The 15th Annual National Disability Summit will return to Melbourne on 19-20 September 2024. This is a key event on the calendar of disability service providers and industry leaders. Not only for discussion on the NDIS but also critically, for addressing the wider range of issues and considerations for the disability sector in Australia. At the heart questioning how can we better support people with disability, and their families. As well as maximising independence and participation by creating greater choice.

The National Disability Summit bring together an extremely passionate audience broken down into NDIS, and wider disability services providers, high-level executives, policy makers, community care organisations, support coordinators, people with disability, carers, intermediaries, state & federal government agencies, council organisations nationwide, NDIS representatives, aged care facilities, and aged care providers.

Each year we grow and evolve the event in line with the needs and feedback from the industry ensuring an objective platform for discussion and networking. We pride ourselves on listening to our audience and building a non-biased agenda from suggestions, requests, and submissions.

This year the agenda will seek to understand the sector post Royal Commission and the NDIS Review. Delving into pertinent topics around disability workforce, sustainable disability employment, housing, health, and sports, the role of government bodies, and building inclusive communities.

We will explore strategies and initiatives for improving quality, person-centered care. Providing tangible takeaway actions for delegates, we will include data-driven insights, thought leadership to challenge how we think about support and services, and lived experiences that articulate not only the challenges but also the potential solutions and discuss quality improvement.

Find out more about the National Disability Summit


We encourage you to register your interest to speak, and/or nominate topic ideas that you would like to see featured.

For speaker submissions, please include the following information:

  • Name, job title, organisation
  • Presentation title
  • 3-5 bullet points explaining your main discussion points (40 words max.)
  • Would you like to join a panel discussion? Please list your topic suggestions
  • Would you like to facilitate a workshop? Please suggest workshop topics

To submit and for any queries, please contact:

Katrina Bowns
Senior Conference Producer
e: katrina.bowns@informa.com.au
t: 02 9080 4322

Closing date: 1st April 2024

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2024 Sponsors

Lanyard Sponsor
Simply Helping

2024 Exhibitors

Warner Institute

LBM Fleet

Blue Light Card

All about caring

2024 Supporting Partner

Talking Disability

Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities

Don’t miss this opportunity to get involved early in next year’s National Disability Summit!

There are many opportunities for networking including social events such as networking drinks, lunch and refreshments breaks making this not just a conference… but an all-encompassing industry experience.

Sponsorship or exhibiting will allow your organisation to:

  • Build relationships with potential & existing clients
  • Network with the industry
  • Generate leads from a targeted audience
  • Demonstrate your product/service in person
  • Build brand awareness

To see what we have available please contact;

Danielle Newman
Senior Business Development Manager
P: 02 9080 4318
E: Danielle.newman@informa.com


Myron Mann, CEO, Bedford Group
Myron Mann
Bedford Group

Carol Berry, CEO, The Disability Trust
Carol Berry
The Disability Trust

Pauline Luchetta, Founder & CEO, Custodia
Pauline Luchetta
Founder & CEO,

Emma Gierschick OAM
Woman of the Year 2019, Nominee Victorian Woman of Honour 2019 & 2020

Simone Austin
Chief Health Officer and Chair of the Advisory Board, healthylife, Accredited, Practising Dietitian

Stu Schonell
Advocacy WA

Professor Christine Bigby
Director, Living with Disability Research Centre, La Trobe University

Jethro Hepton
Board Chairperson,
Advocacy WA

David Swain
Endeavour Foundation



Opening remarks from the Chair

Emma Gierschick OAM



Mandy McCracken, Founder & Chairperson, Storyteller and Disability Advocate, Get Started Disability Support Australia


PANEL | Sustainable employment & the future of work opportunities for people with disability

  • The real reward of disability employment: morale, benefits
  • Challenging the systemic barriers we already know, more than just a ‘tick-box’
  • Access to Employment Assistant Funding – overcoming cost barrier
  • Actionable steps to ensure correct systems are in place
  • Key takeaways and how can we implement this within our own setting?

Matt De Gruchy, Disability Advocate, Matt De Gruchy Vision
Tracey McGeehan, Disability Support Officer, Northeast Health Wangaratta
Sharon Carroll, Diversity & Inclusion Partner, People & Culture, Australia Post
Corene Strauss, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Network on Disability
Daniel Valiente-Riedl, General Manager, JobAccess
Moderated by Melissa Tandy, Managing Director, Strategic Shift



Reform of the disability discrimination law

Natalie Wade, Founder and Principal Lawyer, Equality Lawyers


Networking Break & Morning Tea


Equal Employment: Important Considerations

There are very few workplaces that cater to people with disability well, let alone allowing people with disability a chance at equal employment. People with disability have to fight for advocacy rights to be able to keep their job, as well as not to be burnt out, or in the worst case – fired from employers because there isn’t an equal opportunity. This session will explore finding the right supports in the workplace, Disability Discrimination or workplace rights, and Awareness Training – how to deliver this successfully.

Sirani McNeill, Hospitality Staff Member, All Things Equal
Bianca Stern, General Manager, All Things Equal


How disability is managed in main stream education: a ground snap shot of school inclusion

The Victorian government has implemented Disability Inclusion, a new approach to supporting students with disabilities in government schools across Victoria. The reforms are part of the Inclusive Victoria: State Disability Plan 2022-2026, providing improved resources for students with disabilities within schools. The government has allocated $1.6 billion to change student disability funding, which was announced in the 2020 state budget. This session is a snapshot of government primary schools embracing disability and inclusion and the new reforms, making a difference through inclusion and understanding of individual student needs and creating a climate of unity between students, teachers, families and specialist support agencies.

Donna Wright, School Principal, Bandiana Primary School


My plan, my business: how I used my NDIS Plan to start a Support Coordination business

It’s without shadow of doubt disability employment statistics are not where they meant to be, and Nina knows this too well. In this session, Nina Crumpton shares how her NDIS Support Coordination funding for mentoring on how to start a business, the audit process and the way in which Nina used support workers with very specific skills to assist her with a business launch.

Nina Crumpton, Participant and Founder/CEO, The Hand Up Space


PANEL | Defining good quality support from our perspective: a carers viewpoint

  • What do we see as good quality support for the people we support?
  • What is the disconnection point? How do you manage this?
  • Compared to broader community support

Commissioner Dan Stubbs, Victorian Disability Worker Commission
Emma Gierschick OAM

Belinda Kochanowska, Principal Solicitor, Intrepidus Law
Moderated by Matt De Gruchy, Disability Advocate, Matt De Gruchy Vision


Networking Lunch


ADDRESS | The Paralympics to Parliament House

  • Overcoming Challenges
  • Breaking Down Barriers and Attitudes
  • Creating Access and Inclusion
  • The Important Role of Employment and Leadership for People with Disability

Liesl Tesch AM, Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Communities, and Parliamentary Secretary for Disability Inclusion, Australian Labor Party


PANEL | Making healthcare more accessible

  • Successful projects
  • Outcomes for influencing change behaviour
  • Implementing change from within
  • Workforce and staff development

Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM LLB MD, Doctor, Lawyer, Researcher, Disability Advocate, 2021 QLD Australian of the Year
Katherine Kelly, Disability & NDIS Coordinator, South West Sydney LHD
Dr Craig McBride, Senior Paediatric Surgeon, Children’s Health Queensland, Professor, University of Queensland
Amanda Frier, Access for All Manager, CheckUP
Moderated by Emma Gierschick OAM



Afternoon Tea & Networking Break


ADDRESS | The IncludeAbility Project: working together to reimagine disability employment

Caroline Tjoa, Director – IncludeAbility Project, Australian Human Rights Commission
Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM LLB MD, Doctor, Lawyer, Researcher, Disability Advocate, 2021 QLD Australian of the Year


PANEL | Building community inclusion through truly inclusive practices and innovations

  • Designing for people with disability in mind, what we really want and quality improvement in how to deliver
  • Beyond co-design, successful models and outcomes, and data driven insights
  • Solutions to challenges within your context

Aunty June Riemer, Deputy CEO, First Peoples Disability Network
Bryce Pace, Autism Advocate
Kim Samuel, Director, City Plan Western Parkland City, Greater Cities Commission
Irena Reiss, Lawyer and Disability Advocate
Moderated by Dr Adam Johnson, Researcher and Lecturer, School of Arts and Humanities, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia


CLOSING ADDRESS | Sport has the power to change the world

  • Change perceptions inclusive society
  • Programs: schools and education, employment

Geoff Quinlan, Head of Strategy and Brisbane 2032 Coordination, Paralympics Australia
Alexandra Viney, Australian Paralympian


Closing Remarks from Chair


Networking Drinks


Conference Dinner


Opening remarks from the Chair

Nick Mann, Founder & Principal, Polaris Lawyers



Tracy Mackey, NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commissioner



The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme


The why behind the how: who’s doing what, for who?

This session will invert the paradigm of advocacy and service provision – progressing from doing for and to, towards doing with people, unlocking the reciprocal benefit of working in this incredible sector informed at every step by people with disability. Practical tips on how to foster authentic inclusion within organisations coupled with personal insights from lived experience.

Emily Caska, CEO, Down Syndrome NSW
Ellen Hester, Participant and Living with Down Syndrome, Down Syndrome NSW


Networking Break & Morning Tea


PANEL | How to create a sector-wide workforce to ensure a workforce for tomorrow?

  • How are we going to meet the demand?
  • How do you have a skilled workforce? Gig economy
  • Regional, rural and remote
  • Thoughts and recommendations to implement into your context

Jodi Schmidt, CEO, Human Services Skills Organisation
Matt Gillett, General Manager, Programs, Community Services Industry Alliance
Pauline Luchetta, Managing Director, Custodia
Moderated by Stu Schonell, CEO, Advocacy WA



Senator Jordon Steele-John, Senator for Western Australia


Role of National Boards and Ahpra within the disability sector: what is their role?

The role of the National Boards and Ahpra within the disability sector is not well-understood.  This session will explore who we do and don’t regulate as well as how this interplays with the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission, the roles of other complaint bodies (e.g., state / territory health complaints entities) as well as the role of National Boards in setting standards and expectations for registered professions.

David Clements, State Manager, Tasmania, Ahpra


PANEL | Disabilities don’t disappear in doctor’s doorways: The reasonable and necessary role of Allied Health professionals in healthcare accessibility

  • Overcoming challenges providers may face in integrating Allied Healthcare
  • How the NDIS is moving away from a medical model to social model and how Allied Health assists
  • In-depth discussion to potential solutions in greater increasing access and quality to Allied Health

Paige Humm, Specialist Behaviour Support Practitioner, Inclusive Behaviour
Jessica Orford, Consultant Psychologist and Team Leader Behavioural Emergency Response Team, QLD Health
Simone Austin, Chief Health Officer and Chair of the Advisory Board, healthylife, Accredited, Practising Dietitian
Q&A facilitated by Nick Mann, Founder & Principal, Polaris Lawyers


Networking Lunch


Supporting people with Disability: an update from the Commonwealth Ombudsman

  • The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s oversight of the NDIA performance against the Participant Service Guarantee
  • Understanding the specific cohort we hear from and how do we engage this cohort and more?
  • Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) – A formal safeguard for people with disabilities and how this can assist you
  • Considerations of vulnerable populations such as people with disabilities within detention facilities, and how can the learning be implemented within your context

Dr Rachelle Bonner, Director, OPCAT and Detention Monitoring, Commonwealth Ombudsman


CLOSING ADDRESS |Ensuring people with disability are getting bang for their buck: ethical considerations

• How are we regulating this?

Professor Shane Clifton, Principal Policy Officer and Director of Respect & Inclusion, Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation against People with Disability


Closing Remarks from Chair


Afternoon Tea Served & Conference Concludes

 ** Agenda subject to change

Post Event Workshop

23 August 2023

09:00 – 09:30

Registration | Arrival Tea & Coffee

09:30 – 12:00

Including Morning Tea 10:45am – 11am

POST-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP | Building Accessible Cities through co-design and design culture

With the Brisbane Paralympics less than a decade away, accessible and inclusive urban spaces are front of mind for Australian cities. Cityscapes are in constant state of change and renewal, being shaped and moulded by design practices that may intentionally include or unintentionally exclude. Dr Adam Johnson has spent the past 10 years working with local governments to create accessible, co-designed urban environments, particularly in his hometown of Bunbury, Western Australia, which has the goal of becoming the Most Accessible Regional City in Australia (MARCIA). He will share insights and lessons learned, including five key facilitators of Universal Design, as well as work undertaken in advocacy, negotiation, education, and cultivation of leadership in design culture.
Using Bunbury as a case study, this interactive workshop will explore:

  • Strategies for engaging in effective co-design with people with lived experience
  • The distinction between genuine co-design and stakeholder consultation
  • Common opportunities, barriers and challenges for local governments in achieving Universal Design at a city level
  • Key facilitators and safeguards in relation to Universal Design
  • Local, State and Federal policies, design standards, leadership and design culture considerations

Brought to you by Dr Adam Johnson, Researcher and Lecturer, School of Arts and Humanities, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia

Buy a Pass


  • 2 Days of networking with a highly targeted group of stakeholders
    Meet and network with every stakeholder in the room. Have a productive conversation with senior leaders and cultivate meaningful connections via the dedicated networking breaks.
  • Executive Insights & Market Experts
    This is a unique opportunity to learn from the leaders on what they are doing, how they are doing it and why. Ask questions of speakers which inform your own decision making, grasp what other stakeholders are thinking and take actionable learnings back to your organisation.
  • Post event audience insight reports
    Want to know more about your fellow delegates? Where are they from? What are their top challenges? What are their most common questions? Find out with our post-event Audience Insights Reports which comes free as part of your delegate ticket.
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  • Networking Drinks
    Sometimes the best conversations aren’t in a boardroom…they’re the chats over a glass of wine after a day of intellectual stimulation
  • Networking Dinner
    How often is your conversation cut short because the conference finishes? Take the opportunity to continue your discussions and connect with more of your industry colleagues in a relaxed and informal setting at the networking dinner.





  • Access to full two- day conference
  • Access to Post-conference half-day workshop
  • Post-Event Audience Insights Report
  • On-demand recordings via Streamly
  • Networking drinks reception
  • Pre-book meetings with event app
  • Searchable attendee list
  • App messaging function
  • Live interactive Q&A & audience polls
  • Dedicated networking opportunities
  • BONUS post-event video content including speaker interviews
  • Access discounted hotel rate



  • Access to full two day conference
  • Post-Event Audience Insights Report
  • On-demand recordings via Streamly
  • Networking drinks reception
  • Pre-book meetings with event app
  • Searchable attendee list
  • App messaging function
  • Live interactive Q&A & audience polls
  • Dedicated networking opportunities
  • BONUS post-event video content including speaker interviews
  • Access discounted hotel rate



  • Access to full two- day conference online
  • On-demand recordings via Streamly
  • Searchable attendee list
  • App messaging function
  • Q&A through event app



  • SAVE over $300 on each ticket by booking as a group
  • Access to full two day conference
  • Post-Event Audience Insights Report
  • On-demand recordings via Streamly
  • Networking drinks reception
  • Pre-book meetings with event app
  • Searchable attendee list
  • App messaging function
  • Live interactive Q&A & audience polls
  • Dedicated networking opportunities
  • BONUS post-event video content including speaker interviews
  • Access discounted hotel rate



  • Up to 2 additional hours of networking with conference attendees
  • Only available to delegates who are also attending the conference

* Concession rate is available – please contact info@informa.com.au for more details.


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What does fun look like for you? It’s not a question that comes up frequently in a professional context; but it is one that Peer Mentor and disability advocate Adrian O’Malley has begun asking a lot in recent years…

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“Nothing about us without us” – the idea that policy shouldn’t be designed without first consulting the people it targets – has become a prominent mantra in the disability rights space in recent years…

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The right way to treat people with disabilities at school

When Matthew De Gruchy was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, a rare genetic eye condition, at the age of nine, he did not know that his difficulties with blindness would pale in comparison to the social challenges he later experienced…

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Bite-sized Videos

What does innovation in the disability sector look like?
Accessing support with regional, rural, and remote regions
Providing Access for the Deaf Community

Photos From 2023 Event



“The National Disability Summit was invaluable for connecting with many passionate leaders and speakers in the NDIS, disability and mental health space. I felt recharged from attending and motivated to keep improving the systems and services we provide to persons with a disability and most of all, ensuring that persons with a disability are at the core of everything we do. What a fantastic event!”


“A valuable opportunity to learn about challenges and discuss solutions for people with disability, and to connect with key individuals and organisations in the sector.”

Louise Bugeja, Internode

“Attending the National Disability Summit was a great experience. There was a wide variety of speakers and the Informa staff were amazing and accommodating to meeting everybody’s needs.”

Stephen Odusa, CatholiccareNT

“You need to be there, to learn more.”


Crown Promenade Melbourne
8 Whiteman Street
(Queensbridge St end of Crown Complex)
(03) 9292 8888

We have secured a special accommodation rate from $255* per room per night, room only, for conference attendees at the Crown Promenade for the nights of the 18-19 September 2024 inclusive.

To book this rate, click here.

* Room availability and rates are subject to availability and valid until 7 days prior to the event, unless sold out prior.
Book early to avoid disappointment.


Still have a question?

Katrina Bowns
Conference Producer

Danielle Newman
Senior Business Development Manager
+61 2 9080 4318