Independent Advisory Council

Council – the voice of participants

The Independent Advisory Council (Council) represents the participants’ voice in the NDIS.

As part of the NDIS Act 2013, Council advises gives the NDIA Board on the most important issues affecting participants, carers and families. 

Learn more on the Council website .

Council members

Council members represent a wide-range of disability and advocacy sectors.

Their lived experience and expertise of disability informs Council’s advice, getting to the heart of the NDIS and reaching into the NDIA boardroom. 

Council has a Principal Member who leads its 12 General members.

The Principal Member is also a NDIA Board member.

All Council members work closely with the NDIA and other stakeholders to improve the NDIS.

As at 1 January 2022, current members are:

  • Leah Van Poppel, Principal Member
  • Kerry Allan-Zinner
  • Dr Sharon Boyce
  • Adjunct Associate Professor Jennifer Cullen
  • Dr Leighton Jay
  • Sylvana Mahmic
  • Tricia Malowney OAM 
  • James Manders
  • Sam Paior
  • Liz Reid AM
  • Dr George Taleporos 
  • Mark Tonga. 

Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Ben Gauntlett, supports Council in the role of Expert Adviser. 

Find out more about Council members .

What does Council do?

Since 2013, Council has given broad-ranging advice to the Board about the way the NDIA: 

  • delivers the NDIS  
  • helps people with disability be more independent, have jobs and social relationships 
  • supports NDIS participants, including at the early stages of life
  • lets people with disability choose and control the planning and delivery of the supports they get 
  • gives consistent access to supports, like planning and funding, to people with disability across Australia 
  • delivers high quality and innovative supports to people with disability
  • raises awareness on issues that stop people with disability getting jobs and making friends
  • raises awareness on inclusion for people with disability.

Council’s advice and recommendations help the Board understand the issues participants, carers and their families face.

This advice helps the Board consider ways the NDIA can improve the Scheme.  

Council also gives advice to other NDIA business areas to enhance and innovate projects that affect participants and the NDIS. 

You can learn more about Council’s advice on the Council website

Council’s Reference Groups 

Council established the following four reference groups to support its advice and priority work:

  • Intellectual Disability Reference Group
  • Children, Young People and Families Reference Group 
  • Home and Living Reference Group 
  • Equity and Inclusion Reference Group.

You can learn more about Reference Groups on the Council’s website .

Council meetings for 2022 

Council and its Reference Groups have regular meetings to progress its advice and priority work.

At Council meetings, the NDIA and external stakeholders may also give updates about their work and seek Council’s input.  

Council will next meet on:

  • 25 February 2022
  • 29 March 2022
  • 27 April 2022
  • 26 May 2022
  • 28 June 2022.  

After each meeting, Council releases a bulletin about what happened at the meeting.

You can read Council bulletins on the Council website .

Council’s 2021-22 Work Plan 

Council has a Work Plan that guides its annual priorities, from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022. 

The Work Plan includes: 

  • themes for advice, which aim to give solutions to the important issues affecting the NDIS and disability communities across Australia
  • important work projects, which aim to promote the work of Council and ensure its advice is implemented. 

The 2021-22 Work Plan includes work projects across five key areas, including:

  1. Formal advice
  2. Informal advice
  3. Council Reference Groups
  4. Council communications
  5. Monitoring the implementation of formal advice. 

Learn more about Council priorities via the Work Plan Information Sheet (DOCX 75KB)

You can also learn more about the Work Plan on the Council’s website .

Council’s 2020-21 Annual Report 

Council has an Annual Report that highlights its achievements, and the important advisory work it delivered from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. 

The 2020-21 Annual Report includes information about the: 

  • Council Principal Member and Deputy Chair ‘year in review’
  • formal advice Council gave the NDIA Board during 2020-21 
  • informal advice and submissions Council gave the NDIA and other government agencies during 2020-21 
  • progress Council and its Reference Groups have made to guide the NDIA on the most important issues affecting participants and their families. 

Read and download the 2020-21 Annual Report (PDF 1.65MB) or 2020-21 Annual Report - Text only (DOCX 104KB)

In line with Council’s commitment to accessibility, the Annual Report is also available in Easy Read (PDF 7.3MB) and Easy Read - Text only (DOCX 55KB) .  

You can also go to Council’s website to learn more about the Annual Report.

Get in touch with Council

Please email the Council Secretariat [email protected] if you have an enquiry about Council, its work or members. 

This page current as of
20 January 2022