Region 16 Newsletters

NDCO West Vic News Spring 2017

Region 16 Pam Anderson - Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Welcome to the Spring NDCO Region 16 newsletter. I hope it will keep you updated on the latest news, events and professional development opportunities to support the very vital work you do to support people with disabilities. Follow

Yours Sincerely

Pam Anderson

NDCO Region 16 – Western Victoria


Mobile: 0418 108 555

Victorian NDCO’s

The NDCO Program works strategically to assist people with disability access, and participate in ‘Tertiary Education’ and subsequent employment, through a national network of regionally based NDCOs. There are 31 NDCO regions in Australia with 7 in Victoria. Each NDCO region has an Advisory Committee with representation from key regional stakeholders. In Victoria the NDCO program has also established a state network to work on collaborative state priorities.  You can access contact to all Victorian NDCO’s via the state website:

NDCO Western Victoria happenings….

Passport 2 Employment Program 2017

The Passport 2 Employment program has been delivered in Portland, Hamilton, Warrnambool, Geelong and Ballarat this term to eighty five students from local secondary and special schools. We are amazed every year how these special young people participate with such enthusiasm and willingness to learn about life after school. 

If you are interested in attending a graduation in your area, please see below dates and venues. Special thanks to Glenelg Southern Grampians LLEN, Geelong Region LLEN, Highlands LLEN, South West LLEN, South West TAFE, Gordon TAFE and the many school support staff and stakeholders involved with planning and coordinating the program. 

Warrnambool: Monday 4th September 2017, 6pm-7.30pm Level 3, South West TAFE, Timor Street

Ballarat: Thursday 7th September 2017, 5.30pm-7pm, Federation College Atrium, Grant Street, Ballarat

Geelong: Friday 8th September 2017, 6pm-7.30pm, Gordon TAFE Gallery, 2 Fenwick Street, Geelong

Hamilton: Tuesday 19th September 2017, 12.45pm-2.45pm, South West TAFE, Ballarat Road, Hamilton

Portland: Wednesday 20th September 2017, 12.00pm-2pm, South West TAFE, Hurd Street, Portland

Wan-Yaari Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training, Geelong

Wan-Yaari are excited to be offering a Professional Development opportunity in Aboriginal Cultural Awareness training in Geelong. The following topics will be covered in the training session:

  • Welcome to Country & Acknowledgment of Country examples and definitions
  • Historical Timelines
  • Aboriginal Identity: Pre & Post Colonisation
  • Aboriginal Maps of Victoria/Australia
  • Overview of government policies and initiatives
  • Stolen Generations
  • Strategies to improve engagement and working relationships with Aboriginal clients, families and community groups
  • Group interactive activities

This four hour Aboriginal cultural awareness training is available for individuals or work teams to attend as a professional development session. 

Session details:

When: Tuesday 19th September 2017

Time: 10.30am – 3.00 pm (lunch provided)

Venue: Wurdee Youang Road, Barwon Water Geelong

Cost: $190+ GST & booking fee

Bookings essential.

To register please click on the link below 

Indigenous Cultural Awareness

Just something a little bit different and worth considering re cultural awareness training was the recent high-lighting of the ‘Colonial Frontier Massacres in Eastern Australia 1788-1872’.

To access the interactive map courtesy Newcastle University, click here:

Yarn Up Service providers and Community Research Project, University of Western Sydney

NDCO Western Victoria in partnership with Karen Soldatic from the University of Western Sydney will be holding “Yarn Up” discussions as part of a research project, funded by the Australian Research Council, with full ethics approval from Western Sydney University: Disability Income Reform and Regional Australia: The Indigenous Experience. Karen will be conducting the interviews, a researcher with the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. 

Any information people provide is strictly confidential. Personal and Professional details, such as name, position and organization remain anonymous throughout the project.  

We are holding two separate talks, one for service providers and one for members of our ATSI community.  Community members will received a gift card for attending.  Details as follows:

Yarn Up – Community Talk

The project wants to learn about your experience of the Disability Support Pension or NewStart in particular the amount of paperwork involved. Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to attend.  Non-Aboriginal people with a disability are also welcome to attend but bookings are essential.

When: Tuesday, 17th October 2017

Time: 10.30 am – 12 noon

Meeting Place: Deakin Cats Community Centre, Skilled Stadium, Geelong

Come for lunch from 12 noon to 1 pm. 


(You will receive a $20 Gift Card for participating!)


Yarn Up - Service Provider Talk

Disability & Income Payments

Do you work with people with disability?

Do they receive a disability support pension?

Are they are on NewStart even though they have a disability?

Have you helped someone apply for a disability pension?

This project wants to learn about the impact of changes to the Disability Support Pension and NewStart Allowance for Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people living with Disability.

When:  Wednesday 18th October 2017

Time: 10.30 am – 12 noon

Meeting Place: Deakin Cats Community Centre,

Skilled Stadium, Geelong

After the discussion, a Lunch will be provided from: 12 noon to 1 pm


Enhancing the Links – A FREE Workshop for school staff (Careers/Pathways/Integration) Supporting Students with Disability

Enhancing the Links workshop is brought to you by the NDCO program Region 12 and Region 16 (Western Melbourne and Western Victoria) for careers, pathways, and Integration staff supporting students with disability transitioning from secondary school.  By attending this workshop you will be provided with current and relevant information about the various post-school pathways for students with disability; hear from guest speaker Daniel Giles (Speakers Bank) about autism and his career journey; be given the opportunity to workshop challenges and share ideas; be provided with a record of VIT professional development and take away an NDCO resource pack. 

Enhancing the Links will be held at Werribee Learning Centre, 9 Bridge Street, Werribee on Friday 27th October 2017 from 10am-2pm.  To register please contact Pam Anderson on 0418 108 555 or email  An Eventbrite link will also be available to register.

Nelson Park Special School – Futures Expo

NDCO Western Victoria in partnership with Nelson Park Year 10-12 Campus, Illinois Avenue, Corio are organising the “Futures Expo 2017” (Post School Information Evening) for students/families from Years 10-12 on Thursday 12th October 2017 from 5.30 – 7.30 pm. The aim of the Expo is to inform students and families of different options available once students complete year 12.  The idea of the night is to introduce/reintroduce students and families to some of the possibilities the students have once they have left secondary school.  To register please contact Pam Anderson on 0418108555 or email: .

Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS), NDCO Regions 15 and 16 on the Road – Mildura Swan Hill

NDCO’s Mark Cottee (Northern Victoria) and Pam Anderson (Western Victoria) in partnership with the Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) will be delivering two NDIS 101 and Assistive Technology workshops at SuniTAFE, Mildura and Swan Hill Campus on Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th of November, 2017.  These workshops will be FREE for all students, parents and teachers. 

To register your attendance or for further information, contact Pam Anderson on 0418108555 or email: 

NDCO Latest News

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Vic West Engagement Team:

1 October 2017 is a very significate date for the NDIA with full scheme beginning transition in Wimmera South West.  We are currently in planning stages for the Mallee which is scheduled to roll out 1st January 2019. Engagement will begin in this area approximately 9 months prior to roll out.

Our website has various resources available which will assist the schools in preparing for the NDIS. Our participant pathway booklet ( ) is our latest resource which explains the NDIS process.

We also have our NDIS ready page ( ) which is another helpful resource with videos explaining the process. This page also has plenty of resources which will assist. We also have various fact sheets and publications explaining the scheme ( I have also attached our NDIS Ready Toolkit for your information.

There are a number of information sessions that are held in various states of Australia. These can be found here


Principles to determine the responsibilities of the NDIS & other Service Systems

All governments have agreed that our vision is for an inclusive Australian society that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens. To achieve this vision, all Australian governments, non-government organisations, business and the wider community have a role to play.

The interactions of the NDIS with other service systems will reinforce the obligations of other service delivery systems to improve the lives of people with disability, in line with the National Disability Strategy. To view this document go to:

NDIS Appeals service

AMIDA now offers free support to anyone who would like to challenge a decision made by the NDIS. This could include someone who has been denied access to the NDIS, or any NDIS participant who is unhappy with their plan. If you’d like some postcards about the NDIS Appeals service, please send your postal address to Kathryn, the NDIS Appeals Support Advisor, at, and let her know how many you need. 

If you have any questions about the service, or would like to organize a short NDIS Appeals training session for a disability group you are in, email Kathryn at or call: 03 9650-2722. You can find more information about the service and resources to help you plan for the NDIS here:

What is a LAC?

Local Area Coordinators (LACs) are local organisations who have partnered with the NDIA to deliver the NDIS. For a majority of participants, LACs will work with you to develop your plan, implement and monitor, plus link you to community services. Find out more via

ILC National Readiness Grants

The next round of Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) National Readiness Grants is open..The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is now accepting applications for ILC National Readiness Grants (Round 2) in Activity Area OneInformation, linkages and referrals. Applications for this round will close 2pm AEST on Friday 29 September 2017. Up to $30.08 million of funding is available over 2017-18 and 2018-19 for this round. Organisations can apply for grants of up to 2 years. You can apply through the ILC Grants page on the NDIS website.

Tips, Tools & Websites

Employability Curriculum Linked to the ‘Employability DVD’

In 2017 the film ‘Employability’ was produced by Debbie-Ann Johnson, from Sale & District Specialist School, Andrea McCall-Evans from NDCO and Leanne Wishart, Rural Access, Wellington Shire. Darryl Whitaker was our cameraman and donated some of the time to help edit the film. The film would not have been possible without the grant from the Commonwealth Bank; we thank them for their generous donation. The film focusses on the eight employability skills and features a number of young people with disabilities in the workplace.

The Employability Curriculum can be downloaded from the NDCO Website PDF –

The employability DVD’s can be found as follows:

Whole Film -all eight skills     



Problem solving     

Initiative and enterprise    

Planning and organising     




New Resources Intellectual Disability 3DN

3DN has launched new practical tools and resources designed to enhance the skills of professionals and carers who support people with an intellectual disability. The new resources were officially launched on 25 July 2017 by the Hon. Tanya Davies, Minister for Mental Health at a Research to Action Day which was sponsored by NSW Health, and Ageing, Disability & Home Care, Family and Community Services. The resources that were launched included:

-       The Intellectual Disability Mental Health Core Competency Framework: A Practical Toolkit for Mental Health Professionals

-       New e-Learning modules for disability professionals, carers and mental health professionals

-       Podcasts on responsible prescribing to people with an intellectual disability for health and mental health professionals

-       A new Positive Cardio metabolic Health for People with Intellectual Disability e-Learning module aimed at health professionals

More information about intellectual disability resources can be found at 3DN’s website

In the News

University Specialist Employment Partnerships (USEP)

University Specialist Employment Partnerships (USEP) is an NDCO driven pilot project to place an employment consultant on University campuses, supporting graduates with disability to find a career.  This includes linkages with employers, assistance with disclosure of disability and negotiation of adjustments, assistance with applications, brokerage of work experience and internships as required.  It is available in a limited fashion while in trial phase. 

We welcome expressions of interest from students outside of trial locations to give us an indication of where this type of service may be in demand. To help promote USEP and promoting improvements on graduate employment for university students with disability, Sam has shared his story as a recent pharmacist graduate and his quest for work so far. Can we ask you to leverage your social media to share or support this – it is on:

Facebook: @USEPau -

YouTube: NDCO Program Channel -



NCVER have just released the data on VET enrolments for 2016 and it was good to see there is an increase in enrolments from SWDs. Students with disability increased by 1.8% to an estimated 180 400 students, representing 4.3% of total estimated students. See report here:

Reports / Research

Held back: The experiences of students with disabilities in Victorian schools Analysis paper July 2017

A Commission report into the experience of students with disabilities in Victorian schools has found that there have been significant policy developments and action but more work is required to measure and ensure real change for students.

The report details the progress made by the Department of Education and Training on the Commission’s recommendations made in its ground breaking 2012 research report Held back: the experiences of students with disabilities in Victorian schools.

This report draws on an analysis of information and engagement with the Department and other key stakeholders.

HEPPP: The Australian student equity program and institutional change: paradigm shift or business as usual?

A report by NCSEHE Equity Fellow Dr Nadine Zacharias from Deakin University examined how the HEPPP initiative had been implemented by universities and whether it had met government aspirations for achieving student equity in higher education. This Australian-first comprehensive analysis of the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) has informed recommendations for systemic change in policy and practice in student equity, which complements the current HEPPP review report, and could be a valuable contribution to the forthcoming national evaluation framework.

NCSEHE: Successful outcomes for students with disability in Australian higher education

This evidence-based resource collates NCSEHE funded research to inform policy and practice and improve outcomes for equity students in Australian higher education.   Current research outlined in this paper includes a focus on sub-groups of students with a disability, such as Indigenous students and students on the Autism Spectrum, which not only deals with issues facing these particular groups, but which reinforces the variety, range and individuality of students with a disability.

Study underlines usefulness of lecture captions for all students

A 2017 study by Curtin University in Australia examines the benefits of captioning lecture capture recordings as a mainstream learning tool, with reference to inclusive teaching practice and the fulfilment of universities’ legal responsibility to provide equal access for all students.

Barriers people with an ASD face outside of university

Universities across the board are experiencing an increase in the number of students requesting mental health support, and a similar rise is being seen in the number of students accessing support for autism spectrum conditions. Our executive director, Eileen Hopkins, considers those whose condition prevents them entering higher education.

The Brotherhood’s response to Senate Inquiry into delivery of outcomes under the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020

Enabling people with disability to participate fully in society requires investment in advocacy and in community supports, in the Brotherhood’s view. This involves more than service delivery, in order to position people as active members of local social and cultural networks. Read via: Response to Senate Inquiry into delivery of outcomes under the National Disability Strategy 2010-20:

Conferences, Workshops, Forums and Training

Amaze Online Training – Autism & Positive Behaviour Support

Access training at anytime from anywhere with Amaze flexible online autism training courses. You are able to purchase, complete and review your courses at any time with a certificate offered on completion. Also - try the Myth Busters Course FREE and have a look at the learning centre. At the same time, you will discover some of the common myths surrounding autism.

Autism: Diagnosis and History

This is a 1-hour introductory course which will provide you with an understanding of:

What autism spectrum disorder is

Understand the recent changes in the diagnostic criteria

Understand how sensory processing differences impact a person when engaged with environment

Develop an understanding of the impact of the history autism has on people and their families

Understand the diagnostic process for children, youths and adults

General Price $65 incl. GST per person

Amaze Member Price incl. $45 per person

Introduction to Positive Behaviour Support

This 1-hour course will introduce you to the concepts of:

The differences between behaviour and behaviours of concern

Understanding and applying positive behaviour support/Describing behaviour

The functions of behaviour/Recording and monitoring behaviour/ Behaviour support plans/Your legislative and ethical requirements regarding restrictive interventions

Regular price: $65 Amaze Member’s price: $45 per person

For more information about Amaze Online Training visit:

Free Webinars - Learning Differences and Dyslexia in High Schools

The Learning Difference Convention is proud to offer a series of 9 FREE webinars over 9 days.  Presentations by international experts working with the British Dyslexia Association towards international dyslexia awareness. The box set and PDFs will be available for purchase after the last webinar on the 12 September. Post NAPLAN reflection for teachers, parents and students

Dates: 4 September to 12 September 2017

To register go to:

Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference 2017      

Getting into gear for the NDIS journey will feature a keynote address and facilitated panel discussions looking back on the journey so far, how well the principles of choice and control are being embedded in NDIS policy and processes and what road blocks to avoid on the road ahead. The conference will be held at NAB – Docklands on Thursday 14th and 15th September 2017. For more information and to register:

Disability Awareness is an important part of establishing real inclusion for people with disabilities. It is the first step in overcoming any concerns or stereotypes that you may have interacting with people who have a disability. Become more informed with this FREE, self-paced introduction to disability and discover inclusive practices for the workplace and the community. Start your FREE Disability Awareness Training today:

Vision Australia’s Building Stronger Futures Program for Youth – 15-24 years

Vision Australia, in collaboration with the Empowering Youth Initiative (EYI), is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting national employment skills program for youth, Building Stronger Futures.  Over the next 18 months, the programs will be delivered in various locations across Australia. The program involves a three week face-to-face interactive skills development program, followed by job placement and problem solving assistance for six months. During this time, participants will receive:

  • Advice on career pathways and job seeking techniques
  • Cover letter and resume writing advice
  • Addressing employment issues specific to vision impairment
  • Interview skills development and coaching
  • Networking and matching your skills to an employer’s needs

If you are blind or have low vision and aged between 15 and 24 years inclusive, not currently in secondary education and are willing and motivated to gain employment then this program is for you.

Express your interest now:

Contact: Belinda Wilson


Phone: 03 8378 1223

Understanding Disability Workshops

Horsham Special School invites school staff, parents, carers, other professionals and community members to participate in workshops that focus on developing a deeper understanding of students with a disability. The free workshops will be facilitated by Principal Matt Copping and participants are welcome to attend one, some or all. These are fantastic workshops and all participants will receive a Certificate towards VIT registration. Click here for more information:

Disability Employment Australia's Annual Conference 2017

Disability Employment Australia’s Annual Conference is Australasia’s premier conference for managers, practitioners, and academics working in or with the Disability Employment Services sector. This year’s conference will be held in Brisbane on the 6th and 7th of September 2017. For more information and to registrar:

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