Unpacking the Royal Commission Recommendations - Briefing Series

We’re calling in the experts to break down the findings and explore what’s next, one hour at a time. Included in all fora subscriptions.

A monumental moment for many Australians, the Disability Royal Commission’s (DRC) Report is now in our hands.

Understandably, many savvy providers want to understand the key recommendations and what it might soon mean for them.
But where to start in a 12 volume, 2.5 million word report with 222 recommendations?

Start here. This series of one hour briefings calls in the experts, diving into the key findings and recommendations from those who truly know the details.
By following along this series (which we’ll keep adding to as we go), you’ll understand what the proposed changes are, how they might impact you, and how you can plan ahead.

Briefing Schedule

Disability Rights Act and National Disability Commission

with Disability Rights Lawyer, Natalie Wade

The DRC has recommended that a Disability Rights Act be introduced to translate the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) into enforceable Australian law. This could also involve a new National Disability Commission, which would have power to address non-compliance with the Act.

In this one hour webinar, prominent disability rights lawyer, Natalie Wade will bring you up to speed on:

  • The proposed Disability Rights Act and what it aims to achieve 

  • Who would need to comply under the new proposals 

  • The role of the proposed National Disability Commission

  • What all this could look like in practice

  • And of course, what you can do to prepare

Conversation hosted by Chris Coombes, DSC.

The Future of Support Coordination

with CEO of Disability Intermediaries Australia (DIA), Jess Harper

The Disability Royal Commission has amplified calls for the separation of support coordination and other supports and for a review into the quality and consistency of support coordination. We don’t need to tell you this could be a game changer!

Come along to hear from the CEO of peak body DIA, Jess Harper, as we tackle the big questions on everyone’s lips:

  • What exactly has the DRC proposed around separation of support coordination and other supports?

  • What exceptions might apply?

  • Will this impact providers delivering both plan management and support coordination?

  • What does the DRC say about the quality of support coordination and areas of specialisation needed?

  • What does all this say about the future of support coordination? 

  • And most importantly, what can support coordination providers do now to prepare?

Conversation hosted by Evie Naufal, DSC.

Royal Commission Taskforce: Where to from here?

with Group Manager, Disability Strategy and Commonwealth Disability Royal Commission Task Force, Luke Mansfield

The Disability Royal Commission Taskforce now has the mammoth job of coordinating the government’s response to the report. The Taskforce, which sits in the Department of Social Services (DSS), will be assessing how the 222 recommendations link together and making a plan to turn them into action. The good folk at DSS have accepted our invitation to provide you with an update on everything you need to know including:

  • The role of the taskforce - what is and what it isn’t 

  • What the process involves

  • Priorities and anticipated timelines

  • What service providers can expect now and in the future.

Questions for this session are strongly encouraged to be submitted via this form.

Conversation hosted by Jess Quilty, DSC.

Disability Worker Registration Scheme

with Victorian Disability Worker Commissioner, Dan Stubbs and Australian Services Union Secretary, Angus McFarland

One of the most significant recommendations for the NDIS landscape is the potential introduction of a registration scheme for all support workers. If accepted, this could mean mandatory worker registration and screening, recognition of training and professional development and portable training and leave provisions.

We will explore the critical questions of this major proposal with Angus McFarland and Dan Stubbs, unpacking:

  • What a National Disability Worker Registration Scheme would look like – and who it would apply to

  • How the voluntary scheme works in Victoria 

  • The delicate balance of registration and safety with regulation burden 

  • The benefits to participants, service providers and workers

  • What the Royal Commission has said about qualifications

  • How portable leave and training could work

  • Implications for the SCHADS award

  • And of course, what we expect from here and how to get involved

Conversation hosted by Natarsha Warren, DSC.

Commissioner’s Perspective

with Royal Commissioner, Dr Alastair McEwin AM

Few people are more equipped to talk about the bigger picture than Royal Commissioner, Alastair McEwin who spent over four years listening to people’s stories. 

In this one hour briefing, Alastair will share his invaluable learnings, insights and takeaways from his time at the Royal Commission. Exploring the pivotal question we all want to know, what needs to change to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability in Australia? 

We’ll dive into:

  • Where the NDIS and service system is doing well and where it’s letting us down

  • How we can strengthen the current approach to quality, safeguarding and regulation

  • The future of specialist or segregated settings

  • The key learnings and priorities for providers to get to work

  • The changes we can expect to see in the next 10 years as a result of the DRC

Conversation hosted by Todd Winther, DSC.

Service Provider Governance and Safeguarding

with Director of Purpose at Work, Dr Alan Hough

The Royal Commission has called for more accountable governance in NDIS services, casting a spotlight on potential gaps in safeguarding expertise. Providers need to be informed about these proposals to understand how they stack up and to prepare for the changes signaled ahead. Come along to hear from NDIS governance heavyweight Alan Hough and DSC Q&S nerd Jess Quilty on:

  • What the Royal Commission has said about NDIS provider boards and governing bodies

  • The role of governing bodies in preventing and responding to violence and abuse in their organisations 

  • Proposed new NDIS quality indicators and guidelines

  • How the right people, processes, structures and information can help create more accountable organisations

  • What providers can start to do now to prepare

Conversation hosted by Jess Quilty, DSC.

What's included?

  • Live Briefings

  • Briefing recordings

  • Any Slides / Resources


Included in all fora subscriptions

Want to get set for the year ahead? By subscribing to fora, you’ll get access to all these briefings, plus all of our eLearning modules and webinars for the next 12 months (and between you and me - if you’re coming to 4 or more of the briefings, it’s actually cheaper to subscribe!)

Briefings only

Don't want to subscribe? No problem!


Jess Harper

Jess Harper is an industry thought leader and has been at the forefront of Intermediary Policy and Design within the NDIS. Mr Harper has an extensive history of leadership, government engagement, governance, strategic enterprise development and risk management within large complex operating environments.

Dr Alan Hough

Alan Hough is a consultant, board member and academic specialising in how to govern for quality and safety. He helped create the program ‘Right on Board: Governing and Managing for Human Rights, Quality and Safeguarding’. He holds the honorary position of Adjunct Professor with the Living with Disability Research Centre of LaTrobe University.

Luke Mansfield

Luke Mansfield is the Group Manager for the Commonwealth Disability Royal Commission Taskforce and Disability Strategy Group. In this role, he is responsible for supporting the Commonwealth’s response to the Disability Royal Commission and central coordination of disability policy across the Australian government. He oversees a range of programs and policy initiatives including, including Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021 – 2031, Disability Advocacy programs, the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Program, the National Early Childhood Program, Changing Places initiative, and the Closing the Gap First Nations disability cross-cutting outcome. He is also leading the replacement of the Disability Services Act 1986, development of a National Autism Strategy, development of pre-emptive early intervention pilots for infants. Luke has over 12 years senior executive leadership experience across the Department of Social Services, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Department of Home Affairs. Luke holds an Executive Masters of Business Administration from Queensland University of Technology and a Bachelor of Business from the University of Newcastle. He is based in the ACT and is the primary carer of a person with disability.

Dr Alastair McEwin AM

Alastair McEwin AM has had a long involvement in disability and human rights policy work, encompassing roles at both domestic and international levels and across the private, government and nongovernment sectors. Born profoundly deaf, Alastair’s tertiary studies include humanities, law and business administration (MBA). Alastair’s roles have included Associate to the Honourable Justice John von Doussa of the Federal Court, management consultant with Accenture, Manager of the Australian Centre for Disability Law, CEO of People with Disability Australia, and Executive Director of Community Legal Centres New South Wales. His two statutory appointments have been as Disability Discrimination Commissioner, based at the Australian Human Rights Commission, and most recently as a Commissioner with the Disability Royal Commission. He is currently working as a consultant in disability and human rights, including with the Grattan Institute as a Senior Fellow. He is also Adjunct Professor with the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM), UNSW Business School at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). In the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, Alastair was made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to disabled people. In May 2022, he was awarded a Degree of Doctor of the University of Adelaide (honoris causa).

Angus McFarland

Angus first joined the ASU in 2010 as an organiser working on the Equal Pay campaign. In his time at the ASU he has supported members to grow their union in the community and disability sectors, and is proud of the ASU’s campaign to make the NDIS the best it can be. He recently appeared at the Disability Royal Commission advocating for the importance of a portable leave scheme for disability support workers. He is also on the DSS Workforce Industry Reference Group. Angus is proud to lead the fastest growing disability sector union in Australia.

Dan Stubbs

Dan Stubbs is the Victorian Disability Worker Commissioner and is the head of the Commission. He was appointed in October 2019. As Commissioner, Dan is responsible for regulating the conduct of all Victorian disability workers. He responds to complaints about all disability workers and has the power to ban unregistered workers from the sector for breaching the Code of Conduct. Dan has a disability; he has a sight impairment. He has an understanding of the reliance people have on disability workers and the need to ensure services are safe and high quality. Dan is passionate about the rights and entitlements of people with disability. Previously he worked in the community legal sector as a lawyer and in various leadership roles. He has also worked extensively in developing countries Where he led work on disability. Dan also has a long history of leadership in Australian systemic advocacy organisations of people with disability. Dan Stubbs has a Bachelor of Laws (hons) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), and Graduate Diplomas in Development Economics and Legal Practice. Dan is committed to advancing the rights and safety of people with disabilities. He is also more fun and interesting than this bio suggests…

Natalie Wade

Natalie Wade is a prominent disability rights lawyer and advocate. As the Founder and Principal Lawyer of Equality Lawyers, Natalie is a leader in providing premium legal advice and representation to people with disabilities and their families. In 2016, Natalie was awarded Australian Young Lawyer of the Year and South Australian Young Lawyer of the Year in recognition of her work on law reform projects that advanced the rights of people with disabilities and commitment to diversity in the legal profession. Natalie provides an authentic and professional view on disability rights issues in Australia. Natalie Wade was AFDO’s Expert Advisor on the Disability Royal Commission.

Chris Coombes

Chris entered the sector as a support worker 13 years ago. Early on, Chris was working alongside a person who was unnecessarily detained in a prison. The injustice ignited a fire in his belly for a fairer system and drove him to study social policy. Completing a masters from the London School of Economics, Chris gained a global lens to dissect disability policy in Australia. He has since supported the roll-out of the Justice Liaison programme with the NDIA, and worked as a non-legal Appeals Advocate. A side gig as an Independent Expert Reviewer gives Chris hope about a fairer system for NDIS reviews, while writing articles and training brilliant workers with DSC fills his cup. Chris’ enthusiasm and eagerness to learn from all makes him a valued team member. Chris’s other talents include hide-and-seek and making people feel good about themselves.

Evie Naufal

Evie Naufal is our Managing Director for a bunch of reasons, the most important is she is talented enough to ensure the future of DSC as a platform for passionate people. Embodying DSC's trademark short attention span, she gives a toss, is multi-skilled and over-educated. From writing code (we've asked her not to) to giving awesome presentations (she is increasingly reluctant) Evie just gets so much great stuff done. If you are seeing less of Evie these days it's because she is making the space to platform people with disability, front and centre (and back of house). We love your work Evie.

Jessica Quilty

Jess is our in-house QA geek. Although she doesn’t talk like one. Over the past 20 years she has worked in the sector across a broad range of roles from frontline to policy. Jess is a strong advocate for designing quality and safeguarding systems that work on the ground. She takes a thorough and methodical approach to interpreting complex compliance requirements and has vast experience producing documentation and systems that break down that complexity. Her diverse personal and professional experience mixed with her preference for the company of kids, creates a wonderful recipe for producing stuff that is clear, simple to use and drives organisational efficiency. Jess is valued for her flexible communication style, capacity to process map and empathise with people interacting with the service systems at different points…oh and her cooking. Jess loves to feed!

Natarsha Warren

Natarsha has clocked 20 years in the Disability sector and loves the wonderful people that cross her path. She is passionate about simplifying and streamlining practices in the workplace. As someone who thrives on creatively thinking outside the box coupled with a love to challenge people to do the same she’s found a good fit at DSC. Starting out in accommodation while studying a Bachelor of Education and Music at uni she moved into Day Programs where she launched a music program and after various roles in management is currently also General Manager of Day Services at Bayley House. On the other side of Covid, Natarsha (a Melbournian) looks forward to getting back to her favourite things – travel and trying new restaurants.

Todd Winther

Todd is a political nerd with an academic background in political leadership, party politics, and disability policy who has taught these subjects at multiple universities. He is also an NDIS Participant who has a severe form of Cerebral Palsy. Todd combines these two seemingly different interests to bring a wide variety of experiences to Team DSC. His writing has been published in academic journals, The Conversation and the ABC. He has also worked for NGOs in the Home and Living sector, working directly with other individual participants to help fill funding gaps. Todd has a deep passion for political history and sorting through electoral redistributions (He really does! Ask his wife). Todd also spends his free time reading multiple books simultaneously, following the mighty Port Adelaide Power, and assessing the plausibility of plots on too many TV teen dramas.


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