Disability champion Rhonda Galbally, AO, reflects on changing attitudes to disability, the push for mainstream inclusion and the National Disability Insurance Scheme, in this extract taken from the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s annual Sambell Oration.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is undoubtedly one of the biggest social policy reforms Australia has ever seen – a once-in-a-generation reform alongside Medicare and national superannuation.
In delivering the Sambell Oration, I’m going to explore where we have come from to achieve this profound change and the journey it took to get here. I hope that this reflection will make it possible to understand the genesis of competing agendas that still impact on the NDIS to this day.
Disability – a part of life like getting sick and growing old
People become disabled from many causes: from accidents – road, sporting, working, playing – and going about day-to-day living in a house, on a footpath, in a hospital. And people become disabled from being born… So like being born, getting old and dying, disability is part of life.
Disability, like sickness, is universal – and like Medicare, the NDIS is a universal scheme that covers every Australian under 65 no matter what the cause of their disability. For those like me, who were over 65 before the NDIS commenced, the aged care system takes over.
Source: Pro Bono Australia