Council - the voice of participants

The Independent Advisory Council (Council) was formed in 2013 to represent the participants’ voice in the NDIS. 

Its membership advise the Board of the NDIA on the most important issues affecting participants, carers and families. 

Who is Council?

Council consists 13 members, who represent a wide range of disability and advocacy sectors, bringing lived experience or expertise of disability to the table. They are the voice of the participants at the highest level. 

Current members are:

  • Mr John Walsh AM (Acting Principal Member from 9 April 2019)
  • Ms Kerry Allan-Zinner 
  • Mr Kevin Cocks AM
  • Ms Jennifer Cullen
  • Mrs Judy Huett
  • Professor Anne Kavanagh
  • Ms Sylvana Mahmic
  • Mr James Manders
  • Ms Janet Meagher AM
  • Ms Leah van Poppel
  • Ms Liz Reid
  • Ms Sue Salthouse.

Council is supported by five expert advisors from the following agencies:

  • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
  • Australian Human Rights Commission (Disability Discrimination Commissioner)
  • Carers Australia
  • Disabled People's Organisations Australia
  • National Disability Services.

Find out more about Council members and expert advisors .

What does Council do?

Council was established to provide advice to the Board about the way the 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. 

Council established three Reference Groups to help inform their advice:

  • Intellectual Disability Reference Group (IDRG)
  • Self-Management Reference Group (SMRG)
  • Contemporary & Innovative Approaches Reference Group (CIARG).

Learn more about the Reference Groups .

How can I get in contact with Council?

For all enquiries, please contact Council secretariat

For more information about Council and its work, head to .

Upcoming meeting dates

  • The Council #2: 26 - 27 May
  • The Council #3: 4 - 5 August
  • Intellectual Disability Reference Group: 2 September
  • Self-management Reference Group: 3 September
  • Contemporary & Innovative Approaches Reference Group: 4 September
  • The Council #4: 11 - 12 November
This page current as of
22 April 2020