QDN e-News 28 February 2024

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Welcome back to another edition of the QDN e-News. 

QDN Connects with the New Ministers 

In a recent engagement, QDN had the opportunity to meet with Charis Mullen MP, who serves as the Minister for Child Safety, Minister for Seniors & Disability Services, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs to talk about disability reforms and our key priorities for 2024. We also met with Bart Mellish MP, the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, and Digital Services to discuss digital inclusion and the current issues for people with disability, public transport and taxis. 

Voice of Queenslanders with Disability survey  

Queenslanders with disability are invited to have their say on their experiences, successes and challenges as part of a ‘Voice of Queenslanders with Disability’ survey. 

Now in its second year, the survey aims to help government, business and service providers to understand what is working in different areas – such as employment, getting support, and health and wellbeing – and enhance services and programs. 

The survey will find out how different areas are changing over time. 

Take the survey here: www.qdn.org.au/voice-of-queenslanders-with-disability-survey   

P-CEP Peer Leadership Program – Apply now 

We are seeking interest from people with disability in QLD, NSW, ACT, SA, and WA to become P-CEP Peer Leader.  

You will learn how to use the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (P-CEP) workbook to create your emergency plan and help others in your community know about the P-CEP Workbook to get ready for emergencies.  

To apply and find more about the program click here: https://qdn.org.au/our-work/disability-inclusive-disaster-risk-reduction/pcep-peer-leadership-program/  

Level 3 Support Accommodation project 

The Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works contracted QDN to provide information and support to residents regarding the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into Supported Accommodation. A team of QDN staff and contractors came together over December and January to visit facilities and speak with residents. Over this time the team  carried out over 50 visits capturing the voices and stories of people with disability living in Level 3 facilities to inform the Inquiry. QDN has also made an organisational submission to the Inquiry. 

We will bring you updates on this Inquiry over the coming months with the Committee due to report on 22nd March 2024.  

Get ready to vote local.  

Dear members, the state of Queensland will head to the polls on 16 March 2024 to vote locally – that's your chance to have a say about the things that matter to you in your local community. In these elections, we will be choosing the mayor and councillors who will represent you for the next four years. 

Just a reminder that voting is compulsory, so here are some links to help you get ready to vote: 

For more information, click here: https://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/ 

2024 Board Strategic plan  

Recently our board held a strategic planning day where they reviewed the strategic direction for QDN into the future. Once, finalised we look forward to sharing this information with you. 

Brisbane Disability Connection Expo 2024

QDN is hosting a stall at the upcoming Brisbane Disability Connection Expo at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday 1 March and Saturday 2 March. This is a huge community event with entertainment and a variety of things to do, and it’s free!  

There are over 200 exhibitors featuring NDIS Service Providers, Allied Health, Early Intervention, resource and equipment suppliers, home and community services and disability/complex case services for adults and children.  

For more information about the Expo click this link: Brisbane Expo 2024 – Visitor – Developing Australian Communities (developingauscommunities.com.au)   

QDN Local Government Election Platform and Priority areas  

QDN is seeking commitments from all candidates running in the 2024 Queensland local government election on 16 March 2024. 

  • 100% of Councils to have a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIPs) 
  • Allocate funding to deliver accessibility upgrades to existing footpath 
  • 100% of Councils have Accessibility and Inclusion Advisory Committee 
  • Review and report on implementation of Local Housing Action Plans  
  • Employment of people with disability.   
  • Establish targets for Council budgets, programs and procurement allocations focused on disability inclusion and report on this. 
  • Develop and implement disability inclusive procurement strategies for local Government services and infrastructure. 
  • Release a review of the number of on-street disability parking spots in each local government area.   
  • Involve people with disability in all phases and decision-making processes relating to disaster planning, management and recovery. 
  • Deliver inclusion and accessibility of council events that are co-designed with people with disability to deliver inclusion standards. 

For more information about the QDN's 2024 Local Election Platform click on this link: https://qdn.org.au/our-advocacy/campaigns/elections/2024-local-government-election-platform/ 

Brisbane Hot Topics Peer Support Group 25th birthday  

Photo group of people with disability sitting around the table. It's a day to celebrate the group longevity.

QDN has recently celebrated 25 years of the Brisbane Hot Topics Peer Support Group, a peer support group for people with Intellectual disabilities. The members meet monthly to discuss various topics such as NDIS, Transport, and Housing. 

It's a safe space to connect have a good time, share ideas, advocate, and discuss matters that are important to them.  

Over the 25 years, the group, have used their collective voice, to create opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to be heard. The group has been involved with governments and departments to create resources for people with intellectual disabilities and ensure their collective voice is heard. 

Alongside the issues the members have tackled together, they have also learnt and shared how to self-advocate as a person with a disability. Did you know, 2024 also marks 40 years of self-advocacy. 

QDN is proud of what they have achieved so far, and we are looking forward to another 25 years filled with meetings, ideas, and new stories.  

To learn more about their stories and our Brisbane Hot Topics Group, follow the link below:  


Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability (ASID) 2023 conference. 

QDN Members and Staff smiling at the camera for a group photo at the Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability (ASID) 2023 conference.

ASID is Australasia’s peak body in intellectual disability. People with intellectual disability continue to experience some of the poorest health and social outcomes and are disadvantaged in disability support systems. 

Last year’s conference theme was valuing different perspectives. The conference provides the only opportunity for researchers, policymakers, service providers, practitioners, families and carers, and people with intellectual disability to come together and learn from each other specifically about supporting people with intellectual disability well. 

QDN Members and Staff attending the Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability (ASID) 2023 conference. 




From our supporters 

Housing Hub  

We understand that it's not always easy to find the information you need about housing options.  

The Housing Hub is working towards designing a Home and Living Journey Roadmap to enable participants to feel confident to action their home and living goals. 

To make sure that the resources will be helpful for Participants, they are asking for people to take a moment to answer a few questions in this brief survey! 


The Aurora Neurodiversity Program provides a career pathway into Services Australia for people with autism. 

How the Aurora Neurodiversity Program works - Services Australia 


Audio Ability Project: Participant and Mentor Call Out 

The Audio Ability Accessible Training and Mentorship Program is open for Expressions of Interest from participants and mentors!

Audio Ability is a free 16-week blended learning program that offers training and mentorship to people with disability who are interested in working in radio.

You and your mentor will work together to build your broadcast skills, gain confidence in the studio and learn about working and volunteering at your local community radio station.

The program includes: 

  • virtual workshops 
  • in-person training 
  • online self-paced modules 
  • personalised mentoring 

We’ve delivered two rounds of Audio Ability so far, with participants stating they experienced increased confidence, independence, and development of social and professional networks.

It's an opportunity to develop meaningful relationships and engage with new peers from around the country who share common experiences and interests. 

For more information click in this link below.  


Bus ride app to increase independence for passengers with disabilities, 'See Me' developer says 

A new app to help passengers who are blind or vision-impaired navigate metropolitan public transport systems across Australia is being trialled along a popular Adelaide bus route, ahead of what the technology's developer hopes is an expanded rollout. 


Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Rosemary Kayess provides her first interview.  

The Disability Discrimination Act requires reform. According to her, the act has been implemented in a manner that poses difficulties for individuals with disabilities to assert their rights, addressing only specific areas. The issue of segregation must be brought to an end, as people with disabilities currently lack a meaningful voice. 


Brisbane North PHN Health needs assessment 

Support the Brisbane North PHN region in identifying health and service needs within your community. This is your opportunity to express what matters most in your healthcare. 

If you reside in the Brisbane North region, now is your chance to share insights into the healthcare and services that matter to you and your community. 

Key Focus Areas: Women’s health, gender-based violence, and other issues significant to the community. 

Take part in the survey and enter for a chance to win a gift voucher. 

Survey Link: https://myvoice.brisbanenorthphn.org.au/bnphn-health-needs-assessment 

Accessible Travel Information Session for Parents, Family, and Supports with Queensland Rail. 

Discover the Accessible Travel Information Session for Parents, Family, and Supports with Queensland Rail. 

Down Syndrome is hosting an upcoming event aimed at offering guidance and resources for individuals and families requiring special assistance while traveling, especially those with Down syndrome. 

The session will cover various topics, including accessible transportation options, travel safety tips, and strategies for planning successful trips for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  

For more details about this event, click on the link below. 

Event Link: Accessible Travel Information Session for Parents, Family, Supports 

Policy update 

Policy Update, there is a image of a tick in a box with an arrow coming out the side of the box and circling around back to point at the box.

Homes for Queenslanders plan released  

The Queensland Government has released Homes for Queenslanders, a vision for a fair and sustainable housing system that ensures better housing outcomes both now and for future generations. Homes for Queenslanders outlines a coordinated approach to build 1 million new homes by 2046, including 53,500 new social homes. These will be homes that Queenslanders need in areas where they want to live and work. 

The initiatives in Homes for Queenslanders cover every aspect of the housing system: housing affordability, rental market, home ownership, social housing, homelessness, and legislation and reform. The initiatives are grouped under 5 pillars: 

  • Build more homes, faster 
  • Support Queensland renters 
  • Help first homeowners into the market 
  • Boost our social housing Big Build 
  • Work towards ending homelessness 

Learn more here: https://www.housing.qld.gov.au/homesforqueenslanders  

The Australian Government has committed $129.8m to design and consult on key recommendations from the NDIS Review 

The Government is making a significant investment to design and consult on key recommendations from the landmark independent NDIS Review, including the creation of Foundational Supports that will change the landscape of the disability ecosystem in Australia.  

Work will begin on an important Foundational Supports Strategy that will be critical to restoring the NDIS to its original vision of supporting those with significant and permanent disability, within a unified system of support. The Strategy will be considered by National Cabinet in the second half of this year.  

The investment by the Albanese Government is to support design and consultation across: 

  • $11.6 million to develop and implement the Foundational Supports Strategy; 
  • $54.6 million for fairer and better ways to access an NDIS Budget; 
  • $49.7 million for improved home and living options; 
  • $10.2 million to repair the market for better ways to access and pay for supports; and 
  • $3.6 million to undertake design and consultation work on a system of best practice early childhood supports. 

Read more here: https://ministers.dss.gov.au/media-releases/13711  

Speak Up for Independent Advocacy – Add your voice to the campaign   

Right now, only 1 in 2 people with disability have access to independent disability advocacy support. The Australian government must significantly increase funding for independent disability advocacy organisations to support people with disability. NOW is the time for government to act! But we can only convince them with YOUR help and YOUR actions.  

Join with us in urging the Australian government to triple their funding of independent advocacy, giving support to everyone who asks for help. It is critical as that we keep the pressure up on local MPs to influence the Australian Government to act now and invest in advocacy that is needed to strengthen the rights of people with disability.  

The Speak Up for Independent Advocacy has been launched, including an easy-to-use letter template you can use to tell your local MP why it's important that there is urgent action. 

Send a letter here: https://disabilityadvocacy.good.do/speakupforindependentadvocacy/Email-your-local-MP  

National Disability Data Asset Expression of Interest open for Panels 

Expressions of interest are open for two Department of Social panels to provide advice on the National Disability Data Asset. These panels will provide support to the National Disability Data Asset Council on priority areas, including the ethical use of data and future improvements. Non-government panel members will be paid for their time. 

DSS is looking for people that are members of the disability community, experts in disability research, have knowledge in human rights and those with experience in ethical use of data for research to join these panels. Priority will be given to people with disability. 

EOIs close 7pm 29 February. 

More information: https://engage.dss.gov.au/national-disability-data-asset-planned-panels-expressions-of-interest/  

QDN’s Disability Royal Commission forums and summary 

Last year QDN delivered three Disability Royal Commission member forums that covered housing, health, and employment. We would like to thank all our members who participated in these forums, your feedback and insights are invaluable.    

The next steps are to report to the Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services about what we heard in the forums from members. This will help to inform Queensland Government’s response to the Disability Royal Commission recommendations. QDN will also be submitting feedback on the recommendations as part of the Department of Social Services consultation process.   

Learn more here: https://engage.dss.gov.au/drcausgovresponse/have-your-say/     

We have included a summary of the themes discussed at the forums, which is available to read here: https://qdn.org.au/our-advocacy/rights-and-advocacy/disability-royal-commission/ 

You can catch up on the forums QDN held in 2023 here: 

NDIS participant experience in rural, regional and remote Australia 

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme has launched an inquiry to explore the NDIS participant experience in rural, regional and remote Australia.  

If you have any stories or experiences you would like to share about being an NDIS participant in rural, regional or remote Australia, please contact the QDN policy team for us to use in our submission to the inquiry.  

Learn more here: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/National_Disability_Insurance_Scheme/RuralRegionalandRemote  

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics now open  

58 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics have been established in GP clinics, community health centres and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across Australia. The clinics provide bulk billed, urgent care in a GP setting, so you don’t have to wait in a hospital emergency department.  

Clinics are open early and close late seven days a week and you don't need an appointment or referral. You can walk in and wait to be seen. They are meant for people you need medical attention for an illness or injury that can’t wait for a regular appointment with a GP but doesn’t require a visit to hospital. 

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics provide accessible and inclusive services for all Australians, including people with physical and intellectual disabilities.  

To find out more and download accessible resources, including in Easy Read format and Auslan, visit www.health.gov.au/MedicareUCC     

Policy team presenting at Peer Support Group meetings  

The policy team will be attending all the first Peer Support Group meetings of 2024 to speak to groups about what policy is, what the team does, systemic advocacy and how the policy team can work with members. If you’re interested in learning about policy and how you can be involved, make sure you attend the upcoming Peer Support Group meetings. Find when your next Peer Support Group meeting is happening at the bottom of the e-news. 

Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2031 Outcomes Framework: Second annual report released 

The Outcomes Framework measures, tracks and reports on outcomes for people with disability over the life Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2031. The Framework provides an overview of the progress being made on outcomes for people with disability eighteen months after the start of the Strategy in December 2021. 

The Strategy has 7 outcome areas - Employment and financial security, Safety, rights and justice, Education and learning, Community attitudes, Inclusive homes and communities, Personal and community support, and Health and wellbeing. These represent those areas that people with disability have said need to improve to achieve the Strategy’s vision for an inclusive Australian society – one that ensures people with disability can fulfil their potential, as equal members of the community.  

Areas that have improved 

  • Employment and financial security 
  • Personal and community support 

Areas that have made no progress  

  • Employment and financial security 
  • Safety, rights and justice 
  • Education and learning 

Areas that have regressed  

  • Education and learning 
  • Safety, rights and justice
  • Inclusive homes and communities 

Learn more about what the framework reveals here: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-disability-strategy/australias-disability-strategy-outcomes-framework/contents/summary  

New rules and support to Crackdown on NDIS rorts 

The Australian Government is implementing new measures to reduce waste and fraud within the NDIS, particularly to protect people with disability wo are often forced to pay jacked up prices for essential services, supports and equipment.  

Legislative changes will be made to strengthen the NDIS Act 2013 and NDIS Rules, which people with disability and the community will be consulted on. The rule changes will boost the power of the NDIS Commission to take compliance action and ban providers from the NDIS market. 

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has launched a dedicated email address for participants and others to contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission about price differentiation of NDIS products, supports and services, at pricehelp@ndiscommission.gov.au.  

To help people with disability better understand their rights the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has released new fact sheets and videos to help explain recent updates to the NDIS Code of Conduct Provider and Worker Guidance as it relates to price difference. 

The videos have been published to YouTube and can be viewed via the links below: 

Read about the recent changes to the NDIS Code of Conduct Guidance on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website. 

Fee-free TAFE courses 

Following the availability of Fee-Free TAFE places in 2023, the Australian Government is funding an additional 300,000 Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education and training places delivered in partnership with states and territories from January 2024. Fee-Free TAFE is a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory governments, providing tuition-free courses to students wanting to train, retrain or upskill.  

Fee-free places will be targeted to First Nations people, young people aged 17-24, job seekers, unpaid carers, women in non-traditional fields of study and people with disability. 

If eligible for Fee-Free TAFE, you can study for an accredited diploma, certificate or short course without incurring a cost for the tuition fees. 

Learn more here: https://www.yourcareer.gov.au/fee-free-tafe  

Independent Advisory Council releases 2022-23 Annual Report   

The Independent Advisory Council (IAC) 2022-23 Annual Report is now available. The Annual Report tells you about the advice and work the IAC did during 2022-2023. It highlights the IAC’s achievements for the year, and its work to bring the views of people with disability, their families, carers and sector experts to the heart of the NDIS. 

For more information download: 

For information in Easy Read: 

For information in Auslan: https://youtu.be/bzihza6ZsQQ  

What's on

Peer Support Groups

  • Friday, 1 March 2024, Gympie Peer Support Group, 9:30am-2:00pm, the Gunabul Homestead, 9 Power Road, Southside QLD, Gympie.
  • Friday, 1 March 2024, Gold Coast Hot Topics Peer Support Group, 10:30am-12:30pm, the Southport Community Centre, 6 Lawson Street, Southport QLD 4215
  • Friday, 8 March 2024, Gold Coast Peer Support Group, 10:30am-12:30pm, at the Nerang Library, Corner of White and, Price St, Nerang QLD 4211.
  • Monday, 11 March 2024, S.T.U.D.I.E Peer Support Group, 5:30pm-7:30pm, online via Zoom.
  • Friday, 15 March 2024, Parenting Peer Support Group, 11:00am-1:00pm, face-to-face at the QDN office and online with Zoom.
  • Friday, 15 March 2024, Cairns Yarning Circle, 12:30pm-2:00pm, at MaraWay Community Hub, 86 Anderson St, Manunda QLD 4870.
  • Saturday, 16 March 2024, Ipswich Peer Support Group, 10:00am-12:00pm,  Table 31, Club Services Ipswich (CSI), 5 Lowry Street, North Ipswich QLD 4305
  • Monday 18 March 2024, QDN State-wide Online Peer Support Group, 10:30am-12:30pm, Online via Zoom.
  • Wednesday, 20 March 2024, Brisbane Peer Support Group, 10:30am-12:00pm, at the QDN office or online via Zoom.
  • Wednesday, 20 March 2024, Deception Bay Peer Support Group, 10:30am-12:00pm, at Deception Bay Darts Club, 32 Bayview Terrace, Deception Bay.

What is the P-CEP Peer Leadership Program? 

We are seeking interest from people with disability in QLD, NSW, ACT, SA, and WA to become P-CEP Peer Leaders.

You will learn how to use the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (P-CEP) workbook to create your emergency plan and help others in your community know about the P-CEP Workbook to get ready for emergencies.

When are workshops happening?

The workshops will be delivered online using Zoom. Workshops are running throughout January and February. Attendance at all four workshops in the series is essential. Each workshop will have a duration of 1-1.5 hours.

Join the workshop series that suits you:

  • Thursdays: February 1st to 22nd at 4:00 PM AEST
  • Fridays: February 2nd to 23rd at 4:00 PM AEST

Please complete the Expression of Interest - link: Join the Person-Centred Peer Leadership (P-CEP) Peer Leadership Program in 2024! (office.com)

Please call QDN on 1300 363 783 if you have any questions or require additional support to complete the Expression of Interest.

This program is funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS) Information Linkages and Capacity Building program.

Get Ready, Plan Ahead workshops taking place around Queensland

The best way to stay safe and well during a severe storm, flood, bushfire or other emergency, is to have your own plan for your health and safety needs.

These FREE workshops are to support people with disability learn how to plan for their support needs in emergencies.

These workshops are presented by people with disability, for people with disability.

What will you learn?

• How to use the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness tool to identify your strengths and support needs in emergency planning.

• Your local hazards and risks, such as storms, bushfires, power outages etc.

• The role of the local council, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, and State Emergency Services in an emergency or disaster.

• Where to find important information in an emergency or disaster through the Council Dashboard.

• The important items to have in an emergency kit.

Where are workshops happening?

Gympie region:


Gympie central - Get Ready, Plan Ahead Workshop

It is important to attend both Part A and B.

Part A: Tuesday 20 February, 10am to 1pm

Part B: Tuesday 5 March, 10am to 1pm

Where: Weeroona Association, 16 Red Hill Road, Gympie.

Tin Can Bay - Get Ready, Plan Ahead Workshop for Seniors

It is important to attend both Part A and B.

Part A: Wednesday 21 February, 10am to 1pm

Part B: Wednesday 6 March, 10am to 1pm

Where: Tin Can Bay Library, 47 Tin Can Bay Road.


Logan region:

Springwood - Get Ready, Plan Ahead

It is important to attend both dates.

When: Friday, 1 and 8 March

Where: Logan East Community Centre, 55 Cinderella Drive, Springwood.

Time: 10am to 1pm

Register: Logan City Council PCEP Workshops

Hillcrest - Get Ready, Plan Ahead

It is important to attend both dates.

When: Monday, 18 and 25 March

Where: Logan West Community Centre, 2 Wineglass Drive, Hillcrest.

Time: 10am to 1pm

Register: Logan City Council PCEP Workshops

Workshops coming soon

North Queensland - Burdekin and Charters Towers workshops coming.

Moreton Bay area - Deception Bay workshop coming.

Stay up to date on workshops at the QDN Events page.

QDN Membership  

If you or someone you know would like to be a QDN member apply here:  https://qdn.org.au/membership/qdn-member-application/  

QDN's Social Media.

Follow us here.