Region 16 Newsletters

West Vic News Winter 2015

Region 16 Pam Anderson - Monday, November 09, 2015

West Vic News

Winter 2015

National Disability Coordination Officer Program Region 16

 Welcome to Winter!   Breaking news……  Introduction to “The Diversity Field Officer Project (Geelong)”

The Diversity Field Officer project, a joint project by Deakin University and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), aims to test an employment engagement strategy for small to medium businesses to increase confidence to employ people with disability. AFDO is the national independent voice of people with disability, run by and for people with disability.  The pilot, which will take place in Geelong, will involve Diversity Field Officers who will work directly with small to medium businesses (from very small businesses to businesses with less than 100 employees) who are interested in developing employment opportunities for people with disability. The Diversity Field Officers will work with businesses to

  • Develop understanding of business needs and how employment of a person with a disability can add value
  • Build awareness of businesses of how to accommodate disability in the workplace and the supports that are available
  • Provide specialist advice and one to one tailored support, including review of policies and procedures, to remove and minimise barriers which impact the recruitment and ongoing employment of people with disability
  • Facilitate connections with a wide range of employment supports and resources to support businesses to become disability confident, and continue that confidence post the pilot

Geelong has been specifically chosen as the pilot site due to the changing workforce demography of the region and as the Victorian trial site for the National Disability Insurance Scheme which is principally focused on increasing social and economic participation.  To recruit local businesses, a series of business events will be held with the support of Geelong partners. Intensive one to one support will be provided to up to 50 businesses.   The project will include a full evaluation that will enable proof of concept and provide an evidence base for the scaling up of the model.  A literature review and international scoping exercise will also be undertaken to inform the model. 

The project is supported by numerous partners including Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, National Disability Insurance Agency, Worksafe Victoria and Disability Employment Australia as well as local partners including the National Disability Coordination Officer Program, Geelong Chamber of Commerce, Committee for Geelong, G21 Geelong Region Alliance and local employment service providers.

WATCH THIS SPACE!   Keep warm and stay snug this Winter!

Kind regards,

Pam Anderson

  Pam Anderson NDCO Region 16  Mobile: 0418 108 555 Email:

 REVIEW:  AFDO Launches Disability Loop Website

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) is delighted to launch the Disability Loop website at  

Disability Loop aims to give people with disability and their families information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) that is up to date, easy to find and easy to use.   Disability Loop is different to the NDIS website because it is run by and for people with disability and their families.  It also brings together information from lots of different websites, not just the NDIS.  Disability Loop is a project run by AFDO and funded by the NDIS Sector Development Fund (SDF).

The Disability Loop website is one element in the broader Disability Loop project. More elements of the project will be developed later in the year. The main things we have worked on so far this year are:


  • The Disability Loop website. AFDO has developed and and will maintain this new website to house and promote information relating to the NDIS. Disability Loop staff have developed and will distribute an accompanying email newsletter, and accompanying social media activities.
  • Gap analysis and resource development. Disability Loop project staff have been consulting widely with the Australian disability advocacy sector about the NDIS. Disability Loop will provide a comprehensive report on the information needs of people with a disability and/or their families, and develop resources to meet identified needs. This may include printed and electronic resources.

People that are currently subscribed to AFDO email communications, as well as people or groups we have consulted with already will automatically begin receiving our new email newsletter.

You can unsubscribe or change your preferences using the links at the bottom of this or any future Disability Loop emails, or by
 contacting us.

Catherine McAlpine
Senior Manager, NDIS Information Loop Project
Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
Level 2, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000
  03 9662 3324   M: 0419 530 524

Budget support for NDIS

The 2015-16 Federal Budget was released this month and it contained funding for two key NDIA projects.

One is to build a new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) computer system to support the scheme as it begins nationally.

The other is an early transition of young people in the Penrith and Blue Mountains area of New South Wales to NDIS. $143 million will be spent on a new NDIS ICT system. It will be built by the Department of Human Services (DHS). In time, the new system will support over 460,000 participants and service providers, deliver improved data to federal, state and territory governments to help them plan for the future and simplify the online experience for people with disability, their carers and providers. By working with DHS, the new system will also feel familiar to people who use other DHS ICT systems such as Centrelink and Medicare because the design and the language used will be consistent.

It will also cut administration tasks and streamline payment processes for NDIS providers because it will allow providers to join up their practice management systems with the NDIS system. This will reduce the amount of time people spend keying in information and allow immediate payments to be made.

In the longer term, the ICT system will also function as an e-marketplace, which will be a digital environment in which buyers and sellers, that is participants and providers, can directly do business. It will allow participants to find providers, do business with them and pay them online. 

The Government also announced an early transition to the NDIS for young people in the Penrith and Blue Mountains area in New South Wales. You can read more about this announcement in the Nepean Blue Mountains article below.

NDIS begins early in Nepean Blue Mountains

The NDIS will be available in the Nepean Blue Mountains area of NSW from 1 July 2015 as part of an agreed early rollout of the Scheme. The formal announcement at a service provider forum in Penrith on 19 May was a significant step towards the national rollout of the NDIS. Federal Assistant Minister for Social Services, Mitch Fifield, and NSW Minister for Disability Services, John Ajaka, signed the agreement in front of more than 150 representatives from local organisations that work with children and young people with disability.

From 1 July the NDIS will initially help children, young people, their families and carers to get ready for the Scheme through community engagement forums and assistance with access and planning.  From September, up to 2000 children and young people aged 17 years and under will gradually phase into the Scheme, receiving individualised plans.

The focus is on early intervention, which ensures children and young people with disability are able to access supports early on in life with a view to helping them attend mainstream schools, engage in community activities and participate fully in life.

While speaking at the event, NDIA CEO David Bowen highlighted the significance of the announcement for children and young people, their parents and carers because of the positive changes the NDIS will bring to their lives. 

The announcement is also significant for the many well-established community organisations that will help local families prepare for the NDIS. They will also play a vital role in assisting children and young people to achieve their goals.  Following the announcement, there was a NDIS information forum where a panel of experts, including NDIA CEO David Bowen, took questions relating to the Scheme rollout from the many local service providers.

Details regarding when people will phase into the NDIS around Australia, are being negotiated between the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments and should be known in the coming months. Existing national and state-based services and supports will continue until eligible people start their plan with the NDIS.

Growing Jobs and Small Business – Youth Employment Strategy – intensive support – transition to work

Young people who are not in education or employment and are at high risk of becoming long-term unemployed will be given pre-employment assistance to prepare them for work, an apprenticeship, a traineeship, or further education.

This may include:

  • support in overcoming barriers to working
  • access to coaching and mentoring
  • career advice
  • work experience
  • help to gain drivers’ licences (particularly in regional areas)
  • referrals to relevant support services in their local area

 For more information:

 2015 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Conference (NATSIEC)

Call for Abstracts

 VAEAI is hosting the 2015 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Conference (NATSIEC), to be held 10th - 13th November at the Pullman and Mercure Hotel, Albert Park Melbourne.   The conference draws together community leaders and educators in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education through sharing stories and experiences.

The conference theme, Identity, Culture and Learning represents the achievements made in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and what education should be about: community empowerment, local ownership, quality of life and celebrating knowledge as power.

We invite you to be part of this exciting event by submitting an abstract (proposal) to be considered for presentation at the conference in a number of formats as detailed below.  Submissions should be centred on the conference theme of Identity, Culture and Learning. We are seeking a range of abstracts from all sectors, including community organisations, government, schools, universities, TAFES and training providers to share their experiences, perspectives and insight in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.
Proposals may address questions such as: What progress has been achieved thus far? What is the role of community empowerment and local ownership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education? How can our communities shape the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education for students and their families?

 Submissions that are creative, innovative and draw inspiration from the 21 goals outlined in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy will be highly valued. 

1. Interactive Workshops: 120 minutes
2. Full Discussion Panels: 60 minutes
3. Long Discussion Papers: 40 minutes
4. Short Discussion Papers: 20 minutes or 30 minutes
5. Soapbox Presentations: 10 minutes with optional poster
All proposals must be submitted through the conference website

All submissions will undergo a blind review process by the Selection Committee, who will then advise applicants of the outcome. Abstract guidelines are detailed on the website.

 Abstract submissions close at 11.59pm, Friday 19th June.  

 Please note that the rest of the website is being developed and conference registration will open in mid June. More updates will be sent through as the conference develops.

 ACCOR Indigenous Job Ready Program

Please be advised that Accor is running another Job Ready Program due to commence on Thursday 18th June 2015. Should you have any Indigenous clients that may be interested please feel free to send through resumes.  An information session for this program will be on:

Location:  Ibis Melbourne Hotel & Apartments, iBistro Restaurant

Therry Street (Just down from Queen Victoria Markets)

Date: Thursday 4th June 2015

Time: 10.30am

I encourage you to attend with your client/s should you wish to gain further information about this program.

If you should have any questions please feel free to contact Abel Britton on the below details.

Thank you

Abel Britton

Indigenous Employment and Support Specialist 

Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia

Tel :    +61 (3) 9666 0008

Mob :  0419 891 385

15 Therry Street

Melbourne Vic  3000 |  |


 Ballarat Koorie Engagement Action Group & Local Indigenous Network –

NAIDOC Awards Celebration

Date: Saturday 18th July 2015

Time: 7:00pm – 12:00am,

Ballarat Mechanics Institute, Sturt Street, Ballarat

Further information please contact:

Anthony Lovett

Aboriginal Community Services Officer

Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Ltd

403 Main Road, Ballarat Victoria 3350

Ph:   03 4308 0781

Fax: 03 4308 0783

Refugee Week 2015 – G21 Campaign

For the second consecutive year, the G21 Refugee and Asylum Seeker Group will be coordinating a social media campaign in support of Refugee Week (14-20 June).   After the success of the 2014 campaign, we are again calling on your support to spread the word and raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers in our region.   

This year, the Refugee Council of Australia is encouraging organisations to celebrate a unified Refugee Week based around the theme ‘With courage let us all combine’.   G21 would like to support this theme by inviting you and your organisation to stand up for refugees and asylum seekers in our region, and combine our efforts through social media.

The G21 region as a whole has been incredibly supportive towards refugees and asylum seekers, with four of our five local councils signed up as Refugee Welcome Zones.  There are also a huge number of organisations, advocacy groups, and health and community services who are passionate about making a different to the lives of these brave and courageous people who have fled their countries in fear of persecution, torture or loss of life. 

We need your help to spread the word!

The #G21RefugeeWeek campaign is your opportunity to celebrate and promote the wonderful work and achievements you’re involved in.  

When creating a new tweet, or Facebook post, please include #G21RefugeeWeek so that others are able to show their support by retweeting and sharing your posts.

G21 will be leading the campaign on Monday 15th June, with a focus of promoting a number of local resources and reports that have been created to promote diversity, increase awareness and assist those committed and willing to support refugees and asylum seekers, so put a reminder in your diaries now and show your support.

For further information please contact:

Kate Smith

Project Support Worker (Tuesday,Thursday & Friday)

G21 - Geelong Region Alliance

 OFFICE: (03) 5227 4000  I FAX: (03) 5224 2594 



Volunteering with a difference:  Delta Therapy Dogs

National Volunteer Week

Delta Society has over 1000 volunteers and their special dogs making regular visits to health care facilities across Australia. Our wonderful, dedicated therapy dog teams brighten the lives of an estimated 20,000 Australians in hospitals and care facilities every week.
We are lucky to have husband and wife dynamic duo, Chris and Pauline Brandt and their 6 year old Alaskan Malamute Luca. The Brandt's take turns visiting Karinya Village in Laidley, QLD with Luca every fortnight.
Large, lovable Luca brings much joy to the lives of the residents and always brings a smile to their faces. As well as their regular volunteering, Chris and Pauline always put their hand-up for any assistance required at assessment days, community events and fundraising days.
Providing a helping paw to VCE students at Melbourne Girls College

At the start of the year, Delta Society ran a 4 week trial therapy dog program at Melbourne Girls College to assist VCE students. Claire and her 3 year old Golden Retriever, Gilbert attended the College once a week over a  four week period.

Claire and Gilbert were a huge hit and were introduced to the 220 students at Year 12 assembly and then proceeded to visit each house group.
The school with strong backing from the participating students asked Claire to continue with pet therapy for year 12 students. “The Gilbert Committee” was created from nominated students to manage Gilbert’s interaction and time with the students.
Gilbert and Claire bring a lot of joy and happiness to the girls during a very stressful time of their young lives. Principal, Karen Money says "Our VCE students work hard and are very aspirational which can create some anxiety during exam and school assessed coursework periods. Gilbert has brought a sense of calm and happiness to every girl he meets, watching their smiles and interactions with Gilbert inspires joy for all at MGC".

 SAVE THE DATE AND SPREAD THE WORD: (Disability inclusive)

 Autism Survey for Employers

Please find following the links and information for a survey with employers of adults with autism.

This survey is looking to find the benefits and costs of employing an adult with autism. It is hoped that this information will encourage future employers to hire adults with autism. Research has shown that having access to employers tends to be a little tricky, mainly for the reason of confidentiality.

For that reason, all that is asked of you and your team is,  if possible, can you please email the below message  and electronic survey link to employers you have contact with who employ at least one adult with high functioning autism and/or Asperger’s syndrome.  All the information is completely anonymous, so much so we won’t know the identity of the employers or the name of their business, if it does come through their answers by any chance, all this information will be de-identified to protect and maintain their privacy.

Join us and help improve employment opportunities for people with autism!

•We want to know some of the benefits and costs for employing adults with autism.

•We hope this information will encourage future employers to hire adults with autism.

What we ask you to do?

•We would really appreciate if you could answer the attached survey link.

•The survey takes approximately 30- 45 minutes and does not store any personal or confidential information.

By participating in this survey you are:

•Voicing your unique perspective as an employer of adults with autism.

•Providing valuable insights and information to inform future employers on the benefits and costs of employing an adult with autism.

More information

•If you have any questions or would like more information please contact Andrew Jacob on or 0439 855 904


Kind regards

Andrew Jacob

Honours Student

Curtin University

Melissa Scott
PhD Candidate | School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work
Curtin University
Tel | +61 8 9266 5164   
Mobile | 041 603 2771
Email |
Web |

News from Beyond the Bell

Beyond the Bell is gaining momentum across the Great South Coast. A regional plan and six local community action plans have also been completed, with the active involvement of over 110 people at the local level working together to implement these plans. 

These people represent a range of organisations, agencies and community groups.  In addition, a further 2000 people had a say in the development of the plans, and more and more people are getting behind the Beyond the Bell Initiative.

The Beyond the Bell vision is that:
"Our community is a leader in working together to enable our young people to succeed"
We will know we have succeeded when we have 90% or more of our young people achieving Year 12 or equivalent (Certificate III) by 2030.

Education attainment is viewed as a 'continuum from conception to adulthood'.  Improving one point of the education continuum will make little difference unless all parts are improved at the same time.  We recognise that no single person, organisation or sector, however innovative or powerful can accomplish this alone.  Instead, collectively we will strive to coordinate improvements at every stage of the continuum, from conception to adulthood.

The local action groups have identified priority areas to start their work.  These areas will be probed and investigated, relevant data collected and examined, and the people involved (with the lived experience) will be engaged to tell their stories.  Once the issue is properly understood and clearly defined, appropriate actions will be developed and implemented.  These areas include:
Early years literacy and oracy

  • Parental capacity, support, and engagement
  • Re-engagement of students(includes disengaged and out of school)
  • School attendance (absenteeism)
  • Resilience of children and young people
  • Transitions (kinder to primary school, primary school to secondary school, etc.)
  • People with a disability, carers and children/young people in 'out of home' care
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - community engagement and risk factors

You will be able to access the regional plan and all six local action plans next week at:

 Conferences, Workshops and Training

Western Victoria Careers Expo

Longerenong Events Centre, Longerenong

Date: Tuesday 23rd June 2015

Time: 9-4pm


Where to from Here Forum – Horsham

Horsham Special School

Date: Tuesday 21st July 2015

Time: 10am-2pm (Day Session)

Evening Session for Parents/Carers: 4pm-7pm

Contact Pam Anderson for further info and to register.

E: or 0418 108 555

Grassroots Democracy – The Campaign for Disabiity Rights

Launch Wednesday 1 July 2015, 12pm to 2pm

Venue: Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E), Ballarat

This display tells the story and includes photographs of leaders for the disability rights movement

Forum: Join leaders of the movement to debate the achievements of the campaign so far, and the questions for the future.  For more info see website:  or P: 1800 287 113

Passport 2 Employment Program (P2E) – Southern Grampians (Hamilton) & Warrnambool

Glenelg & Southern Grampians LLEN alongwith the newly formed Southern Grampians Transition Action Network will be delivering the P2E in Hamilton for students with disability in Term 3.  Due to the success of the program currently delivered in Portland, P2E is now available in Hamilton, Warrnambool, Portland and Horsham. Sessions will focus on topics like employability, communication, presentation and life skills. 

Commencement Dates as follows:

Hamilton:  Wednesday 29th July 2015

Warrnambool: Monday 10th August 2015

For further information or to register students for the above program please contact Pam Anderson, National Disability Coordination Officer Region 16 on or mobile 0418 108 555

Pathways with Purpose – For Students with Special Needs (Wimmera)

Commencing Thursday 23rd July 2015 – Thursday 10th September 2015

The Pathways with Purpose program aims to prepare, support and assist students for their transition period from school into further training/education and/or employment.  This program has been adapted with permission and acknowledgment from the Passport 2 Employment program currently offered in Glenelg, Warrnambool and Hamilton through the Glenelg Southern Grampians LLEN, South West LLEN and South West TAFE.  Please contact Pam Anderson, National  Disability Coordination Officer Region 16 on or mobile 0418 108 555 for more information or to register students.

SAVE THE DATE: “Time 2 Transition” Careers Forum

Geelong Cats  Community Centre, Skilled Stadium Geelong

Date: Tuesday 8th September 2015

Time: 5pm-7pm

Useful Websites

NDCO Victoria New Website

The Victorian National Disability Coordination Officer Program website has recently been u updated. The site provides a range of general information about post school support and transition options into education and employment for people with disability.  In addition to this each region contains specific information about events and services in your local area.

National Disability Clearinghouse

Australian Disability and Indigenous Peoples' Education Fund

Check out What's New at the following link:


Supports the NDIS will Fund in Relation to Education
This fact sheet provides information on what supports the NDIS will fund in relation to education and how to determine whether a support is funded by the NDIS or the school education system.

Supports the NDIS will Fund in Relation to Higher Education and Vocational Training

This fact sheet provides information on what supports the NDIS will fund in relation to higher education and vocational education and training (VET) and how to determine whether a support is funded by the NDIS or the higher education and VET system .

Supports the NDIS will Fund in Relation to Employment

This fact sheet provides information on what supports the NDIS will fund in relation to employment and how to determine whether a support is funded by the NDIS or the employment system.

Or Visit: for further information.


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.

Region 11 - Inner Northern Melbourne NDCO: Tania Perez Phone: (03) 9686 2354

Region 12 - Western Region NDCO: Gary Kerridge Email: Phone: 0439 113 364

Region 13 - Eastern Melbourne NDCO: Effie Kapsalos Email: Phone: (03) 9686 2354

Region 14 –Southern Melbourne NDCO: Sally Bailey Email: Phone: (03) 9784 0400

Region 15 - Northern Victoria NDCO: Mark Cottee Email: Phone: 02 6055 6309

Region 16 - Western Victoria NDCO: Pam Anderson Email: Phone :( 03) 5329 1531

Region 17 -Eastern Victoria and South East Melbourne NDCO: Andrea Evans McCall Email: Phone: 0418 208 039

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