Many of us will remember the celebration and fanfare when the government of the day announced inter-jurisdictional and bilateral support for the NDIS. I believe many of us would agree the NDIS launched well before it was ready and from that day forward there has been missed opportunity to deliver the NDIS we all hoped and dreamed of. The analogy of building a plane whilst in flight was an accurate one.
10 years on, there is promise of a new day and a new opportunity with yet another NDIS review. Perhaps you, like me, are a little worn down by the myriad of internal and external reviews and the promise of something better, but if we do not enter into this new opportunity with a positive mindset, bringing ideas and feedback on how we can make the NDIS realise its potential, we cannot expect a better outcome.
The Review is intended to look at the design, operations and sustainability of the NDIS.
What is the NDIS Independent Review?
In the words of Minister Shorten, it is intended to “look at the design, operations and sustainability of the NDIS. It will also look at ways to make the market and workforce more responsive, supportive and sustainable.” In the words of the well credentialed and experienced Review Co-Chairs –Bruce Bonyhady and Lisa Paul – it is intended to “restore trust and pride in the NDIS for people with disability, families and carers, service providers and workers, representative organisations and all Australians.”
For me as CEO of Interchange (and a 20-year disability professional) it is an opportunity to learn from the past and recognise the good will, achievements and expectations of a broad range of stakeholders comprising
• people with disability and their supporters,
• service providers and our staff,
• government and policy makers,
• the NDIA and Quality & Safeguards Commission, and
• mainstream services and community.
On behalf of Interchange, I set an expectation that we create an environment and momentum to help people with disability live their good life. I encourage you to take this new opportunity to have your say and contribute to the reimagining of an NDIS with a positive future that recognises the entire ecosystem and valuable contribution of the disability and mainstream communities.
I cannot, and should not, speak on behalf of people with disability. I will leave this to them and their engaged and informed self-advocates.
I do make comment on behalf of Interchange and our staff and supporters. We look for an NDIS that values sustainable organisations that generate profits to invest in doing more than basic and essential services. We seek to continue to build our capacity to deliver on our mission and purpose.
I look for an NDIS that values and recognises the needs and essential contribution of our staff, volunteer and supporters who are values led individuals who bring their passion, hearts and skills to work every day to help people live better lives where everyone belongs.
Join me in good will by having your say and help us to achieve our vision of welcoming communities that value, respect and empower people with disability to live a good life.