Bi-Monthly Update – July 2019

From the Chairperson

QDN’s work is about informing, connecting, leading and influencing and information is key.  QDN has an important role in providing information to and for people with disability about what is happening in the policy landscape, and also policy decisions that are made that have a real impact upon our day to day lives. Just as critical is the information that members provide to QDN about what is happening in local communities around Queensland about the implementation of policy decisions, at a state and national level like the All Abilities Queensland Strategy and the National Disability Strategy and how things are working on the ground for people.

From its formation 15 years ago, at the heart of the organisation, is a state-wide network of people with disability, connecting with each other, sharing information, tips, and knowledge about the issues and things that are important in our lives. More recently, QDN, through funding provided by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), was able to form 21 local support groups around the state, and virtually, to provide opportunities for people to come together in a model of peer networks, to connect, inform, lead and influence.

I am very proud of the work QDN undertakes, in leading and influencing change. QDN members are leaders in their own lives, and own communities, and each and every one of us has the opportunity to influence and identify solutions to continue to improve services, products and communities, so they are more inclusive of people with disability.

We all want to work, live, learn and play in our communities, and be equal citizens, whether it is about where we live, whom we live with, getting a job, going to the football or out to the park with our family. QDN has an important role to play as we move forward, to continue to inform all levels of Government and provide the voice of people with disability at the table when decisions are being made, to connect people together, and to continue to build strong leaders, who are actively shaping, contributing and influencing change in their own lives, in their communities and the systems.

QDN’s member survey is open next week and I encourage members to jump on line, or call the office to give your important feedback about what is happening and what is important for you.

QDN has been funded by the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors until June 2020 to continue to undertake our work in big picture policy which is a key part of QDN’s role. This will include continuing to deliver the eBulletin bi-monthly to QDN members to keep you updated about what is happening, as well as regular updates when important things happen. QDN will continue to keep sharing information via social media about important information and things relevant to QDN members, and opportunities to have a say. As part of the big picture policy work, QDN will continue to write submissions to Government when they ask for feedback, and connect with members to get your perspectives for submissions, and provide feedback on committees and consultations. The Department is currently looking at what needs to happen with all advocacy, both individual and systemic advocacy into the future, and QDN will continue to raise the importance of people with disability having access to independent, individual and systemic advocacy now and into the future.

Unfortunately, QDN hasn’t been funded to continue to provide individual information and referrals directly to people with disability from 1 July 2019, as this is something that is seen to be delivered under the NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC). There are still a number of Queensland organisations with transitional funding to do this, and QDN can connect you with them or information about which organisations are doing this work.

QDN also has a range of other work that we are pleased to be delivering during 2019-2020. QDN was successful in the grant under the ILC grant round in December 2018 that was only open to Disabled Persons and Family Organisations to apply for, focused on specific areas like upgrades and infrastructure for organizations and also capacity building for volunteers and boards. The grant will enable QDN to upgrade our information technology system – our database Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and also to work with QDN’s Local Group Conveners to develop some user-friendly resources and information for members of local support groups to learn more about self-management and NDIS plans. QDN believes that given the geographical spread of Queensland, the slowly developing ‘market’ of service providers, self-management offers another way for people with disability to be able to access supports when there may be little or no other service options in their community.

QDN is also pleased to be part of a recently announced project called “Everyday Practice” to deliver a free, national education and community resource for NDIS providers and participants. QDN is part of a partnership with the lead agency, Amergin, along with the Community Resource Unit (CRU) and Richmond Fellowship Queensland (RFQ). The funding is under the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissions’ Support for NDIS Providers Program.  The program’s primary purpose is to help NDIS providers comply with their day-to-day NDIS obligations (Everyday Practice) through the lens of NDIS participants’ experience.  The project aims to bridge the gap between compliance and service delivery, and QDN will bring together people with lived experience as participants of the NDIS, to co-design and have input into the resources and products on the “Everyday Practice” platform. It is critical that the everyday practice delivering quality and safe supports to participants of the NDIS is informed by people with disability, and that providers can hear directly from people about what good practice looks and feels like. Along with this, it is also critical that people with disability understand their rights to quality and safe practices, and what they can expect to be delivered to them within the legislative frameworks and practice standards. This project, being led by Amergin, was one of ten organisations receiving grants in building capacity mongst NDIS providers. I look forward to updating members more about this exciting work.

Nigel Webb, QDN Chairperson

From the CEO

I am pleased to let QDN members, supporters and allies know about a broad range of work we have been undertaking and some important things coming up in the near future.

I was very pleased to be able to travel to Normanton this past week with QDN staff member, Louise Abson, and our partners in delivering on our Changing Lives Changing Communities NDIA grant, QCOSS staff Laura Barnes and Fiona Malcom. A big thank you to our Local Group Convenor of QDN’s Peer Support Group in Normanton Tony Melksham, who assisted QDN on the ground in Normanton in preparing for the 2 day community forum. A big thank you also to the other key people in Normanton and services who helped make it such a success. It really is powerful when a community comes together to talk and co-design solutions to inclusion, and the Normanton community achieved during this forum, and have identified a number of exciting and innovative ideas and projects to start working on that will make a difference for people in this community.

The Commissioners for the Royal Commission into the Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability have started a range of consultations and meetings with people with disability, advocates, families, providers and other stakeholders from around Australia. I was very pleased to be one of the stakeholders invited to a meeting in Melbourne, chaired by Commissioner Galbally. As part of the work on the day, we considered a framework to analyse the settings, practices, policies and systems contributing to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation across a range of areas and all parts of life including housing, recreation, school, work, health, justice and education.  More information is available about the consultations later in the eBulletin, and we will continue to keep members updated as information becomes available.

State Minister Hon. Coralee O’Rourke, Communities, Disability Services and Seniors and Commonwealth Minister Hon. Stuart Roberts for NDIS and Government Services issued a joint media statement to advise Queenslanders that both levels of government have agreed to temporary continuation of the terms of the NDIS Transition Bilateral Agreement for at least a further 12 months while more Queenslanders with disability transition to the scheme. QDN has been working hard over the past 5 years, through a range of NDIS participant projects to work with people around the NDIS, most recently with people with disability who have never received disability supports. QDN has worked on the NDIS Peer to Peer Advocacy project until 30 June 2019, supporting people with their access to the NDIS. Through this work, QDN has worked alongside almost 1500 people, providing specialist and practical supports needed by people with disability and their family, supporters or carers to get their information and access request forms completed to make an access request to the NDIS. I know that this is an ongoing need for the almost 30,000 Queenslanders who are still yet to make access requests to the NDIS. QDN will continue to work with both the State and Commonwealth Governments and the NDIA to ensure Queenslanders with disability can access the right supports, at the right time, in the way that fits with their needs to take that initial, but significant step, requiring time, energy and knowledge about the scheme to complete the NDIS access request paperwork. I am pleased that under the agreement Queensland State Government can now access its share of the Disability Care Australia Fund, and reimbursed for services provided by Queensland on an in-kind basis. QDN looks forward to continuing to ensure that the NDIS delivers for the 10% of Queenslanders who are eligible for NDIS reasonable and necessary supports to be able to socially and economically participate in their communities.

QDN continues to undertake work in the area of affordable, accessible housing, and I am a member of the Ministerial Housing Council (MHC), chaired by Minister Di Brenni. At a recent meeting, Minister Di Brenni asked the Council to form a sub-committee of the MHC to focus on actions/recommendations to improve the housing outcomes with regards to affordable and accessible housing for people with disability and report back to him at the next meeting. I was asked to be the Chairperson of the sub-committee which comprises QDN, Q Shelter, QCOSS, Property Council, Tenants Qld and a representative from Retirement Villages Qld. The sub-committee have worked together to develop 9 recommendations which were provided to Minister Di Brenni at the MHC meeting on 5 June 2019. The Minister has undertaken to consider each and provide feedback at the next Council meeting re further actions around the recommendations. We will keep you posted as more information comes available.

Like Nigel, I encourage members to participate in the QDN Member Survey 2019 and take the opportunity to let us know what the important things are to you, and critical issues that need to be raised through the available channels.

I also encourage members to be part of the QDN Art Competition. There are prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes – $200 gift voucher for 1st prize, $150 for 2nd prize and $100 for 3rd prize, and 1st prize will have their art work as part of the cover of the 2018-2019 QDN Annual Report. The theme is “Nothing about us without us” and it’s your interpretation of what that means and represents for you. I look forward to seeing the amazing talent that is part of our membership. We will have a panel including an artist making the final decisions to be announced in September, so please get your creative thinking hats on.

Paige Armstrong, CEO

Art Competition

You are invited to submit a painting or drawing which reflects what QDN’s motto “Nothing about us without us” means to you.  The winning piece of art will go on the front cover of the 2018-2019 Annual Report.  Contact QDN on 1300 363 783 for more information.

QDN new ILC Grant with a focus on self-management

The National Disability Insurance Agency held a grant round in December 2018 specifically for organisations considered to be Disabled Persons and Family Organisations (DFPOs). This DPFO grant round committed $15.5 Million (GST Incl.) to 114 organisations and 13 cohort group organisations to deliver one year projects from July 2019.

QDN was fortunate to be one of the 114 organisations to receive funding, and the focus of the grants was to strengthen the foundations of the DPFO sector in time for the new approach for ILC grants as outlined in the ILC Investment Strategy.  QDN’s grant is funded to assist in getting a new database system/Customer Relationships Management (CRM) for the organisation to better manage information and data for members, supporters, allies, and customers of QDeNgage. The second part of the grant is to work with QDN’s 22 Local Group Convenors, who convene local peer networks of people with disability to co-design user-friendly tools/resources to share information with members of your local support groups and people with disability in your community in relation to self-management and NDIS plans. QDN has many members and group convenors already self-managing, however, given the challenges with market growth and access to supply of services, particularly in regional, rural and remote communities, QDN sees self-management offers a key strategy to facilitate timely and effective take up of participants NDIS plan when there are little to no other service options in their location. Stay tuned for more information.

Everyday Practice Project: QDN part of consortium delivering information for NDIS providers and participants about quality and safeguards

QDN is pleased to be part of a project, led by Amergin, and in partnership with Community Resource Unit (CRU) and Richmond Fellowship Queensland (RFQ) called Everyday Practice. This project was one of the major recipients of funding under the NDIS Commission’s Support for NDIS Providers Program. Everyday Practice is a free, national education and community resource for all NDIS providers and participants. The program’s primary purpose is to help NDIS providers comply with their day-to-day NDIS obligations (Everyday Practice) through the lens of NDIS participants’ experience. QDN will work with the project to co-design resources and the approach to ensure that it is informed by people with disability, for people with disability, and that the lived experience of people is central to the work. NDIS Quality and Safeguards, including critical areas like the Code of Conduct will shape the practice environment and how people understand and deliver practice and support to people with disability, and QDN knows fundamental to this is placing people with disability in the driver’s seat, to be seen as leaders in their own lives, and as active participants of the NDIS. QDN is pleased to be part of this project, in shifting the policy and practice environment and ensuring it is ‘nothing about us without us.’

Normanton Changing Lives Changing Communities

Groups of people at tables at the Normanton Changing Lives Changing Communities
Groups of people at tables at the Normanton Changing Lives Changing Communities

On 17th and 18th July QDN and QCOSS co-hosted the ‘Changing Lives, Changing Communities’ forum in Normanton. Over the two days over 35 people from the Normanton community came together to explore the question ‘What would it take to create a Normanton community where everyone contributes, matters and belongs?’  The conversation included indigenous elders and community members, local service providers, family members and people with disability, representatives from the NDIA, and others from further afield. The group identified a number of key ideas and initiatives that they would like to take action on in the Normanton community.

This forum came together with the support and input of local organisations and individuals in the community, and was the sixth and final of the first year Changing Lives Changing Communities forums funded by the NDIA Information, Linkages and Capacity Building grant. Planning has commenced for year two of Changing Lives Changing Communities forums across Queensland, and dates and further information for these forums will be published on the QDN website soon. Click here for more information.

Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DIDRR)

People talking at tables at the Disability Inclusion Disaster Risk Reduction in Rockhampton
Disability Inclusion Disaster Risk Reduction discussions take place in Rockhampton

QDN has been working in partnership with the University of Sydney and QLD Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors on a project focused on building the capacity of people with disability, families, services and community to include the diverse needs and experiences of people with disability in disaster planning, management and response.

Over May and June, a series of workshop consultations were held in Brisbane, Ipswich, Rockhampton and Townsville on this topic. At these consultations we heard from a diverse range of individuals from across community, emergency services and providers, on the challenges people with disability face, and the strengths and supports people with disability rely on in a disaster situation.

These insights are now being collated by the University of Sydney into reports for each consultation location, and will form the basis of a Queensland framework and toolkit for ensuring disability inclusive disaster risk reduction approaches.  The development of this framework and toolkit is also informed by an Advisory Committee of which QDN is a part, alongside other representatives from key services and agencies.  Once finalised, this framework will be made available for public use and published on the QDN website.

Co-design and deliberate engagement: What works?  picture of a wrapped present

QDN has used co-design processes to develop a number of our projects for several years. We believe policies and programs work best when people with disability are involved from the beginning in the design, delivery and evaluation of policies, programs and projects. The following report examines how co-design and deliberative engagements are rapidly changing the way governments around the world grapple with complex public policy problems. For further information and to download the full report click here.

Policy Work

QDN Policy Response Wrap Up

Since the last e-Bulletin QDN has worked on the following policy matters:

  • Provided written feedback on the Metro North Hospital and Health Service Bowel cancer screening participation plan
  • Provided a submission to the Draft Queensland Transport Strategy, Transport and Main Roads
  • Attended and provided advice at workshops held by the Department of Housing and Public Works and QShelter on the Partnering for Impact, Partnering for Growth State-wide workshops in Gladstone, Cairns, Brisbane, Townsville, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich. Paige Armstrong and Karin Swift presented on disability and housing issues at the Sunshine Coast and Ipswich workshops
  • Provided a submission to the Australian Energy Regulator’s Issues Paper: Queensland Electricity Distributors’ Tariff Structure Statements
  • Participated in usability testing of the Energy Made Easy website
  • Attended an update on Specialist Disability Accommodation at the Department of Communities
  • Attended a meeting facilitated by QCOSS with the Queensland Competition Authority on Smart Meters
  • Attended a meeting facilitated by QCOSS with the Centrepay Policy and External Stakeholder Management Team to discuss emerging issues
  • Attended meetings of the Make Renting Fair Queensland Alliance
  • Attended a Smart Ticketing customer feedback session, Transport and Main Roads
  • Participated in an individual consultation of the Department of Transport and Main Roads Co-Design Activities
  • Attended a workshop on the proposed operating model for community housing, Department of Housing and Public Works
  • Attended a meeting of the Brisbane Metro Accessibility Working Group
  • Attended a meeting with Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANSOG) Peer support Workshop Sydney
  • Attended stakeholder workshop with Commissioners of Royal Commission into the Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
  • Attended meeting with Metro North Hospital and Health Services about disability matters
  • Participated in workshop to inform Community Housing Operating Model
  • Attended meeting with Office of Public Guardian
  • Attended meeting with Office of Public Advocate and leading experts with regards to Health and Intellectual Disability
  • Participated in National teleconference on Health Interface issues Expert Advisory Committee meeting.

First Workshops for the Disability Royal Commission

On Tuesday 18 June 2019, Commissioners of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability welcomed disability advocates from across Australia to the Commission’s first workshop in Melbourne. Paige Armstrong attended this meeting on behalf of QDN. The participants at this workshop are among the many people with disabilities and family advocates who have fought long and hard for the Commission to be established.

The workshop, facilitated by Commissioner Galbally, was the first in consulting with those who have a deep knowledge of the rights of people with disabilities to live lives free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, as fully participating citizens.  As part of his opening remarks, the Chair of the Commission confirmed for all participants that:

  • This workshop is the first of many to be held throughout Australia.
  • Workshops and public forums will be held in regional centres and remote locations.
  • The Commission will soon be inviting submissions.
  • Public hearings will be held in each State and Territory.

Click here to view the Chair’s opening remarks.

Click here to view Commissioner Galbally’s observations about the workshop.

An Easy Read summary of the workshop is now available on the website.  It includes a summary of the Chair of the Commission’s opening remarks and Commissioner Galbally’s overview of the workshop.  Click here to view.

Since the Royal Commission’s initial workshop with advocacy groups, further workshops have been held with legal practitioners and disability service providers. Discussion focused on areas such as: homes and living; education and learning; economic participation; justice; health; and sexuality. It was also announced that a Royal Commission helpline will be launched by the end of July. A preliminary submission process will also get underway, to be followed soon after by the issuing of a notice to organisations to produce documents. The Royal Commission is currently developing an access strategy to ensure that people with disability know about, and can participate in, the Royal Commission. QDN will continue to keep members informed.

CEO Paige Armstrong on National Radio

Recently on Radio National Breakfast, QDN CEO Paige Armstrong shared her in-depth knowledge about the complexities around accessing the NDIS and why uptake in Queensland has fallen short of bilateral targets.  Click here to listen.

QDeNgage – Engagement consultants with lived experience of disability connecting with organisations to help grow your business QDeNgage Logo

QDN recognises that by involving people with disability, businesses’ and organisations’ products and services can be more inclusive and accessible for customers with disability.  One in five Queenslanders identify as having a disability and want to be customers and consumers of all that business, industry and the community has to offer.

QDeNgage consultants have lived experience of disability and have a diverse range of skills and experience and can help with:

  • Disability inclusion health checks for businesses and organisations
  • Sharing information and knowledge as guest speakers
  • Consultancy services to assist with policy, service design, accessible communications etc.
  • Providing disability inclusion training for staff and workplaces
  • Hosting consumer and customer engagement sessions with people with disability
  • Hosting co-design workshops to help plan, design or test products and services
  • Designing and undertaking targeted surveys

Click here to read more.

QDeNgage has been busy delivering on a range of requests from customers seeking people with lived experience of disability to inform their work and deliver inclusive services, products and environments.

This has included:

  • Panel Chairpersons and representatives at an Inclusion Summit hosted in Brisbane by Community Services Industry Alliance
  • Representatives to provide input and feedback for an inclusive social media campaign
  • Representatives to inform a national strategy on innovation for people with disability
  • Representatives to inform a state access and inclusion strategy.

Important information for service users of the Queensland Community Care Program

The NDIS is now available across Queensland. As a result, from 1 July 2019 the Queensland Community Care Program (QCC) will be replaced by the Queensland Community Support Scheme (QCSS).  The Queensland Community Support Scheme (QCSS) is a new scheme that provides supports to people who, with a small amount of assistance, can maintain or regain their independence, continue living safely in their homes, and actively participate in their communities.

Many people have moved to the NDIS, but others may be experiencing delays.  For this reason, the Department of Communities, Disability and Seniors will ensure existing QCC clients at 30 June 2019 will continue to receive their service under the new QCSS.

If you are eligible for the NDIS in the future, you will transition to the national scheme at this time.  Existing QCC Program service users do not need to test their eligibility with the NDIS to transition to the new Queensland Community Support Scheme. Click here to visit the website for further information on the QCSS.

QDN can assist people in the transition to the new QCSS or the NDIS until 30 September 2019. Please call 1300 363 783. To assist people to make this transition from the old QCC program to the new QCSS program QDN has been funded to 30 September 2019, to provide people with key details around the changes, details of QCSS providers in their area to contact or, with the person’s permission, contact providers in their area to see if they have capacity to take the person on as a client and continue services.  In addition, the project team can provide limited NDIS access assistance to people transitioning to the new QCSS.

QDN encourages anyone wanting assistance to transition from QCC to QCSS to contact QDN now on 1300 363 783 or

QDN’s Peer Advocacy Project ends 30 June 2019 – having delivered to over 1,000 Queenslanders with Disability

Queensland’s transition to the NDIS officially concluded on 30 June 2019. The Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors funded QDN from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 to deliver the NDIS Peer to Peer Advocacy Project. Unfortunately, this project has not received any continued funding and QDN ceased the project as of Friday 27 June 2019.

Click here to read more.

Member Survey 2019

QDN seeks your feedback about what is important to you.  We want to know what you see as priority issues for people with disability. We also want to ask about people’s experience of the NDIS.

The information from the 2019 survey will be used by QDN to look at what are important priorities to focus on for the next year so that QDN can work actively with members on issues that are important to them. The 2019 Member Survey will go out in August by email or post, and will be available on the website. We encourage members to have your say.

Member Survey 2019 will be open until 31 August 2019.

By participating in the survey, you will also go in the draw to win. QDN has 3 x $50 gift vouchers and 3 X $25 gift vouchers which will be awarded by random draw of members who complete the survey. Winners will be notified the week after the survey closes.  If you would like help please call QDN on 1300 363 783.

Peer to Peer Advocacy Project Video

QDN has produced a short video which captures the great work of the Peer to Peer Advocacy Project.  The NDIS is changing lives.  QDN’s Peer to Peer Advocacy Project has provided crucial support to Queenslanders with Disability. Click here to view the video.

State Budget 2019 Member Update

QDN welcomes announcements in the State budget around disability.  For the 2019-20 financial year, the disability services budget of $205.5 million of controlled expenditure was announced. QDN is providing a summary of key initiatives and priorities released in the 2019 State Budget.  Click here to read more.

Policy updates


Update for Members

There are a number of policy updates that we wish to inform our members about in relation to the NDIS, which came into effect from 1 July 2019.

Click here for more information.

Major NDIS milestones for Queensland

The NDIS is now fully operational and available in all areas of Queensland. In a statement, Minister Coralee O’Rourke said she was extremely proud of the work Queensland Government and the disability sector have done together to reach this milestone, and acknowledged how far we have come. ​

Click here to read the full media statements.

Women, rural and disadvantaged Australians may be missing out on care in the NDIS

While the NDIS has made incredible improvements to the lives of many Australians with disabilities, the structure of the NDIS may be exacerbating existing social inequities. Women, rural and regional Australians, and those from low income households are more likely to miss out on disability care than their peers. Click here to read more.

Full scheme agreement reached

Queensland has joined six other states and territories with full scheme agreements for the NDIS. The agreement puts in place long-term funding and governance arrangements for the NDIS, from 1 July 2020. Queensland will contribute $2.13 billion to the scheme annually from 2020-21 until at least mid-2028.

In the meantime, both levels of government have agreed to temporary continuation of the terms of the NDIS Transition Bilateral Agreement for at least a further 12 months while more Queenslanders with disability transition to the scheme.
Click here to read the full media statement.

Information and Referral support from 1 July 2019

The NDIS commences full roll out in Queensland from 1 July 2019 and services provided under Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) will commence. Therefore, from 1 July, QDN will no longer be funded to deliver information and referral services.  QDN will continue to keep members and supporters regularly informed on the latest information through our member e-blasts, updates, eBulletins and our website. We will of course, continue to deliver high-quality systemic advocacy around policy areas that are important to our members such as housing, employment, transport and accessing NDIS supports.

For general information please click here to see the following government website that has useful information on a number of disability-related topics.  There are also useful links to other organisations who may be able to assist you, click here.

For further information on information and referral services click here to see the following Queensland government website or phone: 13 74 68.

Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS) Strategic Plan 2019-2023

Click here to view the strategic direction of DCDSS for the next four years has been published.

Reflecting the Department’s changed role in funding disability service delivery, the department has three key program areas:

  • Disability Connect Queensland – focus on enabling and empowering Queenslanders with disabilities
  • Accommodation Support and Respite Services – continuing to provide high quality disability and respite services across the state as a registered NDIS provider
  • Community Services and Seniors – continue to support Queenslanders of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy high levels of social and economic well-being.

NDIS access support continues in discrete Indigenous communities

Recently, Minister for Disability Services Coralee O’Rourke announced the Specialist Disability Services Assessment and Outreach Team would receive $10.8 million over four years to continue providing specialist clinical services, particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Click here to see more information.

NDIS quality and safeguards

The Queensland Disability Services Act has been amended to enable important Queensland safeguards to continue, and has strengthened existing worker screening processes.  The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has started in Queensland and providers should make sure they are aware of the conditions of registration under the NDIS Commission (click here to view) and their responsibilities and obligations for NDIS service delivery in Queensland.  Click here to view.


Partnering for Growth, Partnering for Impact Workshops

Paige Armstrong and Karin Swift presenting on QDN's housing principles
Paige Armstrong and Karin Swift presenting on QDN’s housing principles

QDN has been funded by the Department of Housing and Public Works (DHPW) to undertake some work with a focus on housing and disability.  Recently QDN provided a disability perspective in a series of state-wide workshops run by QShelter and the DHPW as part of the engagement strategy on the Partnering for Growth (increasing the supply of Community Housing) and Partnering for Impact (responding to homelessness) initiatives.

The workshops focused on how government and housing and homelessness services can work together to improve the delivery of person-centred and place-based services that better meet the needs of Queenslanders. Community Housing, Specialist Homelessness services and other organisations, including QCOSS, came together to workshop a range of ideas including a single community housing program, tenancy sustainment and supportive tenancy management, new affordable housing settings, new operating and funding frameworks for community housing providers and opportunities to grow and renew the supply of social housing.

QDN had a presence at all workshops across the State including: Gladstone, Cairns, Brisbane, Townsville, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich. At the Sunshine Coast and Ipswich events Paige Armstrong and Karin Swift gave a presentation on QDN’s housing principles: Rights, Choice, Control and Inclusion and discussed how the Department of Housing built upon these principles at a policy level to guide more accessible and inclusive communities. The aim of the presentation was to support community housing providers to explore how to embed the 4 principles into their practice.

Housing Strategy innovations to help more Queenslanders secure affordable housing

The Department of Housing and Public Works has announced $2 million for three new products as part of the Queensland Government’s Housing Strategy to support more Queenslanders secure affordable housing. These products include:

The Helping Hand Headleases initiative: offers rental properties leased for a targeted group of Queenslanders who need support to build their rental history, including people who have experienced Domestic and Family Violence, racial discrimination, or living with a mental health condition.  This initiative will also back up social housing supply for those Queenslanders who need immediate accommodation support, right across Queensland.

The Rental Security Subsidy initiative: offers short-term assistance to reduce rental payments for those Queenslanders experiencing temporary hardship. Subsidies range from $50.00 for one week to a couple of hundred dollars over several weeks depending on an individual’s circumstances.

The Home Headlease for Young Queenslanders initiative is a direct response to assist young Queenslanders struggling to enter the private rental market ensuring 58 young people are supported into secure housing on the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.

For more information contact your nearest Housing Service Centre or free call 1800474753 or 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or visit the following website

Brisbane City Council’s Budget Announcements with regards to housing.

QDN was pleased to see the Brisbane City Council’s Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner’s budget announcements around housing which includes an incentive for the delivery of Universal Housing as part of the Budget. QDN’s Paige Armstrong and Wendy Lovelace have been sitting on Lord Mayor’s Specialist Disability Accommodation Housing Working Group, and will look forward to working with BCC to identify the key strategies needed to deliver on this announcement.

Council will offer an infrastructure charges rebate of up to 33 per cent to developers who build properties to ‘universal housing’ gold standard.  Click here to read more.


How the NDIS and health services will work together.  Click here for a factsheet.

Queensland now has a Human Rights Commission.  From 1 July 2019, the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland became the Queensland Human Rights Commission, as the first stage of the Human Rights Act passed by state parliament earlier this year came into effect. From 1 January 2020, the Act will protect 23 rights – from the right to freedom of expression through to the right to privacy – and gives Queensland the strongest and clearest human rights protections in the country.

The Act also protects rights less commonly included in such legislation, like the right to education and access to health services. The Act also includes the recognition of the specific cultural rights of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Act will require parliament to consider human rights while debating and passing legislation, and place obligations on the public sector to act compatibly with human rights when making decisions and delivering services.

Visit the following Queensland Human Rights Commission website for more information:

Click here to read more.

Woman with disability wins NDIS funding for sex therapist

For the first time, a person with a disability has won the right to have a sex therapist paid for under the NDIS, but advocates say the ruling does not go far enough.  Click here to view more.

Queensland Government response to the Upholding the Right to Life and Health Report

In February 2016, the Public Advocate published the Upholding the right to life and health: A review of the deaths in care of people with disability in Queensland report. It presented the findings from a review into the deaths of 73 Queenslanders with intellectual disability living in disability and supported accommodation, and was the first systemic review of its kind in Queensland. A summary of the report and its recommendations has also been published. In March 2019, the Queensland Government finalised An action Plan: Meeting the health needs of people in care with a disability in response to the report.

A Roundtable focused on Health and Intellectual Disability, hosted by QDN, Public Advocate, Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability (QCIDD) and ICAN was held in Brisbane in March 2019 and brought together more than 80 people and a wide variety of speakers, ranging from people with intellectual disabilities and their families through to professors, clinicians and advocates. The Summary of the Roundtable Outcomes includes proposed future actions to drive change to improve the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities. Paige Armstrong gave a presentation at the Roundtable from QDN. The Public Advocate released a position statement about upholding the right to life and health for people with disability. Additional information can be found on the Public Advocate’s website –

Click here for the Summary of the Roundtable Outcomes.

Community Inclusion

New provider for the National Relay Service

The Department of Communications and the Arts has awarded Concentrix Services Pty Ltd the new contract to deliver the National Relay Service (NRS), following a limited tender process. For more information, click here.

New round of Digital Champions announced

A new round of Community Digital Champions has been approved by Minister de Brenni, Minister for Digital Technology. Santiago Velasquez, one of the speakers from the Brisbane Changing Lives Changing Communities event, has been made a digital champion. Well done, Santi! Your expertise in digital technology for people with vision impairment is an asset. Click here to see their profiles.

Click here to view the video about Digital Champions.

Local Support Group Update

Members of the Sunnybank Local Support Group
Members of the Sunnybank Local Support Group

At the June meeting of the Sunnybank Local Support Group QDN Member, and local Disability Advocate Josh Marshall shared with the group the Inclusion Access website he has developed, which came from an experience hiring an apparently accessible holiday unit. The unit turned out not to be all that accessible, so Josh got the idea to start a catalogue of accessible units and buildings etc. The project has grown exponentially over the last 12 months. Josh explained that they have found many issues with what businesses, government etc. consider accessible.

QDN’s Local Group Convenors part of State-wide Network of Local Champions

In March 2019, QDN local group convenors and emerging QDN leaders joined with QCOSS nominated representatives of communities across Queensland for 2 days of leadership development around leading change and building inclusive communities. This group of almost 50 local leaders, including QDN members are working together as a community of practice, to share information, knowledge, skills and learnings about the art of participatory leadership and what it means to be a local leader and champion of change. In July, 25 local champions who were available, came together via Zoom (video conference) from all corners of Queensland for the first meeting of the Community of Practice. It was a great opportunity to reconnect, share what has been happening, and also get to test the technology of zoom as a viable way of getting ‘everyone together in the room’. QDN looks forward to working together in partnership with QCOSS to support our local champions in their journey of participatory leadership.

Member Profile

QDN Member Willie Prince’s documentary a winner

Over the past 12 months, QDN member Willie Prince has been involved in filming a documentary created by Ben Carr of Streetwise Film. The film was recently entered into the Nundah Film Festival and won third place in the People’s Choice Awards in the best documentary category.

The film is about Willie’s life and his time working in the Kuril Dhagun team at the State Library of Queensland where he recently celebrated 30 years at his job as administrative officer.  Willie said “the state library is not just an institution – it’s about the people who work here, and over the years I have made long lasting friendships with both staff and visitors to the library”.   Click here to watch the documentary about Willie.

Willie has also appeared in an advert recently for National Indigenous Television (NITV) to promote men’s awareness of cancer.  Click here to watch.

Matthew Townsend

Recently QDN Member, Matthew Townsend, went to the Asia-Pacific Autism Conference 2019 in Singapore. It was his first time being in Singapore and it has been his dream to experience the real tropical heat and humid weather.  Click here to watch a recap of Matthew’s experience. Click here to view Matthew’s presentation.

From our Friends

Nance Haxton – Launches the Journo Project – A tribute to Australia’s best journalism

Nance Haxton has specialised in audio journalism for more than 20 years, twice winning Australian journalism’s most prestigious honour, a Walkley Award.  Nance has a passion for telling stories through sound. Through her stories, she highlights injustice by revealing stories that don’t get told, and taking them to a wider audience.  Check out Streets of Your Town – The Journo Project podcasts.  To sign up, click here.

The Streets of Your Town (SOYT) podcast is now well established, available on iTunes, Spotify or Soundcloud.

Specialist Disability Accommodation

Summer Housing has 10 accessible apartments for people with high physical support needs in Nundah Village. The Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) apartments are peppered throughout a 9 story residential development located in what has been flagged as Brisbane’s next new ‘James Street’.  Visit the following website for more information:

QCOSS State Conference – Leading change together

If you want to know more about some of the biggest social reforms underway in Queensland, join QCOSS for the State Conference Leading change together on 12 and 13 September at The Events Centre, Caloundra. Click here to register.

CRU Stories  Crucial Conversations CRU Logo

Community Resource Unit (CRU) is excited to present stories they have captured for their podcast series.  Click here to listen.


Click here to catch up on the latest news from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland.

Contact Us

Phone: 3252 8566 or 1300 363 783                     Email: