QDN e-Bulletin Update May 2021

An update from Des

Des Ryan, Chairperson of the Board

A man in a sitting position with a grey jacket and a blue and green striped button up shirt, wearing glasses.

I want to give my thanks to everyone who joined us for the NDIS Reforms Online Forum on Wednesday 19 May. We had almost 250 registrations and also want to thank the organisations who co-hosted the event with us as a collaboration of sector peak bodies, advocacy and disability organisations. It was a great forum and great to have Minister Crawford, Minister for Seniors and Disability Services to open the forum and give his commitment to ensuring that the state’s investment in the scheme continues to deliver for Queenslanders with disability, families and the sector. Forum participants heard from a range of speakers and perspectives. We also had the chance to move into smaller breakout rooms and share our feedback and ideas about what’s working particularly around mandatory independent assessments, and changes to reasonable and necessary and possible solutions going forward. From this, the forum organising partners will be bringing together a report to provide to Minister Crawford and will seek a meeting to present the report. Clear feedback from the forum was that one size doesn’t fit all. NDIS participants are a diverse group of people and it is important that individual approach and choice and control remains at the centre of the scheme. People with disability, families and providers clearly stated we are here to work together to co-design and ensure the reforms work for Queenslanders with disability and the broader sector.

There has been a lot of media coverage around the COVID-19 vaccination rollout over the past few months. QDN has been actively raising the issues about the lack of information, dates and vaccinations for Queenslanders with disability and their workers identified as priority 1a by the Commonwealth. At the Disability Royal Commission on Monday 17 May, the Commonwealth provided numbers to the Commission which showed that only 25 Queenslanders with disability in priority 1a had received their first dose of the vaccination. This equals less than 1% of people in this category who were supposed to be first in line for their vaccine. QDN continues to raise this as an issue and the need for action and communication to people and their services about a plan and timeframes. QDN knows that there are a number of options that are now in place that includes the State vaccination hubs at different hospitals around Queensland and people can access General Practice. For more information on this, please see further on in ebulletin. However, we know that whilst these options might work for some people with disability, there are other barriers to accessing these facilities for many people in priority 1a living in places with 2 or more people. QDN will continue to keep members updated about the vaccination rollout. We will also continue to advocate to make sure Queenslanders with disability can access it in a timely way, and get clear information about how, when and where.

An update from Paige  

Paige Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer
Photo of a woman shoulders up with a white background. The woman has brown shoulder length hair with a fringe and is wearing a royal blue shirt.

I would like to echo Des’ thanks to members, allies and partners for your participation in the NDIS Reforms: Pause, Reset, Co-design online forum on 19 May and to the Minister for opening and listening. QDN members continue to raise the issues and impacts of independent assessments and some of the broader reforms, with many of our members having had hands on experience of the assessments in this current trial phase. It is important that the experiences, views and impacts of this approach are provided to both State and Commonwealth Governments and that Queenslanders with disability, families and the services that support people are listened to.

I would also like to thank QDN members including our Board Directors, peer leaders across QDN’s work and our allies for all your work, efforts and contributions in Building Better Homes campaign. It was fantastic to hear the news on 30 April that the Building Ministers agreed to change the National Construction Code to include mandatory minimum accessibility standards to silver level from September 2022. This has been an important part of QDN’s work over the past 10 years, and recommendations made in QDN’s Housing Policy Paper by people with disability “Going For Gold: Accessible, affordable housing now.” Increasing the supply of accessible housing that meets a minimum standard will ultimately benefit the whole community, and through this mandatory standard, will drive change on the ground for accessible housing stock giving choice and options for people with disability. Each State and Territory Government will work to look at how these are implemented within each jurisdiction so it is important that Queenslanders with disability continue to raise the importance of these issues and we continue to work together to get an outcome that will ensure real change can occur.

QDN’s Peer Support Groups continue to meet both face to face and virtually around the state providing an inclusive place for people with disability to get together. The groups have been meeting around a broad range of topics from COVID-19 vaccine rollout, making a plan for disasters and emergencies using the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness resource, NDIS, to transport, parking, electric scooters, self-management, staying safe online, accessibility and inclusion. It was great to be able to get up to Cairns and Atherton earlier this month to meet with Cairns members and talk about the group, and to meet with people with disability and their supporters in Atherton and work with the Tablelands Regional Council to establish a new group in this community. For more information about the groups, please see information later in the ebulletin about when and where the groups are meeting.

I was also pleased to be able to join the Emerging Leaders for their second online zoom workshop this month as part of their year long leadership development program. The 20 Emerging Leaders from across Queensland had the opportunity to hear about the Power of Story and the importance of this in leadership and change. We heard from Willie Prince, QDN member and founding member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network Queensland, Dr Chris Sara, Director-General of Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, and Bruce Bonyhady, Director of the Melbourne Disability Institute. The information shared by the speakers, and the great questions by the Emerging Leaders provided a rich learning environment. Our thanks to everyone involved and look forward to this work as part of the Power of Peers project.

I know that we also have a number of members who have had a range of health and medical issues at this time so on behalf of QDN I extend our wishes to members, families and supporters during these challenging times.


Covid-19 Vaccination bookings have opened throughout Queensland

The Australian Government has issued updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout to people with disability and disability workers. The rollout of Phases 1a, 1b, and 2a means that all people with disability and disability workers can visit Queensland Government-run clinics to access the vaccine recommended for their age. All people aged 50 and over can also access the AstraZeneca vaccine at their local GP clinic, Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics (previously GP-led Respiratory Clinics) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS).

Hospital and Health Services in Queensland will be providing vaccinations as part of the Queensland Government’s rollout as well. To confirm your eligibility and book your appointment, you can complete the eligibility checker on the Queensland Health website to book an appointment. You can enter your location and get a list of clinics in your area, along with waiting times for an appointment. Once you complete your booking you’ll receive an email confirmation.

Phase 1a for people with disability who live in residential accommodation housing of two or more people the rollout of in-reach vaccination is continuing. ASPEN has now been appointed to deliver these vaccinations at residential sites for both residents and staff. They have started in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory and will move to other states, initially South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria from mid-May. Vaccinations in Queensland were to commence from 24 May 2021. If you prefer not to wait for ASPEN to deliver your vaccination on site, you can arrange a booking following the advice above.

Phase 1b includes many adults with a disability or underlying health condition – there is a form you can sign to take with you to prove eligibility for this phase. Workers eligible for Phase 1a can also use this form if they are not going to receive their vaccination onsite at their workplace.

If you have a guardian or appointed decision maker, you’ll need to take your completed consent form with you to the appointment – the forms link is below.

Keep in mind you need a 14-day gap between flu and COVID-19 vaccinations and remember to take your Medicare card to your vaccination appointment if you can.

The Department of Health will continue to update any new advice on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout on their webpage, which also includes Easy Read resources on preparing for your vaccination, the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, and what to expect after vaccination.

For more information: If you have any questions you can call 134 268 (134 COVID) Information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines click here and you will find the Consent Form here.

Snapshot of the 2021 Federal Budget

Blue background with a white clipart image of a money with a circle of arrows directing away from it. Next to that are the words Federal Budget.

This is a snapshot for QDN members of the Federal budget initiatives announced on Tuesday 11 May 2021.

The 2021 Federal Budget has a range of announcements however, in a year where we are about to see the launch of the National Disability Strategy (NDS) 2020-2030, Queenslanders with disability saw this as an important budget to lay down the foundations of this work. It is acknowledged that responsibility for the NDS sits across the various portfolios and is key to achieve these broad aims and goals of this important Strategy and Australia’s responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability.

While the Budget was limited in its funding for specific disability initiatives, QDN has welcomed the specific funding of $12.7M for initiatives for health and intellectual disability, funding for Mental Health and Aged Care reforms. QDN looks forward to working with the Commonwealth Government to ensure Queenslanders with disability can benefit from the investment and deliver better outcomes, co-designed with people with disability.

Summary of key announcements:


  • $13.2 billion boost for the NDIS over 4 years. The Federal Budget forecasts that the NDIS will cost almost $32 billion in 2024-25, media commentators and advocates argue that the NDIS budget is as predicted by the Productivity Commission and is on target.


  • There were a range of housing focused announcements which mainly targeted home ownership measures including “Family Home Guarantee” for single parents, extension of first home loan deposit scheme by 10,000 places, first homeowners super save scheme increased to $50,000 cap and for older Australians to make a tax-free contribution to their super from proceeds of selling their home.
  • Unfortunately the range of measures have not focused on private rental sector which is the fastest growing part of the Australian housing system and rental availability is at an all-time low. This is in the context where the National Rental Affordability Scheme is being wound down.
  • Additionally, at a time of a homelessness crises it is disappointing the budget did not allocate any new funding towards increasing access to affordable housing or social housing.

Aged Care

  • $17.7bn aged care system overhaul will be invested over four years to respond to recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. This is a welcome boost to Aged Care that has been long awaited. There are many Queenslanders with disability who are ineligible for the NDIS and who have lacked access to appropriate levels of funding and support in the aged care system. It will be important going forward in implementation of this to ensure it responds to the needs of older Queenslanders with disability. Investment also needs to focus on improving service and quality standards in aged care and integration with NDIS to ensure young people in nursing homes find an appropriate, accessible and safe place they can call home in their community. This allocation of funds should see an enhancement in Aged Care service standards.
  • $12.3 million will be expended over the next two years to improve the alignment of the regulation that applies to the disability and aged care sectors. This will enhance coordination between these two sectors which will contribute to reducing regulation and compliance impacts on services.
  • Under the aged care payment measures, almost $106 million will be spent on introducing a nationally consistent worker screening, register and code of conduct for all care sector workers. This is a major initiative that will need careful planning and design to ensure it works effectively with existing mechanisms and learnings that have been put in place in the disability sector.

Mental Health

  • $2.3bn mental health package to include aftercare services for people who attempt suicide and a world-leading online platform for counselling, clinical support and referrals. More than $263 million will be provided over seven years to improve access to youth mental health services across the Headspace network expanding it to 145 services across Australia. Additionally, $230 million will be spent on community mental health services improving access to psychosocial supports in the community.

Domestic and family violence

  • $1.1bn additional funds for domestic violence prevention and early intervention. This funding is welcome to provide more support and options for victims of domestic violence. However, only $9.3M over three years of this has been funded to focus on prevention of violence against women with disability which does not reflect an adequate investment following the interim report and evidence from the Disability Royal Commission.

Health and Intellectual Disability

  • A total of $12.7 million of new funds over five years will be directed to initiatives aimed at improving the health of people with intellectual disability. Including:
    • Annual Health Assessments ($6.7 million)
    • Scoping and co-designing a National Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability ($1.4 million)
    • Consultation on the inclusion of mandatory competencies in health care for people with intellectual disability in tertiary education health curricula.

Employment and Services Australia

  • For employment, a range of programs and initiatives will receive almost $260 million to provide additional support to job seekers, including:
    • $213.5 million over four years to expand the Local Jobs Program (which supports approaches to accelerate reskilling, upskilling, and employment pathways in selected regions)
    • $15.6 million in the next financial year to increase all wage subsidies to $10,000 for eligible participants in jobactive, Transition to Work, and ParentsNext. Unfortunately, this measure does not include DES
    • 450,000 new training places for jobseekers and young people
    • There are also plans under Services Australia to rollout digital transformation projects including for Job Seekers in the Disability Employment Services system that will need to be considered in the broader context. This includes the issue of the lack of digital inclusion of people with disability who are nationally identified as having lower access to digital devices, data and skills to be able to effectively use a range of digital services.


  • Almost $18 million over four years will be used to establish a new early childhood program delivering a range of disability-specific information, workshops and supported playgroups for young children aged 0 to 8 years with disability or developmental needs.
  • Over the next four years, $20 million will be spent on continuing and improving the collection of this data on school students with disability (which is used to make funding decisions). It is important that this data will be used to improve evidenced based decision making and ultimately the quality of student experiences and give adequate funding to support their learning and inclusion in education.


  • Childcare subsidy of up to 95 per cent for low and middle-income families. This will enable parents with two or more children to receive a greater subsidy than at present. The aim of this initiative is for more parents to return to work.
  • Tax breaks of up to $1080 for workers earning up to $126,000. This is the 3rd tranche of tax breaks. This initiative aims to support low to middle income earners.

Building Better Homes Campaign

Building better homes

QDN was pleased to partner with the Building Better Homes campaign, and was pleased that the Commonwealth and State/Territory Minister reached agreement at the Building Ministers’ meeting on 30 April to include mandatory minimum accessibility standards to Silver Level in the National Construction Code. The Gold Standard was also included as a ‘technical referral’ meaning states and territories can decide to upgrade to Gold voluntarily. From September 2022, all new houses will be required to be built to the new standard.

QDN will continue to advocate for a mandatory Gold Standard, however this is a critical reform. QDN members have been active contributors to the campaign, speaking and writing to members of parliament, media interviews and this is an excellent achievement for people with disability, seniors and all Australians.

Members Voice their Views on NDIS Reforms

NDIS Reforms - Pause, Reset, Co-Design - Logo Strip, Queenslanders with Disability Network, National Disability Services, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, Parent to Parent, ADA Australia, Community Services Industry Alliance

Queenslanders with disability, families, carers, advocacy organisations and service providers have raised issues regarding a number of proposed changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Queenslanders with Disability Network partnered with Community Services Industry Alliance, National Disability Services, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, ADA Australia, Queensland Advocacy Incorporated and Parent to Parent to hold an online forum on 19 May. This forum had close to 250 registrations and was aimed at giving participants the opportunity to give their views of the proposed NDIS reforms, in particular independent Assessments.

The Forum was opened by the Honorable Craig Crawford MP Minister for Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. Keynote speakers were Kirsten Deanne from Melbourne Disability Institute and Jean Cotchin from Every Australian Counts, who did an excellent joint presentation. A panel of disability sector representatives discussed the potential impact of the changes. The panel was made up of Byron Albury, Jennie Duke, Valmae Rose and Elizabeth Sutton. The participants then went into a breakout session where they could have their say in smaller groups.

The Forum called on the NDIS to reset and facilitate reform change via co-design with people with disability, families and providers.

A summary will be available online soon.

For more information: Click here

Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS – Independent Assessments

The Committee has been holding public hearings in Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart and Geelong – there has been a range of feedback and participation from people with disability, families, services and people such as scheme architect and inaugural NDIA Chair Bruce Bonyhady, and Senator Jordan Steele-John. NDIS participant Mr Dougie Herd gave a presentation at the Committee hearing on 18 May 2021 in Canberra about the need for co-design, the need to fund reasonable and necessary supports and not put caveats around that, and the importance of an individualised and personalised focus on participants.

For more information: To watch the presentation click here

Submissions and inquiries:

The Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS is currently accepting submissions on General issues around the implementation and performance of the NDIS – submissions will close on 30 July 2021. The purpose of this ongoing inquiry is to identify broad systemic issues with the scheme and especially invites submissions and information from participants, their carers and family members, along with service providers and representative providers.

QDN will be writing a submission and will be in touch with members for feedback to ensure their experiences are reflected and inform our response.

Have your say on topics that matter to you

Disability Support Pension Inquiry

Text is Have Your Say in red and white colours.

The Australian Senate has called for the Community Affairs References Committee for an inquiry into the purpose, intent and adequacy of the Disability Support Pension. The inquiry will refer to eligibility, assessment, right to review and appeal, the impact for people with disability in terms of finding employment, whether it is adequate and allows people to maintain an acceptable standard of living, and a broad range of other matters.

QDN will be in contact with members to seek feedback to inform our submission, which is due on 25 June 2021. If you currently or have ever received the DSP or would like to make comment, please email qdn@qdn.org.au marked ‘DSP Submission’.

For more information: Click here

Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS

Text is Have Your Say in red and white colours.

The Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS is currently accepting submissions on General issues around the implementation and performance of the NDIS which has been open for a two year period and this closes on 30 July 2021. The purpose of this ongoing inquiry is to identify broad systemic issues with the scheme and especially invites submissions and information from participants, their carers and family members, along with service providers and representative providers.

For more information: Click here

The Next Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children

Text is Have Your Say in red and white colours.

The Australian Government has begun work on the next National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children. According to the Draft Framework, people with disability were 1.8 times more likely to have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a partner in the previous year, compared with people without disability.

QDN is contributing a response to this review. QDN would like to hear from members about what they think needs to go into the plan to reduce violence against people with disability.

QDN would like to hear your thoughts on the following questions:

  1. What do you think are the major issues for people with disability experiencing family, domestic, and sexual violence?
  2. What do you think are the major issues for services in providing support to people with disability experiencing family, domestic, and sexual violence?
  3. What are the most important things we can do to support people who are experiencing family, sexual and domestic violence?
  4. What specific strategies or priorities do you think the next National Plan should include to prevent family, domestic and sexual violence against people with disability?
  5. Is there anything else you would like the next National Plan to include or address?To contribute your ideas to QDN’s response, please email qdn@qdn.org.au or phone 1300 363 783. QDN would like to hear from you by Friday 18 June 2021.

For more information: Click here

Vale QCOSS Members

Lady with brown shoulder length hair, wearing glasses and a black cardigan with a pink scarf, smiling at the camera.Vale Jenny King

On Friday 9 April 2021, QDN member Jenny King sadly passed away.

Jenny was an active QDN member who attended the Sunnybank and Brisbane Peer Support Group meetings. Jenny was a strong supporter of issues that affected people with disability and was part of campaigns such as Queensland Disability Advocacy Matters - Stand with Us campaign.

QDN members and staff will remember Jenny as being an intelligent, articulate woman who seized life and lived it to the fullest. She was a go-getter with a never give up attitude who always did what she set her mind to and didn’t let anything or anyone stand in her way. Jenny will be missed by her fellow QDN members, Peer Support Group friends and QDN Staff and Board.

Vale, Jenny King.

A man with grey hair, wearing glasses and a blue buttoned up business shirt with a black jacket, holding papers and looking at the camera smiling. Vale Noel Muller

QDN acknowledges the life and contribution of QDN member Noel Muller who passed away on 20 April 2021. Noel has made an enormous contribution over decades to progressing the human rights of, and services and supports for, people with disability and people living with mental illness. Noel was a leading advocate and influencer across the many significant reforms that have impacted the disability and mental health sectors in Queensland, nationally and internationally over the last 20 plus years, including the NDIS and state and national mental health plans.

Noel was a delegate in 2019 to the United National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UN Committee) about the progress Australia has made. Noel was a member of the 2019 UN Shadow Report Working Group both in the leadup to, and development of the first Shadow Report in 2013.

Noel was an active and long-term member of QDN and QDeNgage and in these roles made a valued contribution to improving the services and systems of, by and for people with disability. He will be remembered as a determined and passionate advocate and as a person of humility and good humour in all he did. May he rest in peace.

Vale, Noel Muller.

A young man with brown hair wearing a green shirt and has a rainbow pride flag around his neck like a cape. Vale Thomas Coyne

QDN pays tribute to Thomas Coyne, who worked to promote the rights of the LGBTIQA+ community and who was an active member of the Toowoomba Peer Support Group for people with disability. Thomas had a zest for life and channeled this into his passions which included social justice, safe climate, cohesive communities as well as taking a lead in the marriage equality campaign in Toowoomba. Sadly, Thomas died in a car accident on Sunday 11 April 2021.

Thomas will be remembered for his passion and dedication to the Toowoomba community.

Vale, Thomas Coyne.

Policy Updates

QDN Responds to National Disability Employment Strategy Discussion Paper

Dark Blue background with a clipart image of a written document with an arrow pointing forward and pink text next to it saying QDN Submission

QDN have made a submission to the Department of Social Services on a National Disability Employment Strategy. People with disabilities in Australia do not enjoy the same participation rates in the employment market as non-disabled people. However, the right to work is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. A National Disability Employment Strategy needs to be built on the central tenant of the “Right to Work”.

QDN looks forward to working with the Commonwealth and Queensland Government to co-co-design, implement, monitor and evaluation a comprehensive, needs and evidence based National Disability Employment Strategy underpinning the National Disability Strategy. This approach cannot be about tinkering at the edges but rather a concerted and comprehensive effort to transform the employment market for people with disability.

For more information: The Submission will be available here

Disability Royal Commission

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The Disability Royal Commission term was recently granted an extension of time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The final report will now be provided to the Australian Government by 29 September 2023.

The calendar schedule and topics through to September are listed on their website (link below) and include Preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in disability services; systemic barriers to open employment for people with disability; health and safety of women and girls; and First Nations children with disability in out-of-home care.

For more information: To view the calendar schedule and topics click here and to watch the public hearings click here

Some Updates from recent Disability Royal Commission Hearings:

Dark Blue background with a clipart image of a tick and a arrow going from the ticket and circling back to the tick, Pink text next to it saying Policy UpdatePublic hearing 12: the experiences of people with disability, in the context of the Australian Government’s approach to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout was held on Monday 17 May and highlighted how few people with disability nationally have been able to access the vaccine – only 25 people in Queensland as of the previous week. QDN has written to the Commonwealth Minister for Health to advocate for rapid scaling up of the vaccination rollout for people with disability, particularly given the significant numbers of people residing in disability accommodation settings who have been severely impacted by lockdowns. We continue to advocate so that people can receive their vaccinations as soon as possible and return to a more normal way of life.

Voluntary Assisted Dying

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Queensland Government has brought the voluntary assisted dying legislation before the Queensland Parliament on 25 May 2021. This legislation seeks to legalise voluntary euthanasia in certain circumstances. The Parliamentary Health and Environment Committee will have 12 weeks to engage with stakeholders before the Bill goes back to Parliament for a vote in September this year.

National Relay Service User Registration now required

Dark Blue background with a clipart image of a tick and a arrow going from the ticket and circling back to the tick, Pink text next to it saying Policy UpdateFrom 20 April 2021, National Relay Service (NRS) users will need to register to continue to make and receive calls through the service. You can find more information from the NRS website, including the different ways you can register.

For more information: Click here

Inquiry into NDIS market in Queensland – update on final report being given to Government

Dark Blue background with a clipart image of a written document with an arrow pointing forward and pink text next to it saying QDN SubmissionThe Queensland Productivity Commission delivered its final report on their inquiry into the NDIS market in Queensland on 30 April 2021. The Queensland Government will provide a response to the report within six months, after which the final report will be publicly released. QDN made a submission to the inquiry, and will provide more information to members once the final report is published.

National Disability Research Agenda - Consultation

Dark Blue background with a white clipart image of two people talking at a table and pink text next to it saying QDN ConsultationThe Australian Government has recognised the important need to develop a national disability research agenda to guide Australia’s investment in disability Research. The University of Sydney is leading a consortium of which QDN is a partner. This work includes consultation with people with disability to deliver a disability research agenda that will see research significantly advance the rights of people with disability through policy and practice. QDN has recently held consultations with almost 30 people with disability to provide their feedback in input in this initial state.

For more information: Click here 

Individualised Living Options

Dark Blue background with a clipart image of a tick and a arrow going from the ticket and circling back to the tick, Pink text next to it saying NDIS Update

The NDIS recently published updated information about Individualised Living Options (ILO’s). This option is a support that lets you choose the home you live in and set up supports in the way that suits you best – it is the package of supports to help you live in the home you have chosen, not the home itself.

Supports that could be included in an ILO include:

  • help with making decisions like where you want to live and what supports you need to make that happen
  • personal care, including help to shop, cook or pay bills
  • help to set up and manage your own home
  • help to build your independence
  • building and maintaining connection with others
  • help with making day to day decisions
  • support to manage your emotions or behaviour

It’s helpful to be aware the NDIA will also consider unpaid volunteers, neighbours or carers who help you on a regular basis as part of an ILO arrangement.

If you need 24 hour care or registered nursing care then an ILO may not be the right arrangement for you.

For more information: Click here

QCOSS Housing Campaign – The Town From Nowhere

Cream Background with the text The Town of Nowhere in orange and dark blue and two trees next to the "of"QCOSS is currently running the Town of Nowhere campaign, along with 12 other community organisations, calling on the Queensland Government to invest $4 billion to build 14,700 social housing dwellings to address the significant needs, homelessness currently being experienced, and the shortage of social housing in Queensland.

For more information: Find out  how to participate in the campaign here                  .

Volunteering State of Sector Report and Figures

Blue Background with a clipart image of a paper report and the text next to it in pink saying "New Report"Volunteering Queensland releasing the first State of Volunteering in Queensland Report 2021, which identifies the key characteristics and emerging trends in the volunteering sector, and details the social, economic and cultural impact of volunteering in Queensland. The evidence base in the report will inform the future of volunteering in Queensland.

For more information: You can read more about the report here

Project Work

Targeted Outreach Project

Two men in electric wheel chairs talking whilst going through the botanical gardens. Man on the left is wearing a blue, white and maroon polo shirt and the man on the right is wearing a multicolored patterned buttoned up shirt.

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), together with project partners Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) and ADA Australia (through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network QLD, ATSIDNQ) and along with the Queensland Government, is helping more eligible Queenslanders with disability join the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and experience the benefits of the scheme through the Targeted Outreach Project. The project is a collaboration between the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments.

This project is helping people with disability to:

  • understand how the NDIS can provide access to the supports they need
  • access free and practical individual support to apply for and access the NDIS through dedicated regional Assessment and Referral (ART) teams

Local Champions who are community leaders with lived experience of disability are an essential part of the project. The Local Champions work closely with the Targeted Outreach team in their dedicated local region and undertake specific engagement work in local communities for defined periods of time to help identify people with disability who might be eligible for the NDIS. Responsibilities can include peer support to people with disability, supporters and a broad range of stakeholders across community and mainstream agencies, referral pathways to appropriate agencies and working as a project team, and delivering 1:1 and small group activities to support potential participants in the NDIS journey.

QDN brought Local Champions together in Brisbane 13-14 May 2021 to strengthen reach and influence, align key messages and responses and to generate areas for action as part of next stage of project.

For more information: Click here

System of Care Pathways – Brisbane North PHN

Blue background with a clipart image of three people with speech bubbles above their heads, with the text next to it saying QDN Advisory GroupBrisbane North PHN has identified that many people with an Intellectual Disability experiencing a mental health condition are not receiving the right amount of service, in the right place and at the right time. There is a need to better understand and define the various range of services and supports available for people with a range of complex mental health conditions in Brisbane North, how they can access them and how these services and supports work together to wrap around the person. QDN has established an expert advisory group to guide the development of care pathways with representation from people with disability, carers, providers and other stakeholders. QDN are currently conducting a review of existing frameworks/guidelines/evidence, mapping of available services, identifying gaps in current service provision to develop a suite of high quality system of care pathways.

“Power of Peers” Project

QDN continues to deliver the "Power of Peers" through funding from the National Disability Insurance Agency’s Information Linkages and Capacity Building grants to continue and expand Peer Support Groups and the Emerging Leaders program. Below are updates from some of the Peer Support Groups.

Tablelands Peer Support Group

6 women and one man standing in a group looking at the camera with a lush green mountainous background.

It was a beautiful day on 7 May for the first Tablelands Peer Support Group meeting for people with disability. Paige Armstrong, CEO, QDN and Olivia Spadina, Engagement Manager, QDN were excited to meet some new members and share with them some of the work QDN is doing in North Queensland. QDN will be in Cairns and the Tablelands in July 2021 for the next peer support meetings to talk about person centred emergency preparedness planning for people with disability.

Cairns Peer Support Group

A woman standing with a black and white long sleeved shirt next to a woman in a red singlet and a man in a pale blue shirt, a fourth man sitting in front of them in a long sleeved button up shirt and a beard. All looking at the camera.

On 6 May 2021, Paige Armstrong, CEO, QDN and Wayne Maitland, Cairns Group Convenor welcomed members back to their first face to face meeting since Covid-19 to talk about topics that are important to people with disability in the Cairns area. Discussion was held around the recent campaigns QDN has been involved in, access to the NDIS and the Targeted Outreach project recently starting in the area and the importance of accessible housing with the introduction of mandatory silver standards for new houses. Members are keen to continue talk about topics that impact people with disability in Cairns and they look forward to the next meeting in July 2021 when they will start working on getting prepared for emergency situations such as cyclones.

Gold Coast Peer Support Group

A man in a wheelchair with a black long sleeved shirt and a man in a red shirt and a woman in a black singlet, all talking sitting around a table.On 4 May 2021, people with disability on the Gold Coast came together to talk about what they would like from a peer support group going forward. Participants shared ideas on topics they would like to discuss in future meetings like accessibility, NDIS, health and wellbeing and tourism. The group talked about creating digital stories and having art and craft sessions as part of their meetings. The group are also keen to get out and about on the Gold Coast exploring more of what the coast has to offer for people with disability.

To be part be part of the next Gold Coast Peer Support Group meeting on Friday 11 June 2021 at the Southport Community Centre contact QDN at peersupport@qdn.org.au or check the website for more details here.

Ipswich Peer Support Group

A group of people standing and sitting on the side of the road next to a fire truck.The Ipswich Peer Support Group has focused on emergency and disaster preparedness and have been working through their Person-Centred Emergency Planning workbook.

The Queensland Fire and Ambulance Service attended the meeting to help group members develop fire safe plans for their homes and to discuss what to do in case of a fire related emergency. Group members welcomed the opportunity to see a fire truck up close and to talk to the team from Queensland Fire and Rescue.

On behalf of Ipswich Peer Support Group members and convenors, Peter, and Linda Tully, QDN would like to thank Queensland Fire and Rescue for being a part of the meeting around fire safety.

For more information: On Peer Support Groups email peersupport@qdn.org.au or call 1300 363 788 or click here go to the website.

Emerging leaders

QDN’s Emerging Leaders from across Queensland continue to their participation in the leadership development program and have now held two virtual workshops. As part of the program, the virtual workshops gives participants the opportunity to hear from a range of speakers about key aspects of leadership and creating change for a more inclusive, accessible community. The online forums also provide a space for participants to ask questions, engage and connect with the speakers to ask questions and explore their own leadership journey.
At the first online workshop speakers included Margaret Rogers, Community Resource Unit; Sharon Boyce, QDN Board Director, Michael Hogan, QUT Centre for Justice and Alex Baker, QDN member and disability leader who shared important aspects of transformational leadership.

The second online workshop focused on the importance of leadership and story telling. The speakers Uncle Willie Prince, Dr Chris Sarra Director-General, Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Professor Bruce Bonyhady, Executive Chair and Director of the Melbourne Disability Institute shared how stories have influenced change on a personal, state and national for people with disability.

For more information: To find out more about the Emerging Leaders and the speakers supporting their leadership journey click here.

Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction - DIDRR


The project team and Peer Leaders are continuing to hold sessions and conversations with people with disability in peer support groups and communities across Queensland, sharing the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness Workbook.

Members of the ‘Hot Topics’ Brisbane peer support group for people with intellectual disability have been developing their plans together, and last week had the opportunity to share their experiences, and learn from local emergency services at Brisbane City Council.

As this phase of the Disability Inclusive and Disaster Resilient Queensland project comes to a close at the end of June, we are working hard to finalise a range of exciting resources. These include a series of short videos demonstrating peer-led approaches to enabling emergency preparedness, starring QDN Peer Leaders. The resource suite will showcase the projects learnings and support more people with disability to get prepared for emergencies. There has been lots of hard work happening and we look forward to sharing these with you – watch this space!

For more information: You can access the Workbook here.


In the past two months QDeNgage has been running online information sessions for people with disability interested in joining the QDeNgage team. QDeNgage offers opportunities for people with disability to share insights and feedback to enable government, business and organisations to be more inclusive.

For more information: If you are interested in joining QDengage click here or call the QDN office on 1300 363 783

QDN Events

Fitting Providers Together in your National Disability Insurance Scheme Support PuzzleA thumbnail of a flyer for the "Fitting Providers Together in your National Disability Insurance Scheme Support Puzzle"

Blue background with multicolored confetti and the text QDN Events

The Hopkins Centre in collaboration with Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) are hosting an Online Forum for Fitting providers together in your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support puzzle. This session will focus on the perspective of participants and their families, and an advocacy view on experiences, challenges and good practices of managing funded supports with multiple providers.

The forum will be held on Monday, 14 June 2021 at 11.00am to 1.00pm (Brisbane time, AEST). The speakers will be Paige Armstrong, Queenslanders with Disability Network, Karin Swift, Independent Consultant and Disability Advocate and Sue Tape, Children and Young People with Disability Australia.

For more information: To register go here

From Our Friends

Discovering your Unique Skills and Talents can help you with your Employment Journey
Blue background with clipart image of two people with one with their arm around the other, with pink text next to it saying "From our Friends"

Social Scaffolding has been working with people who have a lived experience of disability to find out what they want out of employment. Whilst the answers have been varied there have been some consistent messages. They have been clear on three important things - to be engaged as a person first and their disability last; to have a job that is uniquely suited to their individual skills, talents and their interests; and to be considered to be a valuable member of their team.

Social Scaffolding has created a new initiative called Equalising Employment to help people with different abilities gain the knowledge and connections to develop sustainable and meaningful career pathways.

For more information: If you would like to know more about this initiative, you can contact Ange Boyd at ange@socialscaffolding.com.au or 0404 412 541 or Andrew Hamilton at andrew@socialscaffolding.com.au or click here

Yellow background with a circle of text that says "Equalising Employment - Making Careers a reality" Then next to that in white it says "Are you a person with different abilities looking for a career? Available pathways don't suit your skills or interests? Let's talk about a tailored career profile for you...Click here" and then next to that is the Social Scaffolding Positive Partnerships logo with in partnership with Xceptional