Independent Advisory Council (IAC) overview

Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (the NDIS Act), the Independent Advisory Council (Advisory Council) consists of up to 12 members and a principal member (section 146).

Advisory Council members are appointed under section 147 of the NDIS Act on a part-time basis for up to three years. Members are eligible for appointment only if the Commonwealth Minister is satisfied the appointment is made to reflect the diversity of people with disability and ensure that all members are persons with the skills, experience or knowledge that will help the Advisory Council perform its function. Additionally, appointments must ensure:

  • a majority of members are people with a disability
  • at least two of the members are carers of people with disability
  • at least one of the members is a person who has the skills, experience or knowledge in relation to disability in rural or remote areas
  • at least one of the members is a person who has skills experience or knowledge in the supply of equipment, or the provision of services, to people with disability.

In consultation with all states and territories, the Commonwealth Minister appoints the principal member of the Advisory Council. Generally, all states and territories must support the appointment of other Advisory Council members.

The function of the Advisory Council is to provide the Board with independent advice, which the Board must consider when performing its duties as governing body of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (section145). The Advisory Council can provide this advice on its own initiative or at the written request of the Board about the way in which the National Disability Insurance Agency:

  • performs its functions in relation to the Scheme
  • supports the independence and social and economic participation of people with disability
  • provides reasonable and necessary supports, including early intervention supports, for participants in the Scheme launch
  • enables people with disability to exercise choice and control in the pursuit of their goals and the planning and delivery of their supports
  • facilitates the development of a nationally consistent approach to the access to, and the planning and funding of, supports for people with disability
  • promotes the provision of high-quality and innovative supports to people with disability
  • raises community awareness of the issues that affect the social and economic participation of people with disability and helps with greater community inclusion of people with disability.

In providing advice, the Advisory Council must consider the role of families, carers and other significant persons in the lives of people with disability. Advice must not relate to an individual, registration of providers of supports, corporate governance or monies paid to or received by the National Disability Insurance Agency.

In addition to the obligation for the Board to consider all advice provided by the Advisory Council, the Board must also give the Standing Council on Disability Reform a copy of the advice and a statement about what has been done, or is to be done in response to the IAC advice.

IAC members

The members of the Independent Advisory Council have extensive experience, knowledge and skills related to disability; experience and knowledge of caring for people with disability; disability in rural and remote areas; and the provision of services to people with disability. Advisory Council members were selected to reflect the diversity of people with disability and to capture the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise required to perform its important function as advisory body to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

As required by the NDIS Act, appointments are made by the Commonwealth Minister with the support of all states and territories. The term of the current Advisory Council concludes 30 June 2020 and members consist of:

  • Mr John Walsh AM (Acting Principal Member, appointed from 09 April 2019)
  • Ms Jennifer Cullen
  • Ms Sylvana Mahmic
  • Ms Janet Meagher AM
  • Ms Kerry Allan-Zinner
  • Mr Kevin Cocks AM
  • Mr Maurice Corcoran AM
  • Mrs Judy Huett
  • Mr James Manders
  • Ms Leah van Poppel
  • Ms Liz Reid
  • Ms Sue Salthouse
  • Professor Anne Kavanagh

From 1 July 2017, the Advisory Council has been supplemented by five Expert Advisers, engaged for a period of three years:

  • National Disability Services Chief Executive
  • Carers Australia CEO
  • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations CEO
  • Disability Discrimination Commissioner
  • Disabled People’s Organisations Australia Director

IAC submissions and reports

For more information on the IAC's submissions and to read their reports visit the Independent Advisory Council website

This page current as of
8 November 2019