HomeCareersWorkforce in the Disability Sector Virtual Conference

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The Workforce in the Disability Sector Virtual Conference: Future Proofing your workforce brought together experts and leading thinkers in the sector to discuss the implications of what is happening now, expected new challenges, and how we might address them. View the presentations below to hear from disability leaders on the COVID-19 fall-out, NDIS workforce development initiatives, and digital innovation. You can learn from the experiences of people with disabilities and their views on the services they expect. 

Conference Sessions

Conference Opening

VCWF Auditorium

Welcome and NDS Workforce Overview

Presenter: David Moody, CEO, NDS

Sharing our insights into COVID influenced workforce and career planning

Presenter: Maria Madbury, Capability Consultant, HESTA

Keynote Address - What next after COVID-19?  What does the future look like for our sector?

The only thing that we can say with any certainty about life after COVID-19 is that it is unlikely to be the same as life before.  So how should we approach the future? What orthodoxies should we be discarding, and what can we draw on to devise the strategies that will see us through in future?

Sohail Inayatullah 2

Presenter: Professor Sohail Inayatullah, Futurist

A small fee is required to access this keynote presentation. $20 for NDS or NDP members and $50 for non-members. (gst exclusive).  Follow the link to register to purchase your access.

All other conference materials are accessed at no cost for all NDP and NDS members. 

Keynote Address - The new industrial landscape

The past two months have seen extraordinary change to the workplace environment and legislation, in response to unprecedented disruption.  Some initiative are intended as temporary measures, but the road ahead is not clear. What will the new normal be like, and how can we best prepare for it?

Presenter: Michael Pegg, Principal, Michael Pegg Consulting.


Workforce Environment

The Disability Royal Commission: What are its implications for our workforce? 

Presenter: Henry Newton, Senior Policy Officer, NDS / Fiona Still, State Manager, VIC-NDS.

Disability Support Workers with Disability: Why aren't we using peer workers with disability as they do in Mental Health?

Presenters: Kristie McCarthy, ILC Project Officer-Local Area Coordination / David Meere, National Manager, Talent and Attraction, Life Without Barriers/ Dianne Hardy, Disability Workforce Innovation, VIC-NDS/ Anthea Gellie, NDIS Sector Development Project, VIC-NDS.

What makes a great worker? The Customer perspective.

Presenters: Cath Mahoney & Rebecca Astell (representing the customer perspective). Faciliated by Karen Stace, State Manager, NSW-NDS.


The tensions we manage

 How do you staff efficiently and appropriately - and still create decent attractive jobs?

Presenters: Suzanne Becker, CEO, Lifestart/ Chris Christodoulou, DEO, Greenacres. Facilitated by Mike Field, NDS.

How do you empower staff to make decisions and still meet your financial targets?

Presenters: Heidi Limareff, Group Chief Executive, Can:Do Group.

How do you empower staff to make decisions and still meet your compliance targets?

Presenters: Yumi Stamet, Director, Purpose at Work.


Attracting & Retaining

Engaging young workers: What strategies make disability work more appealing for younger workers?

Presenters: Belinda Magritzer, HR Business Partner, Northcott/ Poppy Malone, Head of Community, Hireup/ Sarah Hirst, Senior presenter, Project ABLE. Facilitated by Mary Lou McPherson,NDS.

Broadening Choice and control through inclusion for people with disability from CALD backgrounds.

Presenters: Lilyana Theodossiou, Coordinator, CultureReady project, Settlement Services International / Rey Reodica, State Manager ACT-NDS.

How do we attract and retain Aboriginal workers to the disability services sector?

Presenters: John Gilroy, Associate Professor, University of Sydney/ Folau Talbot, Project Manager NSW Aboriginal Workforce University of Sydney/ Bonita Blomfiled, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Australian Unity/ Kim McRae, NPYWC Tjungu Team Manager, Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytatjara Women's Council.


Capability Building

Self-managing teams - how they deal with crisis and change. 

Presenters: Andrew Hyland, CEO, Lifestyle Solutions / Rosie Lawn,CEO,Avivo. Faciliated by Yumi Stamet, Director, Purpose at Work.

Tracking Staff Engagement

Presenters: Caroline Alcorso, Director, Purpose at Work/ Jackie Vernon, Manager HR, Rocky Bay.

Alternative approaches to Training: elearning, microcredentialing and virtual reality.

Presenters: Paul Hoon, CEO, etrainu/ Susan Burns, State Manager, NT-NDS/ Daniel Noon, Project Coordinator, NT-NDS.

Case Studies

Workforce Change Planning

A new, independent Victorian Disability Worker Commission

Presenter: Dan Stubbs, Victorian Disability Worker Commissioner

Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program, Workforce Adaptation and Opportunities for the Future

Panel discussion on provider participant, and client changes as we emerge from a national crisis event and see the way this affects workforce expectations. Presenter: Christine Macqueen, Lead Regional Coordinator for NSW/ACT, NDS.

Person-centred Emergency Preparedness Toolkit

Presenters: Michelle Moss, Business Development & Operations Manager, Queenslanders with Disability Network & Michelle Villeneuve, Associate Professor, The University of Sydney

Workforce Aboriginal Employment Pathways Initiative in WA

Presenter: Romain Pignataro, Project Lead - Workforce Aboriginal Employment Pathways, NDS

The NDS Workforce Census Story

Presenter: Mike Field, National Manager Workforce Development, Employment & Workforce Innovation, NDS

The View from the Frontline

Presenter: Natalie Lang, ASU


How we redesigned our Cert IV in Disability through content, collaboration, and technology

Presenter: Sharyn Norie, teacher Disability / Course Coordinator, Wodonga TAFE

Workforce Essentials Program

workforce essentials

Presented by: eTrainu (please note this video will open in a new tab)

VET Practitioner CPD Project

Presenters: Lauren Gill, Project Team Leader & Nick Lombardi, Project Manager, NDS

How NDS delivers learning and development services

Presenter: Chris Kane, Learning & Development Consultant, NDS

carecareers & ProjectABLE

Presenter: Mike Field, National Workforce Development, Employment & Workforce Innovation, NDS

How we adapted our training services during COVID

Presenter: Natalie Donohoe, CEO, Premium Health

Embracing Technology

What stopped Capital Region Community Services (CRCS) from moving to Teams?

Capital Region Community Services

Presenter: Maria Pavisetti, CEO, Digital Armour (please note his video will open in a new tab)

How we used ZOOM to connect with our staff and clients

Presenter: Melinda Burgess, CEO, Menzies Group

Rostering Innovation Case Study

Emprevo logo

Presented by: Emprevo (please note this video will open in a new tab)

Digital Transformation: Ideas worth spreading - Embracing IT

Presenter: Suzie Jones, CEO & Co-founder, CYNCH

Emprevo Introduction

Emprevo Introduction

Presenter: Anthony Byrne, CEO, Emprevo (please note this video will open in a new tab)

Futureproof your workforce in the post COVID-19 reality

Presenter: Colin Hoschke, Executve Chairman, Visicase

NDS Initiatives in your State & Territory

Skills Passport Project in WA

Presenter: Jacquie Daisley, Program Manager - WA Workforce, NDS

Workforce Connecting Project in VIC

Presenter: Andrew Gibbs, Disability Workforce Innovator Connector, NDS.

Project Momentum in TAS

Presenter: Malachi Cloak de Paul, Project Manager, NDS

Traineeship Program in TAS

Presenter: Alice Flockhart, Programs Manager, NDS

From School Whiteboards to NFP Boards

Presenter: Melinda Everett, Senior Sector Development Officer, NDS

Traineeship Project in SA

Presenters: Lauren Gill, Project Team Leader & Nick Lombardi, Project Manager, NDS


We gratefully acknowledge the support of our conference sponsors.

HESTA Logo Industry LockUp CMYK VDRC

Exhibitors and Supporters

Exhibitors and Supporters