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National Disability Summit

2-3 December 2021| Crown Melbourne And Virtually Delivered

We are excited to be returning to the Crown, Melbourne for the 12th annual summit and we will continue to offer the option to attend the event virtually

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The 12th Annual National Disability Summit will return this year on the 2-3 December 2021 2021. 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.

This passionate audience is broken down into NDIS services providers, community care organisations, state & federal government agencies, council organizations nationwide, NDIS representatives, independent carers, aged care facilities, aged care providers and many more in a knowledge sharing environment.

Topics and Discussion Points:

  • Independent Assessments
  • The review provisions in the NDIS Act – how does this affect me?
  • Plan flexibility in a Post-COVID world
  • Understanding the changes to early childhood intervention
  • Reviewing the ‘impairment tables’ for Disability Support Pension eligibility
  • Living with Disability in Australia
  • Emergency management & emergency planning
  • Exploring alternative options to provide support
  • Human Rights
  • Diversity & social inclusion for CALD communities
  • Preventing and responding to abuse, neglect, and exploitation of people with disability
  • Navigating the Health System
  • Compliance and Safeguarding: are we putting people with disabilities first?
  • NDIS appeals process – what this means for you
  • Employment: advice, practical support, lasting impact
  • Redefining reasonable & necessary / reasonably necessary
  • Building a more accessible standard for housing
  • Creating accessible and inclusive communities
  • International Comparison


The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Pauline Luchetta

Carer and Parent, Managing Director, The Cassidy Crew

Thomas Banks

Managing Director, Centre for Access

Rachael Thompson

Team Leader – Advocacy and NDIS Appeals, RIAC

A/Prof Michelle Villeneuve

Associate Professor, Centre for Disability Research and Policy, University of Sydney

Adrian Terranova

Executive Officer, Gippsland Disability Advocacy

Natalie Wade

Founder and Principal Solicitor, Equality Lawyers

Senator Jordon Steele-John

Australian Greens Party

Angela Cook

Project Manager, Community Engagement, CFA

Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM LLB

2021 QLD Australian of the Year, Senior Resident in the Emergency Department at the Gold Coast University Hospital and Lecturer, School of Medicine, Griffith University

Darren O’Donovan

Leading Expert in NDIS, La Trobe University

Janine McIlwraith

Principal Lawyer, Margalit Lawyers

Professor Alex Collie

School of Public Health, Monash University

Professor Anne Kavanagh

Chair of Disability & Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Nick Mann

Founder and Principal, Polaris Lawyers

Adrian Munro

CEO, Richmond Wellbeing

Dr Rachael Sowden

Member, Disability Council NSW

Carol Jewell

Acting National Manager, Professional Practice and Development, Occupational Therapy Australia

Angela Kalantzis

The Brain Injury Community

Lucie Scott

Children’s Emergency Clinical Nurse Consultant, Emergency Department, Gold Coast University Hospital

Emma Gierschick OAM

Woman of the Year 2019, Nominee Victorian Woman of Honour 2019 & 2020

Daniel Valiente-Riedl

General Manager, JobAccess

Robert Fitzgerald AM

NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner

Bruce Woodhouse

Partnerships Manager - Customer and Communities Division, SGCH

Kate Smith

Chief Operating Officer, CIVIC Disability Services

Steven Strange

CEO, Health Metrics

Dr Gávi Ansara

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

Samantha Taylor

Acting NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner

Vanessa Wischusen


Penny McKay

Acting, Commonwealth Ombudsman

Jake Fing

Member, Disability Council NSW


9:00 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

Nick Mann, Founder and Principal, Polaris Lawyers


9:10 am


Samantha Taylor, Acting NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner

9:45 am

  • The move & halt of independent assessments
  • What the future may look like to ensure any future changes are centred around persons with disabilities and their voices
  • Reflecting upon the trauma caused by the rushed independent assessment proposal
  • Using the strength of the disability community to shape a more positive NDIS and prevent future rushed decisions and wasted resources

10:30 am

Falling through the cracks: what has the pandemic taught us about the intersection of health and disability services

Professor Anne Kavanagh, Chair of Disability & Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

11:00 am

Networking break

12:15 pm

Thomas doesn’t have the support of many providers as he now lives a pretty independent life. But his previous support workers, including his assistant & support coordinator support his decisions on how he wished to use his NDIS funds. Thomas will address how this support enabled him to make more personal choices with his NDIS funds and will address how he got to the point here he can self-manage his NDIS package to live his best life!

12:45 pm

Real-time, data-driven decision making – how can this help NDIS Providers?

Steven Strange, CEO, Health Metrics

1:05 pm

Lunch & networking break

2:05 pm

Senator Jordon Steele-John will present on independent assessments, in the broader context of proposed changes the government wants to make to the NDIS. Especially, highlighting the disconnect between the stated aims – making the NDIS better for disabled people – and the internal goals – saving money – and why no one has thought to the community what they want. This session will focus on the question of how can you have meaningful change for disabled people in Australia if the system is not co-designed by disabled people?

2:35 pm

Session TBC


3:00 pm

IN CONVERSATION | Emergency management & emergency planning for people with disabilities: what you should know

Angela Cook, Project Manager, Community Engagement, CFA

Adrian Terranova, Executive Officer, Gippsland Disability Advocacy

A/Prof Michelle Villeneuve, Associate Professor, Centre for Disability Research and Policy, University of Sydney

3:35 pm

Networking break

4:05 pm

  • Adapting to a post COVID-19 world to ensure growth
  • Adapting service delivery to cover gaps in the market
  • Keeping staff engaged
  • Remembering care is at the heart of our profession


5:15 pm

CLOSING | Closing remarks from the Chair

5:20 pm

Networking Drinks

9:00 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

Janine McIlwraith, Principal Lawyer, Margalit Lawyers


9:10 am


The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme

9:45 am

  • The challenges for providers not knowing what to do in relation to abuse by others, such as families, spouses, and community members
  • The role of the Ageing and Disability Commission in NSW relating to the abuse, neglect and exploitation of older people and adults with disability in their family, home and community
  • Understanding the elements that need to be in place to assist staff and organisations to better prevent, identify and respond to abuse in the family, home and community
  • An overview of the signs and indicators of abuse, neglect and exploitation

10:05 am

IN CONVERSATION | Compliance and Safeguarding: are we putting people with disabilities first?

Adrian Munro, CEO, Richmond Wellbeing

Moderated by Janine McIlwraith, Principal Lawyer, Margalit Lawyers

10:35 am

Session TBC

11:00 am

Networking break

12:05 pm

The psychological impacts of applying for the Disability Support Pension

Professor Alex Collie, School of Public Health, Monash University


12:35 pm

This presentation will provide an overview of latest research into barriers to disability employment and addressing common barriers amongst employers. This session will also address the practical strategies to address common barriers throughout the employment cycle. For example, accessible recruitment practices, tips for jobseekers with disability, the importance of Disability Employment Services, workplace adjustments.

1:05 pm

Session TBC

1:20 pm

Lunch & networking break

2:20 pm

  • How NDIS funded customers could enjoy stable mainstream social housing with drop-in support
  • How the two projects have also helped field staff to navigate the disability and housing systems

2:50 pm

This presentation will put forth evidence to demonstrate that despite physical interventions, a range of strategies must occur to make our communities inclusive and accessible as people with disability. This session will show lived experiences and the barriers they face, and innovative solutions that could be adopted to overcome these challenges for people with disabilities.

3:20 pm

CLOSING ADDRESS | The work of the Ombudsman in the NDIS: updates & reflections

Penny McKay, Acting, Commonwealth Ombudsman

3:55 pm

CLOSING | Closing remarks from the Chair

4:00 pm

Summit Closed




Packages Price
Package(Two Days)$1795$1495+GST Early Bird Rate Early Bird Rate
Virtual Pass$900+GST

Early Bird expires on 1 November 2021

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

Note: GST is not applicable to non-Australian based companies purchasing a Virtual Pass.
If you’re an international customer purchasing a virtual pass please contact Customer Service on


“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.”

Informa Health & Safety

Informa Health & Safety Commitments

When you join our event, you can expect to see that health and safety is a priority, and that a range of measures are in place to ensure everyone involved is able to enjoy a safe, hygienic, productive and high-quality organised event experience.

All Informa events will be run according to official government and local authority guidance in the first instance, as well as any venue or location-specific regulations. In addition, Informa Australia will follow some key health and safety priority commitments as part of “Informa AllSecure”.

Vaccination required for all in-person attendees
To ensure the maximum safety of our audiences, Informa requires all in-person participants (speakers, delegates, partners, sponsors, exhibitors, suppliers) to be fully vaccinated in order to gain access to the physical event. For those unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, we encourage you to participate in the event by booking a virtual pass to attend the event.

This is an important measure to keep our community members safe who have not yet been able to get vaccinated or who are unable to get vaccinated. We hope it will also help infuse confidence and alleviate concerns that some may still have about attending an event in person.

For more information and to see our FAQs about our Covid-19 health & safety approach, please visit

Event Health & Safety measures in place

  • Informa will continue to adhere to the COVID-19 rules and restrictions applicable to the local state government where the event will be run
  • Enhanced cleaning and hygiene practice including deep cleaning and sanitization before, during and after our events has been implemented.
  • Reduced contact registration is in place
  • Physically distanced seating options in line with local authority regulations will be provided in all venues
  • Contact tracing: All attendees will be required to check-in to the event venue using the relevant government Covid-safe app

Conditions of entry:
Entry to an Informa event for attendees and staff is not permitted if they:

  • are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms
  • have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • are themselves, or residing with anyone who is, waiting the results of a test for COVID-19
  • have returned from international or interstate (where relevant) travel and failed to observe the government requirement to quarantine for 14 days
  • are not able to provide proof of vaccination

For more details please visit

when & where

02 - 03 Dec 2021

Crown Melbourne
8 Whiteman St,
Southbank VIC 3006
(03) 9292

Room rates start at $230p/n. Book accommodation via Crown Promenade Melbourne.

Rooms are subject to hotel availability at the time of booking. Guests will require a valid credit card when making the booking to guarantee the reservation. Cancellation policy is: reservation to be cancelled 24hrs prior to arrival to avoid one night cancellation fee.


Still have a question?

Katrina Bowns
Conference Producer

Danielle Newman
Senior Business Development Manager
+61 2 9080 4318

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