Today the Shadow Minister for Families and Social Affairs and one of the key NDIS architects, Jenny Macklin has announced her resignation from politics.
Since the Scheme's historic journey from community campaign to law of the nation, a number of people have been credited as the prime instigator of the NDIS. When something so remarkable and unlikely occurs, everyone is looking for its hero. But while many have claimed this title, few could deny the pivotal role Jenny Macklin played in the Scheme's formation.
As Disability Reform Minister at the time, Ms Macklin choked back tears as she concluded the Senate debate which saw the NDIS pass through the Upper House. She has since then worked tirelessly to help resolve the implementation problems which at times seem to plague the Scheme. Those who have worked closely with her over the years credit the genuine dedication and empathy that she showed to people living with disability in Australia.
Ms Macklin was a quiet worker. She did not seem to require the credit or the spotlight, instead focusing on getting the work done. Perhaps that is why many forget her name when considering the Founding Fathers (and Mothers) of the Scheme. Yet here at DSC, we believe that she is as worthy of this title as anyone else. She has been a campaigner, an advocate and a legislator. We wish her the best in what she does next.
(It is also worth noting that Ms Macklin served as Deputy to Opposition Leader Mark Latham, but nobody is perfect).
Sara is our go-to Content Specialist and the Editor of DSC's NDIS Resource Hub. She personifies the voice of DSC in her own passionate style and prides herself (quite rightly) on her research skills and fact-finding ability. Diagnosed with ME/CFS in 2012, Sara's lived experience of disability shines through in her work and she is a highly skilled, authoritative NDIS commentator. She began her career overseeing innovative Cambodian education projects and has quickly become an indispensable part of the DSC team.
The NDIA and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) have been denying people with significant disabilities access to the Scheme because they refused invasive, controversial or expensive medical treatments. Sara explores why this is happening and what it means for the principle of informed medical consent.
The Disability Reform Council has agreed that the NDIS will start funding some health-related supports later this year. Sally explores some of the complications that could arise when putting this deal to life.
Last Friday’s meeting of COAG’s Disability Reform Council has radically redefined the division of responsibility between NDIS and health services. Sara explore which health-related supports the NDIS will now be funding.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has just released a mind-blowing judgement that could fundamentally alter the types of supports funded by the NDIS. Sara explores the implications of this groundbreaking verdict.
The federal budget: boring to read, but very important to the disability sector. Sara summaries what it says about the royal commission, mental health funding, new disability pension reporting requirements and the famous NDIS underspend.