Independent Advisory Council

The Independent Advisory Council () continues to play an integral role in bringing the views of participants, families and experts in the disability sector to the heart of the NDIS by providing independent advice based on the experience of its members and their networks.  members include people with disability, carers, advocates, disability experts and academics.

During 2016–17,  advice to the Board consisted of:

  • how to best work with, and benefit, people with intellectual disability;
  • equitable access to the NDIS by people with cognitive impairment on the margins of society;
  • equitable access to the NDIS by people with cognitive disability in touch with the criminal justice system;
  • building capacity and reducing vulnerability of participants who are isolated from the community, such as those in residential and day services or institutions; and
  • enhancing personal safeguards.

In addition, the Advisory Council produced numerous discussion papers and reports relating to the themes of self-determination, capacity building, independence, social and economic participation and inclusion, reducing vulnerability and enabling positive risk, and equity.

The Advisory Council made submissions to the Senate Community Affairs Committee into the delivery of outcomes under the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 to build inclusive and accessible communities, and to the Joint Standing Committee on services under the NDIS for people with psychosocial disabilities related to a mental health condition.

The term of the inaugural  expired on 30 June 2017. The members of this Advisory Council consisted of:

  • Professor Rhonda Galbally  (Principal Member)
  • Dr Ken Baker
  • Dr Dean Barton-Smith
  • Ms Jennifer Cullen
  • Mr Kurt Fearnley *
  • Ms Sylvana Mahmic
  • Ms Janet Meagher
  • Ms Joan McKenna-Kerr
  • Dr Gerry Naughtin
  • Mr Michael Taggart
  • Mr Dale Reardon

(*Mr Fearnley resigned from the Independent Advisory Council on 5 May 2016)

Each of the foundation members are to be thanked for their hard work and detailed contributions to the Advisory Council’s advice and for assisting the Advisory Council to work effectively and productively as a group over the past four years.

From 1 July 2017, there will be an expanded Advisory Council in place, ensuring broader representation for people with disability during this critical period for the NDIS. For the first time, the Advisory Council will include representatives with intellectual disability and deaf blindness. Professor Rhonda Galbally  will continue in her role as Principal Member of the Advisory Council.

Vale Lois Gatley

The Board,  and NDIA staff paid tribute to inaugural NDIS Independent Advisory Council member, Ms Lois Gatley who passed away on 23 July 2016. Ms Gatley was a dedicated advocate for the NDIS, people with disability and carers and will be remembered as a determined and compassionate colleague.