ASU delegates from across Australia met in Sydney on 1st September to discuss what we know about the NDIS so far and to determine how ASU members can work together to make the NDIS the best it can be.
After a welcome to country from a local Indigenous elder who works in the disability sector, delegates heard from Federal Shadow Minister for Families and Payments & Shadow Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin about her impressions of how the NDIS trial sites were progressing and what problems she saw ahead.
As one of the key architects of the NDIS, it was great to hear Jenny's insights. Delegates asked many questions and shared their experiences from the frontline. Jenny is very keen to hear about the experiences of ASU members and to understand what we think can make the NDIS better for both clients and staff. We are planning more discussion and dialogue over coming months.
NDS and PWD share their thoughts
Delegates were very fortunate to hear from a panel including reps from National Disability Services and People with Disability who shared their perspectives of what the NDIS trial sites and rollout has meant for their members.
NSW delegate Ned Lambley, who is working in the Hunter trial site also gave a frank assessment of how the trial was going and what we needed to learn from it. We also had delegates from other trial sites at the summit and their experiences provided us with firsthand knowledge.
A professional, well paid workforce
Executive Director of The Australian College of Community & Disability Practitioners (ACCDP) Katherine Barnsley explained the work of the College and the need to ensure the NDIS has the best trained professional staff possible. You can get more information about the college at www.accdp.org.au.
And now the plan...
ASU summit delegates spent the rest of the day talking through the key issues about the NDIS that had come from our recent survey of over 1000 ASU members.
While everyone is excited about the NDIS, our members are telling us that key priorities for members in the sector must be job security, good wages, conditions, and professional standards as well as opportunities for training and career development.
ASU summit delegates endorsed a plan which includes the roll out of members' meetings across the country in the next 6 weeks to consider the key issues that need to be addressed in our campaign to make the NDIS the best it can be for people with disability, their families and the workforce who support them.
Delegates shared many ideas about how we can do this, so make sure you attend a local meeting to discuss the NDIS and what you can do.
A comprehensive plan involving our members is key to achieving our aims so make sure you get involved as soon as you can.
Time to become an ASU member
To be part of this campaign it is important to be an ASU member. You can join online at www.asu.asn.au/asujoin.
Download the full bulletin below to see photos from the Summit.