Civil Society Australia

Fixing NDIS
National Conference


3-4 September 2018 | Melbourne
Fulfilling the Promise to
Revolutionise Disability Services


Call for Conference Contributions:

Papers or Workshops
Proposals for Reform of NDIS
Campaign Ideas


Contributions are invited for papers and workshops, reform proposals, and campaign ideas for this National Conference on Fixing NDIS in Melbourne on 3-4 September 2018.

Five years after the launch of NDIS in July 2013, it is apparent that NDIS requires major reform if it is to achieve its stated goals and fulfill the promise of its proponents to Revolutionise Disability Services. It's first five years have been characterised by:

  • Impersonal service, poor communication and corporatised customer relations
  • Excessive bureaucracy and red-tape, and insufficient flexibility
  • Top-down centralised approaches to preparation of individual plans
  • Big fluctuations in determinations of eligibility and support entitlements
  • Disrespect for family carers as the primary unit of care for most participants
  • Lack of person-controlled technology to assist participants to self-direct
  • Fears that Local Area Coordination repeats the old supply-side fragmentation
  • Too little financial transparency and competition in pricing and costs
  • Concerns that small support organisations are disadvantaged in relation to big providers
  • Insufficient recognition of peer and mutual supports and networks
  • Inadequate capacity to support people with mental illnesses
  • Doubts over the financial viability of an uncapped scheme and fears of service rationing

NDIS is in grave danger of becoming a bigger, more expensive version of the old disempowering provider-centred disability industry.

However, reform will not be easy. There are major structural impediments to change. The internal culture of NDIS is increasingly corporate in nature and resistant to critical scrutiny. External intervention from governments will need joint Federal-State/Territory co-operation. The two major political parties see the problems quite differently: the Turnbull Government thinks more corporate sector management will fix the problems; Labor thinks more money will do the job. Neither political party, nor policy makers, nor NDIS management understand the need for culture change towards empowerment of participants and authentic personalisation of supports as the key to reform.

The Campaign to Reform NDIS and its package of 15 reform measures have arisen from the deliberations of people with disabilities, families and friends, support organisations, researchers and policy makers over the past two years, facilitated by Civil Society Australia. The Campaign has set itself the goal of influencing elected representatives in the Federal Parliament to commit to reforming NDIS before the current structure and culture of the scheme become entrenched.

This Conference on 3-4 September will seek broad input into the NDIS reform process. It will present papers and workshops on current practices and proposed improvements or alternatives to them. It seeks additional reform proposals, and invites campaign ideas for building broad public support for transformational change.

Note: Presenters of papers will generally be offered 20 minutes with discussion to follow. Workshop sessions will run for 75 minutes; facilitators may be offered this session singly or in combination with a related workshop. Proponents of reform proposals and campaign ideas may be offered a 75 minute session singly or in combination with one or two other proponents, depending on the content.

People with disabilities, families, friends, support organisations, community groups, services, policy makers and elected representatives are invited to contribute to this people-driven process to ensure NDIS delivers on the promise to Revolutionise Disability Services.

CLICK HERE to express an interest in presenting a paper or workshop, a proposal for reform, or a campaign idea.

CLICK HERE for the preliminary program.

CLICK HERE to register for the conference.

CLICK HERE to participate in the Campaign.

Conference Venue

The Angliss Conference Centre is located in the Melbourne CBD, on the corner of LaTrobe and King Streets, on the fifth floor. It is close to train and tram services. Flagstaff railway station is one block away in LaTrobe St, and Southern Cross station is three blocks away in Spencer St. Trams 23, 24, 30, 34, and City Circle run along LaTrobe Street.

There are numerous accommodation options close by, to suit all budgets.

Start and Finish Times

The conference begins at 9.15am on both days, finishing at 5.00pm on day one, and 4pm on day two .

CLICK HERE to register. 

CLICK HERE for the preliminary program.

Member discounts

Membership of Civil Society Australia in its four categories (Individuals, Associations, Small Business, Services) carries a significant discount on registration fees for this event. You may become a member of Civil Society Australia and register at the member rate on the Registration Form.

CLICK HERE for Civil Society Australia membership.

CLICK HERE for further information.

 Civil Society Australia