Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference 2019
Advocacy under pressure

Monday 2 September | NAB The Hall, 700 Bourke Street, Docklands

Defending Participants Rights -Navigating the NDIS

Where does the NDIS fitwithin the Australian legal landscape?

How does an advocate/ participant recognise and navigate avaible legal remedies?

Thisforum will explore participant rights in the NDIS context and unpack the Interface between NDIS and other areas of law including:

  • Consumer and contract laws – what are participant’s rights and remedies
  • Guardianship laws – when should a substituted decision maker be appointed? Who can authorise what?
  • Untangling the complaints process – who do you complain to, when and why
  • Is there a solution to “thin markets” what to do ?


Tuesday 3rd September, 2019: 1:30pm - 4:30pm


The Hall


Facilitated by:

Victorian Disability Advocacy Network (VicDAN),

The main aim of the network is to assist independent disability advocates and legal service providers to work effectively in supporting Victorians with disability to access the NDIS. Activities include raising awareness with the NDIS about instances where participants in the scheme may not have their voice heard and ensure they receive effective representation to work through issues. Photo of Victorian Disability Advocacy Network (VicDAN),

Session Summary


  • Trevor Carroll,  Chief Executive Officer, Disability Justice Australia Inc

Key note: Where are we now with the NDIS and where are we likely to be in 12 months?  

  • Dr Bruce Bonyhady AM – Melbourne University


Pushing the Rights Button: Bureaucracy V Human Rights in the NDIS context

This panel discusses what problems and challenges we are seeing post roll-out, and how they affect the legal rights of participants.  What can we do to ensure that the legal rights of participants are upheld? Eva Sifis, Director by Accident, member of Brain Injury Matters introduces the session.


  • Barbora Ježek, Solicitor at Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC)
  • Dr John Chesterman, Deputy Public Advocate at Office for the Public advocate
  • Lucy Adams, Lawyer at Victoria Legal Aid 


Navigating the NDIS: Access and Complaints – who fits where and why?

Where to complain, and who to complain to, is a maze that needs explaining. This panel session gives practical information that ensures the legal rights of participants are upheld. Eva Sifis, Director by Accident, member of Brain Injury Matters introduces the session.


  • Chris Cahill, Assistant Director Community & Mainstream Engagement Vic/Tas, National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
  • Fiona Sawyers, Senior Assistant Ombudsman, Strategy Branch, Commonwealth Ombudsman
  • Samantha Dooley Capacity Development Manager, Disability Service Commissioner
  • Miranda Bruyniks, Complaints Commissioner, National Disability Insurance Scheme quality & Safeguards Commission

Thank you and closing address:

  • Sam Drummond, Victoria Legal Aid