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

Researchers’ Briefing Event

Date:12 September 2014

Researchers who work in all fields related to the health and wellbeing of people living with disabilities were invited to a briefing about the current and foreseeable reforms happening within the disability sector in Western Australia and nationwide.

This event was hosted by the Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability in conjunction with the Disability Services Commission and the Telethon Kids Institute on 5 August 2014 at the Institute.
Approximately 80 people attended this very successful event, including researchers from University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University and Notre Dame University together with sector organisations that have embedded researchers.

Key speakers included the Hon Helen Morton Minister for Disability Services who gave the opening address, Dr Ron Chalmers (Director General of Disability Services Commission) and Marita Walker (Manager of the NDIS Perth Hills trial site). Panellists on the Q & A panel, which was chaired by the Jonathon Carapetis Director of the Telethon Kids Institute, were Dr Ron Chalmers (DSC), Samantha Jenkinson (People with Disabilities WA), Terry Simpson (National Disability Service), Fiona Payne (Disability Health Network), Rod Astbury (WA Mental Health Service) and Justine Colyer (WA Council of Social Services). The panellists were asked to give their opinion on priorities for research based on their perspective in the disability sector.

Dr Rachel Skoss, Chair of Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability and a researcher with the Telethon Kids Institute, opened the dialogue by giving the context of the reforms that were occurring. Dr Ron Chalmers spoke of the key findings from the national disability research audit. Dr Skoss closed the session outlining a number of initiatives with potential to enhance the impact of disability research in WA.

After the event Dr Skoss said, “This conversation is continuing beyond MACD, and there seems to be enthusiasm and support for something to happen in this area.”