NDIS Newsletter 14 January 2021

NDIS | Latest news with a picture of Steve smiling, behind him is the beach

1800 800 110

In this edition:

  • Have your say on changes to the NDIS
  • Participant Spotlight
  • Beach Accessibility
  • Request for Tender: Participant Engagement Panel
  • Participant Spotlight

Have your say on changes to the NDIS

We recently released four consultation papers about how we plan to improve access, planning and plan flexibility, and how we support young children and their families.
We invite you to have your say on these changes to make sure the NDIS works for everyone.
The consultation papers are:

  • Access and eligibility policy for independent assessments
  • Planning policy for personalised budgets and plan flexibility
  • Supporting young children and their families early, to reach their full potential
  • Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Implementation Reset- Project Consultation Report

Visit the Have your say page on the NDIS website to find more information, copies of the papers (including Easy Read versions).

There are a number of ways you can give feedback:

Feedback closes at 10.00am ADST Tuesday 23 February 2021.


A message for Carers from Kelly Armstrong, Metro Access Project Officer, City of Port Phillip

A short message to update you and inform as we approach the end of this year of madness!

I encourage you all to consider the Carers Victoria survey for Support Group facilitators in anticipation of establishing a community of practice in 2021.

Also, I can now share that my role has been extended at Council for a further 12 months. A component of my work plan is continuing to support Council in its’ response to the Carer Recognition Act. One of the actions of this year has been to create the Carer Information Hub webpage on Council’s website. Please let me know if you have any feedback to consider on improving this page.

Best wishes for a peaceful and joyous festive season to you personally and to all in your networks.


I work Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

Metro Access Project Officer Community Building and Inclusion
0421 583 773
St Kilda Town Hall | 99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda, Victoria 3182

Inner South

December 14, 2020

Healthy Money Mindset
Offering Carers the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge to improve their relationship with money and feel more in control of their finances.

Are you a carer with financial stressors?
Is your income reduced due your caring role?
Do you want help with your finances?

Alfred Health Carer Services and Good Shepperd Australia New Zealand are partnering to offer Carers the opportunity to be connected with a qualified Financial Capability Coach.

This innovative project will offer you the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge to improve your relationship with money and feel more in control of your finance.

Your Coach will:

•Support you to set your own goals

•Empower you to experiment with safe, small steps towards achieving your goals

•Provide feedback and a listening ear on your progress

•Focus on your strengths

•Identify and refer to specialist supports, if needed.

Your Coach won’t:

•Provide financial advice

•Provide therapeutic counselling

•Sell or recommend financial products/services.

Free of charge to eligible carers

See flyer or contact Alfred Health Carer Services on 1800 521 121 for more information.

Financial Capability – AH Carers Flyer_

Increasing choices and participation in community for people with disability.


Increasing choices and participation in community for people with disability.

The Southern Region Disability Alliance (SRDA), a local government initiative, want all people with disability to participate in community life.  Empowerment, choice and control to support peoples economic, social and cultural wellbeing.

To achieve this vision, we need to work with service providers, community organisations and the broader community.

You are invited to workshop to explore and work through the challenges and opportunities to strengthen and support participation in community life.

Who should attend

People with disability, carers, family, community service organisation, disability sector staff and volunteers within community facilities (Neighbourhood Houses and Community Learning Centres), council staff and Disability Advisory Committee members, sport and recreational providers (community, private), NDIS and LAC, disability employment services, advocacy/self-advocacy agencies for people with a disability, students studying community services.

 What to expect

During the workshop participants will have the opportunity to:

      • Learn from service providers and organisations already making positive changes in disability access
        and inclusion.
      • Meet and network with others working or volunteering in
        the community and disability sector.
      • Promote your services to others within the Greater Dandenong, City of Casey and Cardinia Shire.

 About the SRDA

The SRDA currently involves City of Greater Dandenong, Cardinia Shire, the City of Casey, has been working to support the access and inclusion of people with disabilities in community life.

Workshop Details

Date:   Tuesday 15 December 2020

Time: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Location: Online via Zoom

Register by: 9:00 am 15 December at www.trybooking.com/BNFZA

 ZOOM: Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 971 3627 0132

*If you require support to access the workshop please contact Sue Wood: swood@casey.vic.gov.au

Session Outline

Session 1: Rethinking ability

Stories and experiences from those working within the field, across the areas of employment, service provision and private enterprise.

Session 2: Rethinking the future

Explore how we can destigmatise disability both for the individual and the community.

How do we support people with disability to thrive and reach their full potential?

Session 3: Changes we can all make

Shape the work of the SRDA to strengthen and increase access to community life for the individual with the disability.

This event is supported by:

City of Casey, City of Cardinia, City of Greater of Dandenong

Choice and Medications Information Session for Carers and Families 2pm, 17 December 2020

An educational session with Christine Culhane, Clinical Pharmacist, Psychotropic Drug Advisory Service

Families and carers please bring your general questions for Christine and learn about the new Choice and Medications Leaflets Database at the Alfred. 


This promises to be a very informative session and we are grateful that Christine will share her knowledge with us.

Topic: Choice and Medications information Session for Carers and Families

Time: Dec 17, 2020 02:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/99910738014
Meeting ID: 999 1073 8014

Stigma Watch Bulletin December 2020

Welcome to the final edition of the StigmaWatch bulletin for 2020.

What a year it’s been! Between the drought and devastating bushfires affecting so many at the start of the year, and the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the entire country and sent us into a variety of lockdowns, alongside dramatic changes to the way we go about daily life, it has been a tough year for all of us.

The flow-on effects of restrictions and other COVID-19 measures have no doubt touched you and your loved ones this year. The demand for mental health support services has steadily increased throughout the year, with record numbers of people reaching out for help and to stay connected, including via the SANE Help Centre.

This demand is expected to remain for some time, making the work SANE Australia and StigmaWatch does to combat stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues more important than ever. We are confident that our work is making an impact and are hopeful that people who may have previously been hesitant to reach out for help, may do so now.

This edition, we celebrate the launches of both the National Stigma Report Card, that presents the findings from the Our Turn to Speak survey, and the new Life After Bushfires digital resource. We also chat with one of our SANE Peer Ambassadors, Jenni about her experience with stigma.

The SANE Australia StigmaWatch team wishes you all a safe, joyful holiday season and look forward to a less challenging 2021.

National Stigma Report Card

living with ocd covid

The National Stigma Report Card findings are in, and they show that people living with complex mental health issues experience high rates of stigma and discrimination in many important areas of their lives.

Almost 2,000 people shared their experiences as part of the study, led by SANE Australia’s Anne Deveson Research Centre in partnership with the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne, with the support of the Paul Ramsay Foundation.

The top five areas of life that survey participants said were most affected by stigma and discrimination in the previous 12 months were relationships, employment, healthcare, social media and mental healthcare. 

This world-leading research was launched during Mental Health Week 2020, via a webinar emceed by Natasha Mitchell – multi-award winning ABC journalist, podcaster, documentary maker and the founding presenter and producer of All in the Mind.

The webinar featured the wisdom and insights of people with lived experience, details of the findings, and recommendations about how the research can be used to create meaningful change. You can watch a recording of the launch online.

The comprehensive research report, the report summary and the Recommendations for action are available on the website, alongside reflections from real people with real stories of stigma and discrimination. The website also features the online data explorer, an interactive tool where you can compare survey results from different life domains, mental health issues and demographics.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this vital study. SANE Australia is committed to honouring everyone’s participation by using the National Stigma Report Card to drive meaningful, systematic change that sees people affected by complex mental health issues being supported and included as equal members of our community. 

The reality of stigma surrounding mental health issues – Q&A with Jenni


Jenni is a creative, positive person who believes that “the glass is always half full.” She enjoys sharing her mental health journey with professionals, carers, the general public and with others who have a lived experience of mental health issues.

Jenni is a SANE Australia Peer Ambassador. She has lived with a diagnosis of schizo-affective disorder for over 20 years. Schizo-affective disorder is a mental health condition marked by a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression or mania.

In this Q&A guest blog, Jenni shares some of her experiences about the everyday impact of stigma surrounding mental health issues and why she feels so strongly about changing attitudes and educating others about complex mental health issues.

Read the entire blog here.

Life After Bushfires: A new digital mental health resource from SANE

Mindframe language guide

SANE Australia is proud to launch a new digital mental health resource, Life After Bushfires, designed to help people who have been impacted by bushfires focus on their mental health as part of their bushfire recovery.

SANE Australia CEO Jack Heath says in the immediate aftermath of traumatic events like the recent bushfires, primary needs such as housing and physical health are an immediate priority and mental health can often be overlooked.

“The mental health impacts of traumatic events like the bushfire crisis can be huge, and long lasting. For people with a history of trauma or a complex mental health issue, this is particularly important. These people can be incredibly resilient in times of crisis, and often step in to help others in need, but after the worst is over, the delayed impact on them can be significant,” said Mr Heath.

“Recovery is a process, a long process that is not linear. As people continue to repair and rebuild after the traumatic Black Summer bushfires, the time is right to invest in mental health and wellbeing, particularly for those living with a complex mental health diagnosis such as schizophrenia, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).”

Life After Bushfires includes real stories from people affected by both complex mental health issues and the fires and provides information, tailored support services and connection through online peer-to-peer Forums.

Go to our Life After Bushfires page to find tips on trauma recovery, self-care, connecting with others and seeking help.

New guidelines for reporting on  mental illness, violence and crime.

The way in which the media reports cases where severe mental illness is linked to violence can be incredibly stigmatising, and it is important that such stories are covered in a safe and responsible manner.

Mindframe has recently added to the suite of evidence-informed guides for media with the introduction of the Mindframe guidelines on media reporting of severe mental illness in the context of violence and crime.  These guidelines aim to encourage best practice media standards in order to reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking.

The new guidelines form part of a PhD project, supported by graduate research scholarships from National Health and Medical Research Council (MHMRC) and Australian Rotary Health to Anna Ross (Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne).

To view and learn more about the Mindframe guidelines on media reporting of severe mental illness in the context of violence and crime, please visit the Mindframe website.

SANE Australia end of year appeal

2020 has undoubtedly been a challenging year for all Australians, even more so for those affected by complex mental health issues.

In a time when uncertainty is rife, and our basic pleasures have taken a backseat to cope with the COVID-19 health crisis, the SANE Help Centre has seen demand for support increase by over fifty percent.

As we reflect on the dramatic changes to our lives this year, we hope that you will consider a donation in support of the Help Centre. All donations, no matter the size, make an enormous difference. Click the button below should you wish to contribute.

SANE Australia is a registered charity, making a real difference in the lives of the four million Australians affected by complex mental health issues through support, research and advocacy. All donations $2 and over are tax deductible

StigmaWatch on Twitter

Follow SANE Australia on Twitter where we use the hashtag #stigmawatch to share StigmaWatch news and information. We love hearing your thoughts on all matters to do with media coverage of mental ill-health and suicide.

Creative Control inspired by the International Day for People with Disability 2020


Creative Control presents a digital showcase of work by artists, writers and creatives with disability, inspired by the International Day for People with Disability 2020 theme, seeing the ability in disability.

Creative Control features a series of events and experiences including a virtual exhibition, panel discussion, workshops and film showcase across seven days from 3-10 December 2020.

View the full program below.


International Day of People with Disability Thursday 3 December 2020

International Day of People with Disability

Celebrate International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) with us on 3 December.

IDPwD aims to increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. It’s a day to celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability.

This year’s theme for International Day of People with Disability is about creating conversations to challenge common perceptions of disability and help create a more inclusive Australia.

We can work together to see all abilities and create an inclusive Australia.

Ahead of the day, check out our website where you can find a poster to display at home, your workplace or within your community.

More information is available on the official IDPwD website including an event calendar and event planning kit.