Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability - Independent adviser to the WA Minister for Disability Services - Keeping government informed

Retiring members - New members

Date: 10 December 2013

Samantha Jenkinson

After six highly productive years of providing much high quality information to the Minister of Disability Services, Ms Samantha Jenkinson will retire from Council at the end of the year. Sam joined the Council as a member, was appointed Deputy Chair and she served her final two years as Chairperson. Over this time Samantha has participated in and led the Council in several projects and consultative forums with the general public. She has addressed issues connected with health, education, employment, housing, transport, sport and recreation and monitored the progress and impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Western Australia’s My Way Project. Although no longer an official member of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability, Samantha’s knowledge and experience of disabilities will be used well on the many committees on which she maintains an active involvement.

Philip Badger

Mr Philip Badger is also retiring after two hectic years during which he has participated actively in all meetings and forums conducted by the Council. Philip has provided the Council members and in turn the Minister, with much valuable insight into the many challenges faced by people with intellectual and cognitive disabilities. Their retirements have meant that we had gaps to fill to ensure all aspects of disabilities are represented on Council. Two new members were carefully chosen and have been appointed to Council.

Eloise Bolam

Ms Eloise Bolam will bring to Council her experience and knowledge of being a student and teenager with special cognitive skills needs in the education system as she transitions from school to working life. A student at Sacred Heart College in Sorrento, Eloise has managed many mainstream classes as well as many hours of community and volunteer work where she says that her eyes have been opened to the needs of other people. She is currently doing her Certificate II in Hospitality outside of school. At the end of 2012, Eloise was selected as Special Olympics Athlete of the Year for her great achievements in horse riding. Eloise has since been selected by Special Olympics WA to do the Athlete’s Leadership Program for 2013-14 and a result of this program she has undertaken many public speaking roles and represented SOWA at public functions. She was also the emcee for the opening ceremony at the Special Olympics State Games at Fairbridge in October 2013. Eloise hopes that by being appointed to Council she will have opportunities to give back and to encourage others to get involved in helping people whenever possible.

Stuart Jenkinson

Mr Stuart Jenkinson has a lifetime of lived experience with a disability. He said that the support provided to him by his family has given him a positive and contemporary attitude to all people regardless of their abilities. Stuart has travelled far and wide to participate in networks within the Spina Bifida community and other conferences and events – both national and international. At People with Disabilities he has undertaken roles over the past 11 years that have allowed him to represent and articulate in various forums, the views and issues faced by people with a disability. His employment at PwD has helped him to continue to develop his network in and out of the disability sector; he has liaised with all levels of government and business. In his professional capacity he has joined various committees and advisory groups. In a personal capacity he has been a committee member and vice-president of the Spina Bifida Association of WA, where he played an important role in guiding the services and practices of the Association from the perspective of a person living with Spina Bifida.

Member re-appointments

Date: 10 December 2013

Under the Disability Services Act Members of Council are entitled to complete two terms of two years each plus, if appointed as the Chairperson a third two-year term.

Helen Dullard, Penny Fogarty and Rachel Skoss have each completed their first terms and have been re-appointed for a second two-year term.

New Chairperson

Date: 10 December 2013

Dr Rachel Skoss has been appointed Chairperson in the wake of Samantha Jenkinson’s retirement. Rachel has been serving as Deputy Chairperson in 2013.

Rachel is a passionate advocate for children with additional needs and their families. She is a mother of a child with a disability (Down syndrome). This experience together with her passion has led her to work in the field of child health research with a particular interest in areas of research to policy translation, service evaluation, and community involvement.

Rachel holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Western Australia, a doctorate in neuromuscular biomechanics. She works in applied research at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, and also has involvement in consumer participation at the institute.

Her community involvement includes representation on the Disability Health Network executive advisory group – Carer representative, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research Consumer and Community Advisory Council – Community representative (disability), Western Australian Register for Developmental Anomalies consumer reference group – Community representative and Early Childhood Intervention Association (WA branch) – Parent representative.

Rachel brings extensive knowledge of experience of family carer issues, research, policy, community and consumer participation in health and medical research, childhood and youth health, population health, and developmental health and community health.

New Deputy Chairperson

Date: 10 December 2013

The Council will elect a new Deputy Chairperson at its meeting in January 2014.

Recent Publications

Date: 10 December 2013

Significant discussions took place at the Sharing Healthy Conversations public consultation forum, concerning the importance of effective communication practices between individuals with a disability, carers and health professionals.

Employment of people with disability can be a difficult area and a number of areas of concern exist. The diversity of disability indicates the need for increased awareness of disability with business / staff, more flexibility in workplace conditions and development of specific strategies to resolve many of the barriers that exist.

Self Directed Services Report - with the Economic Audit committee report recommending changes to the delivery of human services across Western Australia and the Productivity Commission’s National Disability Care and Support Scheme being worked on across Australia, the MACD considered it timely to gather opinions on what it would mean to move to a more self-directed approach of service delivery. The Disability Services Commission was invited to respond to recommendations made in this report.