Region 16 Newsletters

WEST VIC NEWS Summer 2018

Region 16 Pam Anderson - Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Welcome to the NDCO Summer newsletter for 2018 forcusing on Graduate opportunities and information gathered from the Australian Network on Disability.

I hope you all have a safe, happy festive season!

Kindest regards,

Pam Anderson

National Disability Coordination Officer

Western Victoria Region 16


Mobile: 0418108555

Graduate Opportunities Websites to check out:  (GO)

The purpose of GO is to provide you with comprehensive information about a wide range of graduate employment opportunities, including:

  • employers currently seeking graduates
  • graduate programs, vacation programs, cadetships and other employment programs
  • when to apply
  • how to apply
  • eligibility requirements
  • employer contact information.

If you are in your final year of study, don’t leave it until November to think about career options! Most employers recruit for their graduate programs from as early as February in the year prior to graduates taking up employment. The sooner you arm yourself with all the relevant information the better-placed you will be to land the graduate job of your dreams!

As well as our employer profiles, GO provides you with comprehensive job-hunting advice and industry profiles. It is up to you how you want to utilise the wealth of information in GO. To get the most out of it, we suggest the following “GO user tips”:

Take the time to read through the job-hunting advice and industry profile sections. You’ll find plenty of useful information – everything from interview advice to the latest statistics on graduate employment.

Browse the GO employer profiles, as well as using the career search function to sort employers by location, disciplines, work program and more.

Check out the profiles of professional associations relevant to your discipline, interests and long-term goals.

Subscribe to GO email updates.

If you are considering further study now or in the future, browse the postgraduate options section for an overview. Make sure you bookmark the GO website and visit regularly!

Grad Australia

About GradAustralia

GradAustralia was founded by three graduates from the University of Adelaide. Co-founders Jeff Duncan, Steve Butler and Geoff Adams shared a vision to launch new products that would help every university student get the best possible start to their career.

In 2015, GradAustralia was officially launched and the first edition of Australia’s Top 100 Graduate Employers guide was published. Jeff, Steve and Geoff were overwhelmed by the positive feedback from students, educators, and careers services alike, and GradAustralia has since grown to produce a range of print and online products that are used by over 500,000 students annually.

The GradAustralia team are continually testing new products and ideas to transform the way that young people make their career decisions. We always appreciate your feedback, so don’t hesitate to drop us an email at to let us know your thoughts and ideas!

Graduate Careers Australia

Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) is one of the leading authorities on graduate employment issues in Australia. We use this position, underpinned by our research and over 40 years of experience, to foster employment and career opportunities for graduates, in association with the higher education sector, government and industry. We are a respected research organisation, providing research services and consulting to CPS the Australian higher education sector, governments and commercial organisations across the world. We conduct extensive and highly regarded research into the outcomes, perceptions and experiences of higher education students and graduates in Australia. On the GCA website, you can explore the wealth of information gathered through our research activities, or start by finding out more about our broad range of surveys and detailed research reports.

Victorian Government Graduate Careers

Each year hundreds of graduates join the Victorian public sector to start new careers — you can be one of them. Graduates join us because of unparalleled opportunities. No other employer can offer the breadth of opportunities across a range of roles and industries, and across the state  — in metropolitan, rural and regional areas. Once you join us, you’ll be encouraged to experience different departments, take up temporary roles, and tap into your leadership potential. Our ongoing personal development and training programs ensures your career keeps on moving. And apart from the attractive salaries and generous benefits, you'll receive one more important perk — you get a chance to contribute real change to improving the lives of Victorians. Read more reasons why you should work for Vic. To get started, search for any advertised position or apply in advance for one of our well-regarded graduate programs.

Graduate programs

Our graduate programs provide all the structured support you need for a new career in the Victorian public sector. You'll join a network of like-minded people and have access to professionals for ongoing mentoring and guidance. Some of the public sector’s brightest stars are alumni of our graduate programs. All graduate programs are listed below. Please note that applications are only open during specific times of the year.

Graduate Recruitment and Development Scheme (GRADS)

GRADS is a 12-month development program with three rotations in major departments and agencies. When you successfully complete this program, you’re guaranteed a job and a promotion. For more information, see the GRADS page.

Aboriginal Pathway to the Graduate Recruitment and Development Scheme

The Aboriginal Pathway is part of the 12-month Graduate Recruitment and Development Scheme (GRADS) described above. This pathway includes cultural sensitivity, pastoral care and strong indigenous networking. For more information, see the GRADS page.

Science Graduate Program

This is a two-year training and development program with three rotations for recent graduates of science, natural resource management, agriculture, ecology, conservation, planning and related fields. This program is jointly offered by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.


Professional Services Graduate Program

This 12-month program has rotations through Victoria's justice system. After successfully completing the program, you'll get an ongoing role in a justice related business unit. This program is offered by the Department of Justice and Regulation.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Koori) Graduate Scheme

This 12-month program is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have completed their degree or are in the final year of studies. Opportunities include working on initiatives to connect and communicate with indigenous communities. This program is offered by the Department of Justice and Regulation.  

VicRoads Graduate Program

The VicRoads Graduate Program is an 18-month program offering three 6-monthly rotations across different business areas. You''ll receive professional development, executive mentoring, relocation assistance, and opportunities to travel and work overseas. The program is offered by the VicRoads

Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) Graduate Program

The VMIA Graduate Program is a 16-month program with four rotations within an insurance and risk management organisation. The program features professional development, mentoring, work-life balance options, and generous pay and leave. This program is offered by VMIA.

Victorian Auditor-General's Office (VAGO) Graduate Program

The VAGO Graduate program is a structured 12-month learning and development program which leads to an ongoing full time position. Financial audit graduates will also get help joining professional accountancy bodies such as ICAA or CPA. This program is offered by VAGO.

Information Technology Graduate Program

The Information Technology Program is a 12-month program leading to an ongoing full time position. You'll be involved in ICT support, advice and project work across state-wide operations. This program is offered by the Department of Justice and Regulation.

Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) Graduate program

The LXRA Graduate program is a two-year program offering graduates hands-on experience on one of the most high profile infrastructure projects in Melbourne’s history. Graduates will be exposed to industry experts, formal training sessions and support from a professional mentor. This program is offered by the Level Crossing Removal Authority.

Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA) Graduate Program

The MMRA Graduate program is a two-year program including an 18-month structured learning and development program including multiple rotations, graduate learning services, understanding the network program and a career planning program. This program is offered by the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority.

Cenitex Future Leaders Graduate Program

This 12-month program offers development opportunities across a range of areas and includes work on major ITC projects and mentoring from Cenitex leaders. You'll work on real-world ITC projects that support the State Government’s commitment to a digital Victoria and better outcomes for the community. This program is offered by Cenitex.

Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office (VGSO) Graduate Lawyer program

The VGSO Graduate Lawyer Program is a 12-month program including three-month rotations across four of the five Branches of VGSO. Graduates will have access to continuing professional education, attend courts and tribunals, become involved in major commercial agreements and gain practical involvement with specialised areas of law. This program is offered by the Victorian Governments Solicitor’s Office.

Annual National Conference – Australian Network on Disability

Held annually, Australian Network on Disability's (AND) Annual National Conference provides a unique opportunity for changemakers and those responsible for creating access and inclusion for people with disability as employees, customers and stakeholders. It is also a wonderful opportunity for Disability Champions to be inspired by cutting-edge developments nationally and internationally, which are making progress on employment of people with disability. Come together to learn and share knowledge about inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of business.

2019 Conference

Our last conference was a sell-out, so we suggest getting involved early for our 2019 Conference, which will be held at the RACV City Club in the heart of Melbourne on Tuesday 14 May. 

Take a look at the takeaways from our 2018 conference to gain insights into the calibre of speakers, expertise and ideas you can expect from this high-impact event.

Subscribe to our newsletter for more conference announcements in the coming months or contact us to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

Australian Network on Disability - Event Accessibility Checklist

When organising an event, whether it’s a board meeting, an annual conference, or the team Christmas party, there are a few small considerations to make to ensure it can be enjoyed by everybody.

The information below is an overview of considerations that should be made to accommodate people with disability. It is by no means exhaustive, but is a good place to start when planning your event. Always remember to ask each attendee about their unique requirements; never assume.

Choosing a venue

  • Ensure entrances, lifts, ramps and corridor widths comply with Australian Standards.
  • Ensure automatic doors at entrance are available and functioning.
  • Ensure accessible bathrooms are available. Check that the bathrooms are functioning, clear of clutter, and can be easily accessed.
  • Choose a venue that can be easily accessed by public transport.
  • Make sure your venue understands the laws surrounding service animals in Australia.
  • Check that the acoustics of the venue are adequate, and that noise from external sources (traffic, crowds, other events, etc.) do not interfere.


  • Ask attendees to advise of any accessibility requirements when registering so that these adjustments are managed as a part of the event. Outline the accessibility features of the venue you have chosen.
  • Ensure digital invitations are accessible. If you're fairly new to accessibility, check out our beginner's guide to accessible content
  • Ensure guests and participants can register for the event in a range of ways, including by phone, email or online. If using an online form or third party booking service, make sure it is accessible.
  • Provide information about accessing the venue, including accessible parking, general parking, public transport, and venue drop-off points.
  • For ticketed events, Companion cards and similar services should be honoured.

Marketing and communications

  • Written material should be available in alternative formats, as required, before and after the event (e.g. braille, large print, audio, electronic).
  • Signage, presentations and written material should have sufficient contrast levels.
  • Make written material available in plain English/Easy English alternatives.
  • Always use inclusive, person-first language


  • Ensure your event venue is accessible. Is there level access? Is there braille signage? Are there sufficient Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSIs)?
  • Wayfinding materials should be simple and easy to read (clear directions, appropriate signage).
  • The emcee or event organiser should provide a verbal explanation of the layout of the venue at the start of the event. This should include the layout of the room and directions to toilets, meal areas, breakout rooms and fire exits.

Room arrangement

  • Book Auslan interpreters as needed, and reserve seats in front to enable a clear view for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Provide sufficient space between tables for wheelchair access.
  • Ensure table height is accessible to wheelchair users and people of short stature. This includes refreshment tables and buffets.
  • For standing events, provide some chairs for people who may experience fatigue
  • Venue should be clear of obstacles, and trip hazards such as cables should be removed or taped down.
  • Provide guests with access to a separate, quiet area to allow them to take a break, if needed.

Audio visuals

  • Avoid strobe lighting or flashing lights.
  • Provide a wheelchair ramp to the stage (if required) and ensure it complies with Australian Standards.
  • Provide adjustable height microphones, or lapel microphones if required.
  • Ensure a hearing loop is available.
  • Provide space for Auslan interpreters (if required). Ensure interpreters are positioned in a well-lit area and clearly visible to the audience.
  • Provide live captioning (available through Ai-Media). This involves having an adequate internet connection available for attendees to connect to through their personal devices, as well as a phone line to connect the captioners.
  • Venue should be evenly lit throughout.


  • All videos must be captioned.
  • Videos should be audio described where appropriate. If they cannot be audio described, the presenter should supply any visual information that a person with low vision may not be able to access.
  • Presenters should describe any visual information in their presentations.


  • Provide a variety of meal options and include items that are easy to eat. Include foods that do not require utensils or intricacy.
  • Ensure catering staff are briefed and available to assist attendees with serving items where required.
  • Ensure special meals (e.g. vegetarian, gluten free, etc.) are clearly labelled and easily accessible.

Everyone has a role to play to ensure inclusion of people with disability. Our new eLearning courses assist managers and whole workforces to understand and contribute to access and inclusion in the workplace every day. 

A beginner’s guide to accessible content – Australian Network on Disability

If you communicate with people, you need to know about web accessibility. It’ll help you write more compelling emails, create easier-to-read documents and improve your search rankings online.  These days, the basic principles of accessibility are easy to understand and apply. With a few simple changes, everyone in your audience will benefit.

Practical tips anyone can use

You don’t need to know the ins and outs of technical accessibility, but you do want to make sure your communications can be easily read and understood by everyone. To that end, we’ve put together some simple, practical tips you can apply day to day to make your content more inclusive.

Use meaningful links

It can be annoying for anyone reading a document or webpage to come across an ambiguous link, such as “read more” or “click here”. By following the link, you have no idea where exactly you’ll end up. You might get a reasonable idea of the destination by reading the surrounding text, but wouldn’t it be easier if you just had to look at the link text to know where you’re going?

Ambiguous links can be even more frustrating for people who are blind or have low vision and rely on screen reader software to access content. It can be helpful for a screen reader user to jump from link to link to decide where they want to go next, but this exercise is pointless if all they hear is: “click here”, “read more”, “click here”, “further information”.

Imagine not being able to quickly scan a page of content to find the information you need. 

Tips for writing link text:

  • Concisely describe the link’s target – where it will take the reader.
  • Make sure the link makes sense when read out of context.
  • Front-load with the most important words, e.g. instead of “Learn more about barriers to inclusion in the workplace,” you could simply use, “Barriers to inclusion in the workplace.”
  • If the link’s purpose is a download, include details about the type and size of what will be downloaded, e.g. “Australian Network on Disability 2017 Annual Report (PDF, 7MB).”

Provide image descriptions

Image descriptions, otherwise known as alternative text or alt text, benefit those who can’t see or can’t see well, as well as those with cognitive or learning disabilities. Alt text is picked up by screen reader software and read aloud to the user. If a screen reader comes across an image on a web page or within a document that doesn’t have alt text, the person using the screen reader may feel like they’ve missed out on information.

Imagine how much information, entertainment and understanding you’d miss out on if you couldn’t see pictures.

Tips for writing image descriptions:

  • The description should accurately reflect the content or function of the image.
  • Be succinct.
  • If the image contains text, replicate that text in the description.
  • If the image has been used as a link, describe the link destination in the description.
  • If the image serves a purely decorative purpose, it could be described as “decorative” or have a null alt (a null alt looks like this in HTML: “”, which is a cue for screen readers and other assistive technologies to ignore it). Which method you use depends on the platform you’re using.

Alt text can be added easily within most platforms. For example, in newer versions of Microsoft you can simply right-click the inserted image, “Edit Alt Text” and add a description. In your website’s content management system there’s likely to be an image description field.

Use ‘true’ headings

We use headings all the time. They help us section blocks of content into smaller, more digestible chunks. Meaningful headings make content easier to read and navigate. For example, many of us will skim over all the headings in a document or web page to get a quick picture of what it’s about and where we should focus our attention. But what if the reader can’t see the headings?

People who are blind or have low vision may rely on screen reader software to read content out to them. In this case, if the person who created the document or web page has used only visual cues to identify headings – for example, made them bigger, bolder and a different colour – the headings will be read in the same way as the rest of the content. Without this structure, it’s difficult for the reader to get a quick overview of the content or be able to jump to the parts that interest them.

Imagine how difficult it would be to read a 200-page document without any headings. Imagine how frustrating it would be to find specific information within that document.

‘True’ headings are structural elements you can use to identify heading hierarchy from the back-end. The most important heading is level 1 (or H1), followed by H2, then H3, and so on. For example, the heading hierarchy in this article looks like this:

  • H1: You need to know about web accessibility
    • H2: Practical tips anyone can use
      • H3: Use meaningful links
      • H3: Provide image descriptions
      • H3: Use ‘true’ headings
      • H3: Use transcripts and captions for videos
      • H3: Makes it as easy as possible for the reader
    • H2: A note on web accessibility standards and obligations
    • H2: Further support to drive accessibility in your workplace

Even though you can’t see the hierarchy when looking at the content, a screen reader can pick it up and announce the heading level to the reader. It will say, “Heading level one: You need to know about accessibility,” “Heading level two: Introduction to accessibility video,” and so on. This gives the screen reader user a clearer picture of the content as a whole and enables them to skip to the sections they want to read. ‘True’ headings can be found in the “Home” ribbon of Microsoft Word, the “Format Text” ribbon in Microsoft Outlook, the editing section of your website’s content management system, or the structure tree within a PDF authoring tool.  

Use transcripts and captions for videos

More than ever before, videos are being used to communicate with both internal and external audiences. So, it’s important to know how to make them accessible to everyone. This largely comes down to two areas: captions and transcripts.

Imagine watching your favourite movie without being able to see it or hear it. 

Captions are an equivalent, synchronised, textual version of what is spoken throughout the video. Closed captions can be turned on or off, whereas open captions are always visible. They benefit people who can’t hear or hear well. They’re also useful to people who have a different native language, and those who can’t have the volume on or too loud, such as parents of sleeping babies and commuters.

Transcripts are important for those who can’t or don’t want to access the audio or video. It’s a textual version of what is said during the video, but may also include descriptions, explanations or comments. An example transcript (text description) can be found accompanying Australian Network on Disability’s Access and Inclusion is Good for Business video.

Make it as easy as possible for the reader

Accessibility techniques are designed specifically to improve access for people with disability. However, they often have far-reaching benefits related to general readability, comprehension and findability. Here are some additional tips to make it as easy as possible for every reader to enjoy your communications.

Tips for readability:

  • Use clear, simple, inclusive language that is appropriate for your intended audience
  • Left-align text to avoid uneven spacing between letters and words.
  • Use sans serif fonts, such as Arial or Verdana.
  • Use real text, not images of text.
  • Expand acronyms on first use and wherever else is reasonable.
  • Use ‘true’ lists (same concept as discussed in “Use ‘true’ headings).
  • Avoid excessive use of bold, capitals, italics and underlines.
  • Avoid very small font sizes.
  • Links should be underlined and in a colour that stands out.
  • Ensure good colour contrast between text and its background (a number of free tools are available to test this, such as Vision Australia’s Colour Contrast Analyser).
  • Avoid using colour alone to convey information. 

A note on web accessibility standards and obligations

The current and complete global standard for web content accessibility is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1, commonly referred to as WCAG 2.1. This technical standard is most useful to web developers and those involved in the maintenance of online content. WCAG was developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the W3C in pursuit of a web that is accessible to people of all abilities. Watch their video, which introduces web accessibility.

The Australian Human Rights Commission endorses the application of WCAG in an Australian context in its World Wide Web Access: Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes

Web teams, and anyone with permission to upload content to your organisation's website, should be familiar with and responsible for applying the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Where extra technical support is needed, there are many specialist accessibility consultancies in Australia that can provide expert advice. 

Media stereotyping people with intellectual disability

Often, a person with intellectual disability is treated as either ‘heroic’ or ‘tragic’ in the media. By maintaining these stereotypes, we maintain the assumptions and prejudices that go with them. How can we tell stories that truly promote inclusion?

Read about media stereotyping people with intellectual disability. 

What does a diverse workforce really look like? 

Plenty of studies show that a diverse workforce leads to business gains, either in engagement, profit or efficiency, but we're still not embracing a diverse population, often one with non-visible disabilities, in large numbers. It's an untapped resource that may be costly to ignore in the future.

Read about what a diverse workforce really looks like 

Interviewing People with Disability 

The main purpose of any recruitment process is to find out whether an applicant has the skills and capability to undertake the “inherent or essential requirements” of the job. In order to ensure that potential applicants are able to make it through to the interview stage, the application must be accessible. This involves making application forms and other material available in accessible formats, an accessible website, and further information acknowledging workplace adjustments and your disability employment policy. 

Many employers may not need to modify their current interviewing practices. In some cases, an applicant may not disclose their disability at the time of application in order to avoid potential discrimination. Because of this, it is recommended that all applicants proceeding to interview, not just those who advise they have disability, are asked whether they require any adjustments or assistance to participate in the interview. 

For some people with disability, an interview may not be the best way to demonstrate their skills. Some may be nervous about interviews, particularly if they have been unemployed for some time. A person with disability may have the skills to perform the job but not interview well. In this instance, there are alternatives to consider. Adjustments may involve offering work for a contractual period, or an alternative means of assessing an applicant's suitability. This could include a work trial, or offering the applicant the opportunity to have a support person attend with them. 

Interview preparation

If a candidate shares their disability upon application, ask them what adjustments they may need for the interview. For example, a person with vision impairment may need detailed instructions and extra time to find the building. Your building and interview room need to be accessible, as do your processes. If any paper work needs to be completed during the interview, make sure they are available in alternative, accessible formats. 

Types of questions

Members of recruitment and selection panels need to be disability aware and confident. Ask the applicant the same questions that you would anyone else. Ensure the questions address the inherent requirements or job essentials.

Use behavioural interview questions that are framed around the job essentials. This allows applicants to demonstrate where they gained their skills and abilities, regardless of the context. 

For example, instead of asking “describe your call centre experience”, ask “tell me about a time where you’ve solved a problem for a difficult customer”. This will allow an applicant to demonstrate they have the skills required for a customer service role. 

What questions can I ask a person about their disability?

The only questions an employer can lawfully ask about a disability or injury relate to:

  • Any adjustments required to ensure a fair and equitable interview/selection process.
  • How the person will perform the inherent requirements of a job.
  • Any adjustments that may be required to complete the inherent requirements of the job.

Any other questions about an individual’s disability are inappropriate, including questions about:

  • How the individual acquired their disability
  • Specific details of the individual’s disability.
  • How the disability will impact ability to perform aspects of the role 

General interview etiquette

  • Don’t patronise people with disability. Treat adults as adults.
  • Don't be embarrassed if you use common expressions such as "see you later" to a person with vision impairment.
  • If you offer assistance, wait until the offer is accepted. Be prepared for your offer to be refused.
  • Use a normal tone of voice when extending a welcome. Do not raise your voice unless asked.
  • Speak directly to the person with disability, rather than through a companion, interpreter or aid if they are present.
  • Allow sufficient time for an applicant to respond to questions.
  • Never pretend to understand if you don’t. Instead, repeat what you have understood and allow the person to respond. The response will guide your communication.

Interviewing people with physical disability

  • Offer to shake hands even if they have limited hand use or wear an artificial limb. A left-hand shake is acceptable.
  • Never lean on a person's wheelchair as the chair is their personal space.

Interviewing people who are blind or have low vision

  • Allow a person with who is blind or has low vision to take your arm near the elbow to guide them rather than propel them.
  • Always identify yourself and others who may be with you.

Interviewing people who are deaf or hard of hearing

  • To gain attention, tap the person on the shoulder or wave your hand.
  • Look directly at the person.
  • For those that can read lips, face the light and keep your mouth clear when speaking.
  • Be aware of the impact of background noise for people who are hard of hearing.

Interviewing people with intellectual disability

  • Speak in a straightforward manner and check understanding.
  • Be patient and wait for the person to finish what they are saying.
  • Don’t pretend to understand the person if you don’t. Ask them to repeat what they have just said or to say it in another way (using different words, for instance). 

Disability information sharing

There is no legal obligation for an employee to disclose a disability unless it is likely to affect their performance in a role. However, you should explain your workplaces’ diversity policies to applicants. This will assure them that your organisation actively encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds, and that it has an inclusive culture.


To contact your nearest NDCO please visit the Victorian NDCO website:

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: