you are not required to pay GST.

Concession rate available for people with disability, their family and carers. Please email for eligibility for discount rate.


Missed the live event?

To watch all the presentations and each session from the live event, access the On-Demand event here.

Purchase On-Demand

Easy Read Agenda


Virtually Delivered

How our digital platform provides a sophisticated and intuitive digital conference experience

The National Dementia Conference is now a Virtually delivered event which provides an online platform which is not only a learning experience but a high-quality networking opportunity that encourages valuable interactions between attendees and their existing/potential customers and suppliers. This digital conference is hosted on a sophisticated, fully interactive platform that encourages communication through instant chat and video meetings. This event has a longer life span, having access to the excellent networking capabilities for one month after, but also access to the quality content after the event.

If you have any questions about the digital delivery, please contact to find out more.

See below a quick 3-minute video that showcases how the virtual platform works:


“Attending the National Disability Summit was a great experience. There was a wide variety of speakers and the Informa staff were amazing and accommodating to meeting everybody’s needs.”
Louise Bugeja, Internode

“You need to be there, to learn more.”
Stephen Odusa, CatholiccareNT

“Always a great event for networking with decision makers and key people from disability organisations that are working on innovative projects.”
Danny Hui, Sameview

“Such an interesting 2 days with a great quality and range of speakers. Well organised and great flow of themes.”

when & where

01 - 02 Oct 2021

Virtually Delivered Event


Still have a question?

Katrina Bowns
Conference Producer

Danielle Newman
Senior Business Development Manager
+61 2 9080 4432

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