News Hub Opinion

Voices of experience on living with disability, inclusion and how the NDIS is transforming lives.

Opinion 26 April 2016

Quang’s transport tips

Disability advocate Quang Nguyen explains just how important transport is for every day life.

Read more Read more
Opinion 3 March 2016

Let’s hear them roar!

Disability advocate Leigh Creighton has made it his life’s mission to speak out for the rights of people with disability. Here’s his story.

Read more Read more
Opinion 24 February 2016

All the world’s a stage for David

David Baker’s workforce participation has come from inspired teachers, personal helpers and mentors in the arts and Victorian TAFE theatre courses. Now he is getting ready to mentor others.

Read more Read more
Opinion 4 February 2016

Talking cents about the NDIS

It was with apparent naivety that I was shocked to see in last week’s The Australian “$5bn budget hit as NDIS fund dwindles”. Could it be that the NDIS, the only policy in Australian that our last four Prime Ministers are in complete agreement on, is up for question again?

Read more Read more
Opinion 3 February 2016

Paying lip service to accessibility

One of the worst aspects of living with a disability and being unable to work is the social isolation. Being trapped in your home, day after day. The social isolation is a huge causative factor in depression, which goes hand in hand with chronic pain and illness.

Read more Read more
Opinion 12 January 2016

Is there room at the advocacy table?

It can be hard for parents to take a step back and allow their children to have their own voices. However, when it comes to advocacy, it’s especially important to find the right balance. Here Renee Bugg, parent to Poss who is on the Autistic Spectrum, talks about how they’re meeting the challenge.

Read more Read more
Opinion 22 December 2015

Open letter to SMH – ‘Primary disability sector supports NDIS, point blank’

Disability advocate Tricia Malowney wrote an open letter to Rachel Browne, journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald – in response to a December 7 article called ‘Disability sector has grave concerns about NDIS roll out’ – explaining that people with disability and their families are the primary part of the ‘disability sector’.

Read more Read more
Opinion 23 November 2015

Making it work

Participation rates of people with disability in the workforce in Australia are well below those of other comparable countries. And of those people with disability who are participating in the Australian workforce, a higher percentage is unemployed than people without disability who participate in the workforce.

Read more Read more
Opinion 2 November 2015

Advocacy counts

Leah, 33, helps to advocate for others with an intellectual disability.

Read more Read more
Opinion 13 October 2015

Anthony takes charge

Hi I am Anthony and I have now been living on my own for over 18 months. This has been a very exciting, challenging and personally rewarding time for both me, my family and my support networks.

Read more Read more
Opinion 24 September 2015

For some, the long cold wait is over

The signing of bilateral agreements this week between the Commonwealth and Australia’s largest states, Victoria and New South Wales, was a historic moment for people with disabilities and our families and carers. Not only was it a demonstration of how politicians can work together to achieve something good, but it also means that for at least 200,000 Australians, we finally have certainty about our lives and our futures.

Read more Read more
Opinion 1 September 2015

Any delays in the NDIS will not serve people with disabilities

As final negotiations are occurring between the States and the Federal Government around the timing of the rollout of the NDIS, we are approaching a critical time for people with disabilities. It is concerning that a number of prominent voices have been calling for a delay to the full roll-out when they do not represent people with disabilities and may have vested interests.

Read more Read more
Opinion 1 September 2015

How to speak to your employer about mental illness

Long ago — maybe I was 19 — I walked out of a job on the second day and just never went back. It was a temp job, entering data into a machine and then checking the data and then entering more data. I was being paid $18 an hour, which was pretty good at the time.

Read more Read more
Opinion 19 August 2015

Caring for the poet

Dylan Owen-Buoy has been challenged by autism since his kindergarten days but it hasn’t touched his soul.

Read more Read more
Opinion 6 August 2015

Who should be steering the NDIA?

In recent weeks there has been a lot of talk about potential changes to the Board that governs the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Read more Read more
Opinion 4 August 2015

My friend Bradley

I have been an advocate for a man with complex needs for nearly 20 years. The journey I have been on with him and his family over this time has seen some great outcomes for him, but it remains a constant struggle to ensure he has the funding needed for his support. We are hopeful that the NDIS will change this!

Read more Read more
Opinion 21 July 2015

I love my job – support workers embrace opportunities under the NDIS

As the roll-out of the NDIS comes to a town near you, or continues to bed-in across trial sites, the changes and challenges facing workers in the disability sector are becoming increasingly apparent.

Read more Read more
Opinion 8 July 2015

We are worth the investment

“I say the ‘I’ in NDIS should stand for ‘investment’. We are worth the investment. To move forward we need people to believe in us, to back us up, and create opportunities. When people have confidence in us then we start to believe in ourselves. We need to change the words to change the thinking.” A quote by Michael Sullivan, from an article by Julia May, Sunday Age, 15 February 2015.

Read more Read more
Opinion 3 July 2015

Two year anniversary marks the dawn of reform

This week, two years ago we celebrated the dawn of a reform that finally provides opportunities to people with disability to be included in every part of community life. It was a day in which we as a nation made a statement that we would accept people with disability, Australians that we had so long ostracised and denied. On July 1 2013, the National Disability Insurance Scheme first came to life.

Read more Read more
Opinion 1 July 2015

Counting the cost

A while ago there was a study released about the costs of raising a child on the Spectrum, which placed the costs at around $35,000 a year. When you first hear that number, it seems like a lot. $35,000 could buy you a nice new car, maybe a luxury overseas holiday or just imagine the shoes!

Read more Read more
Opinion 18 June 2015

Why disability advocacy matters under the NDIS

Since we all celebrated the first launch sites for the National Disability Insurance Scheme one of the biggest sources of uncertainty that has emerged is what will happen to disability advocacy services in this mix.

Read more Read more
Opinion 9 June 2015

Every Australian Counts: Exploring Psychosocial Disability and the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has great potential to improve the lives of people with psychosocial disability associated with mental illness. If we are to meet the needs of these people, however it is absolutely crucial that we get the broad architecture of the scheme right.

Read more Read more
Opinion 27 May 2015

Lived experience

I’m sitting on the back deck of our humble home in Melbourne’s outer east, with my laptop, looking into the large backyard my nieces and nephews refer to as “the park”. Every time I sit here I can’t help thinking of the Creedence lyrics “Doo, doo, doo lookin’ out my backdoor”.

Read more Read more
Opinion 11 May 2015

The dignity of Hayden’s risk

Hayden McLean can’t live with his family, and nor should he be expected to at 36 years of age. He needs his space for his various projects such as French knitting and drawing. He likes to be free and explore the world around him. Some have called this ‘absconding’. His mother calls it “accessing the community”.

Read more Read more