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'Shaping a Resilient Future - Remain compliant'  


Thank you to all who attended the Melbourne Disability Workforce Symposium - the event was well attended by NDIS Registered Providers and stakeholders and was an outstanding success! 

It was pleasing to see so many of our NDISLINK Members attend 

Not a member?  Join today and be part of a rapid expanding network 

See here for more 

Some captured moments from the event  

Keynote Speaker 

Shaynie Paton 

Director Campaigns and Projects, Regulatory Operations NDIS Commission 


New Disability Service Laws Commence in Victoria -

Disability and Social Services Regulation Amendment Bill 2023 (Vic)

The Disability and Social Services Regulation Amendment Bill 2023 (Vic) (the Bill) passed Victorian Parliament on 16 May 2023 and received Royal Assent on 23 May 2023. Part 1, Division 1 of Part 2, Part 5 and Part 7 commenced on 24 May 2023, while the remainder of the Bill will commence on 1 July 2024, unless proclaimed earlier. The Bill amends various legislation including the Disability Act 2006 (Vic) (the Act) and the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic) (the RT Act).

The purpose of the Bill is to make various amendments to the Act including in relation to the sharing of information about persons with a disability, persons subject to restrictive practices and supervised treatment orders, residential services, and the compulsory treatment of persons with an intellectual disability. The Bill also amends the RT Act in relation to Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) enrolled dwellings.

The Amendments include the following;  

•    Supervised Treatment Orders for persons with a disability
•    Information sharing
•    Restrictive practices
•    Compulsory Treatment of Persons with Intellectual Disability (Failure to comply with these obligations will result in a penalty of 240 penalty units (currently $44,381).

Presented by Gareth Kerr of Russell Kennedy Lawyers 

Support workers in the NDIS:  Is there a problem of misclassification? 

There is a wide diversity of roles undertaken by support workers in the NDIS and considerable diversity, and also inconsistency, in service providers’ classifications of their employees.


This presentation examines the disability support worker role and requirements of disability support work and considers the implications for support workers’ employment classification.


While there is some ambiguity in industrial arrangements, quality and safeguarding guidelines contain clear expectations and requirements of workers’ skills, knowledge and judgement. These requirements have implications for all support workers’ employment classifications and for NDIS workforce and market development. 

Presented by Dr Fiona MacDonald of Future work the Australian Institute 

Revised High Intensity Support Skills Descriptors,effective Dec 2022

  • The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has revised its skill descriptors for high intensity supports.

  • Reflecting contemporary practice and expert advice, the new descriptors are supplementary guidance for providers and workers who support participants with high intensity daily personal activities (HIDPA).

  • The descriptors for each area of support outline the skills and knowledge needed to prepare and deliver the support and to carry out the support plan.

  • They provide specific guidance on training and keeping training and practice current.

  • The descriptors came into effect on 1 February.

Shaynie Paton from the NDIS Commission will present on the above 

Own Motion Inquiry conducted by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission into Supported Living (SIL) Outcomes

In August 2021, the NDIS Commission initiated our first Own Motion Inquiry into aspects of supported accommodation in the NDIS (the Inquiry). The Inquiry examined reportable incidents and complaints made to the NDIS Commission in connection with the supported accommodation services (specifically group homes). 

The Inquiry’s purpose was to enable the NDIS Commissioner to identify trends in issues occurring in supported accommodation, what is causing those issues, models of best practice to eliminate or address these issues, and how the NDIS Commission can use its powers to support the delivery of higher standards of support in these settings. 

The Inquiry was completed in December 2022.

Shaynie Paton from the NDIS Commission will discuss components of the report 

How to balance quality and regulatory compliance into day to day NDIS practices


·      Adapting a pragmatic approach to regulatory compliance
·      Ensuring you have effective systems and documented processes
·      It’s not just about ‘passing’ the audit – focus on continual improvement processes
·      Integrating compliance within your organisation context and service operations
·      Ensuring your organisation is informed and prepared for the anticipated NDIS reforms

Presented by Sharon Floyd and Patty Wassenaar, Engels Floyd Quality Consulting 

Explaining the proposed Fair Work Amendment Closing Loopholes Bill

Did you know that in early September 2023, the Federal Government tabled the Fair Work Amendment (Closing loopholes) Bill 2023 into Parliament? If you thought last year’s Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill was a significant reform to industrial relations, this Bill is even bigger. The reforms proposed by the Bill will substantially impact workplaces across the country – and at this session, HR Assured will like to tell you exactly how your business might be affected. 

Key points that will be addressed:
•    Proposed changes to casual employment.
•    Same Job, Same Pay.
•    Criminal sanctions for wage underpayment.
•    Definition of employment.
•    Unfair contracts.
•    Gig workers.
•    Your questions answered.


Addressing Work Related Violence in the Disability sector. 

Worksafe Victoria (WSV) recognises that work related violence (WRV) (also referred to as occupational violence or OVA), is a priority hazard in the disability sector with incidents and claims continuing to rise. 
In an effort to address this, WSV has enlisted the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research body to undertake a systems mapping analysis of work-related violence across the Victorian disability sector. 
We will endeavour to give an overview of this work and where we are up to. 

Key questions to be addressed through the analysis include
1.    What are the factors influencing client-on-worker WRV incidents?
2.    What are the features of the design of the Disability Accommodation system that influence WRV?
3.    What strategies could be used to mitigate the issues identified?
4.    What supports the translation of the systems mapping analysis output to WRV prevention activities in the sector?  

Presented by Worksafe Victoria's Josephine McMahon Program Officer, Manual Handling and Social Assistance Portfolio and Sharon Newnam 

Embedding lived experience and co-design to provide high quality and responsive services


Designing with, rather than for people with disability and embedding lived experience in governance and operations will help organisations to provide high quality and responsive services. It is more than playing lip-service, it requires authentic deep engagement and inclusive processes to ensure people with disability can have a seat at the table and influence the ways services are delivered.

This will mean people with disability can lived valued and included lives, with services who help them achieve their goals. This session will cover the organisational processes and structures that need to be established to ensure authentic and long-term engagement, co-design, and participatory processes.


Mary Sayers of Said Consulting will discuss practical strategies and approaches to help organisations to design with people with disability.

*Although unlikely the program topic may change slightly. 


Option to join the Specialist Disability Accommodation Session 
Fri 13th October 2023 
at the same venue 
9.00am - 4.00pm 

SDA Melbourne  Symposium $395pp


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About the Venue 


Rivers Edge, 18-31  Siddely St Melboourne


Boasting 180 degree views over Melbourne's skyline and Yarra River, River’s Edge Events wows upon every entrance with floor to ceiling glass expanses, a sophisticated design palette and two Juliet balconies offering full water frontage.

Perfectly perched along Melbourne’s Yarra River with city skyline and waterfront views, River’s Edge Events is located within walking distance of South Wharf, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Crown, Crowne Plaza and Southern Cross Station.

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