Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference 2017
Getting into gear for the NDIS journey

Friday 15 September @ NAB The Hall

Dean Barton-Smith

Photo of Dean Barton-Smith, AM


Dean Barton-Smith AM, has accumulated more than 30 years experience in the field of marketing and public affairs,  strategic / corporate planning and advocacy within the telecommunication, sport, government (both state and federal), retail, health care, mental health, professional association, emergency management, transport, community and disability sectors.

After gaining his  Masters in Marketing degree from Monash University, Dean served in a senior role in marketing and communication for a national telecommunications service organisation. He has also served as an Executive Officer for Australian Communication Exchange whilst being seconded in a acting CEO capacity for a New Zealand based not for profit sister organisation; CEO for the Australian Association of Practice Managers and CEO of LINK Community Transport in Victoria; CEO of Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council and  CEO of Deaf Children Australia.

Dean was Chairperson of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisation for over nine years and was closely involved in the successful campaigning for the establishment of the NDIS. He was an active member of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Independent Advisory Council providing high level policy advice to the Board and Commonwealth Government.

On Australia Day in 2013, he was honoured with the Member of Order of Australia Award (AM) for services to athletics / community and to advance sport and recreational opportunities for Deaf and hard of hearing people. Dean’s involvement in sports is extensive having represented Australia at 1990 and 1994 Commonwealth Games, the 1992 Olympic Games in his chosen event, Decathlon (Athletics).


Here’s Dean firing up the NDIS rally in Sydney in 2012.




Motor’s running and we’re ready to roll

Friday 15th September, 2017: 11:00am - 12:00pm

The strength of personal stories and grassroots campaigning on the rights of people with disability touched the general public and politicians alike. This panel will reflect on how highlighting the disparity of people with disability in living an ‘ordinary life’ shamed the nation and brought the NDIS into being. We turned the narrow dusty road into a super highway- but are we there yet?