Australia’s Disability Strategy Advisory Council

Australia’s Disability Strategy Advisory Council (the Advisory Council) was established in December 2021 when Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 (ADS) was launched.

All members of the Advisory Council are people with disability.

The Advisory Council’s role and work

The Advisory Council’s role is to advise Australian governments and disability ministers on the implementation of ADS. It is responsible for reviewing and advising on progress of ADS features that aim to drive actions and improvements for people with disability, including:

  • Targeted Action Plans
  • Outcomes Framework
  • Associated Plans
  • ADS reports and reviews

The Advisory Council provides its advice to all levels of government including the Australian, state, territory and local governments. This is because all governments signed up to ADS and are involved in the implementation.

The Advisory Council has a direct connection to disability ministers, with the Council Chair to attend at least one disability ministers meeting each year.

The Advisory Council are scheduled to meet four times in 2024, with out-of-session meetings as required.

In 2023, the Advisory Council formalised the connection with other state and territory disability advisory councils and meet through a Jurisdictional Leads meeting. The Advisory Council have established a Housing Working Group that commenced at the beginning of 2024.

Advisory Council documents

As it becomes available, the Advisory Council’s work will be published on this website.

Advisory Council Terms of Reference

Advisory Council meeting Communiques

Membership

The Advisory Council is made up of 12 positions, which includes the Chair, core members, four rotating state and territory disability council representatives and two special advisers.

Members are drawn from a range of states and territories. Sub-groups of the Advisory Council are set up as required.

Advisory Council core members are all people with disability, and includes women; First Nations people; culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people; young people; and people with lived experience of rural and remote communities. Only state and territory disability council representatives and special advisers of the Advisory Council can be people without disability.

The membership provides a cross section of people with experience in similar roles and people new to an advisory role that can provide a ‘fresh voice’.

The special advisers have Australian Government experience, experience in Commonwealth and State relations and a background in disability policy. The special advisers support the Council members by advising on government relations and relevant policy.

Role

Name

Position

Organisation

Chair

Jane Spring AM

Chair

Chair

Vice President

Disability Council NSW

University of Sydney Sports Foundation

Institute of Public Administration Australia - NSW

Member

Cindy Liu

Founder and Co-Chair

Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network/s
Youth Disability CaLD Collective

Member

Seriako Stephen

Board member

First Peoples Disability Network Australia

Member

Natalie Wade

Principal Lawyer

Equality Lawyers

Tasmanian Representative

Katherine Elliston

Deputy Community Chair

Premier’s Disability Advisory Council

Australian Capital Territory Representative

Renée Heaton

Chair

ACT Disability Reference Group

Western Australia Representative

Rita Kleinfeld-Fowell

Member

WA Ministerial Advisory Council

Queensland Representative

Nigel Webb

Member

QLD Disability Advisory Council

Special adviser

Kathy Hough

Chief Executive Officer

Far North Community Services

Special adviser

Helen McDevitt

Chair

ACT Disability, Aged and Carers Advocacy Service

See the Advisory Council biographies