Reform for Outcomes Program - Quarterly Meeting Summary

The purpose of this meeting summary is to detail the outcomes of the Reform for Outcomes Program Quarterly Meeting.

This is a joint meeting between the Independent Advisory Council and Disability Representative Carer Organisations, which took place on Friday 4 August 2023.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and feedback on the progress of the Reform for Outcomes Program.

Earlier this year, the Minister for NDIS outlined a range of key reforms to deliver better outcomes for people with disability and help secure the ongoing sustainability of the NDIS.

To support the delivery of these reforms, the Australian Government is investing $724.4 million over 4 years from 2023-24 to lift the NDIA’s capability, capacity, and systems to better support participants.

The DRCOs represented at the 4 August 2023 meeting were: A4 Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, Australian Autism Alliance, Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Australia and New Zealand, Carers Australia, Children and Young People with Disability Australia, Community Mental Health Australia, Deaf Australia, Deafness Forum of Australia, Disability Advocacy Network Australia, Down Syndrome Australia, Every Australian Counts, Inclusion Australia, JFA Purple Orange, Mental Health Australia, National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA), National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum, People with Disability Australia, Physical Disability Australia, ReImagine Australia, Self Advocacy Resource Unit, and Young People in Nursing Homes Alliance

There were apologies from: Blind Citizens Australia, Brain Injury Australia, Deafblind Australia

Representatives from the IAC included: Leah van Poppel, Jennifer Cullen, Sylvana Mahmic, James Manders, Dr George Taleporos, Gavin Burner

Representatives from the NDIA included: Corri McKenzie, Alex Rosenthal, Marg Renwick, Matt Wright, Phillip Wakefield


The meeting was co-Chaired by Corri McKenzie, Jeff Smith and Leah Van Poppel. 

Ms McKenzie acknowledged the Traditional Owners of the land, paying respect to their Elders, past and present, and also paid respects to people with disability.   

Item 1. Working group progress discussion

Mr Smith provided a brief update on the progress of the working groups. Each working group have had introductory meetings, where they met each other, discussed the problem, scope of work and next steps.

The 6 initiatives and working groups are: 

  • Workforce capability
  • Better planning
  • Flexibility
  • Independent living
  • Evidence-based supports
  • Fraud.

All members were invited to provide feedback on their experiences in the first round of working group meetings.

Members spoke about the progress of their working groups, and what was working well, what wasn’t working well, and how it could be improved.

Members raised concerns around how to make sure the ideas and solutions that working groups come up with, but that may be out of scope for current co-design, are recorded and actioned so they know if these issues and potential solutions are being addressed and implemented in the NDIA.

They expressed the potential for fatigue if solutions continue to be shared with the NDIA but not recorded or implemented.

Members expressed the need to have context about the NDIA, specific to each working group.

This includes a good understanding of what is already happening across the NDIA, so members can understand what is working well or not.

Members spoke about the need to have difficult conversations to help with progress and noted that everyone should come prepared for the meetings to create a respectful environment.

Ms McKenzie let members know they are able to change the name of the working group if they feel it does not fit the description of the work needed. 

Item 2. Co-design updates

Ms Van Poppel provided further detail about the Reform for Outcomes Implementation Steering Committee, the process for the appointment of Co-Chairs, and engagement beyond working groups. 

The Implementation Steering Committee will be made up of Leah Van Poppel, IAC Principal Member, Jeff Smith, CEO DANA, Lisa Short, NDIA General Manager of Strategy, Corri McKenzie, NDIA Deputy CEO Service Design & Improvement and the Co-Chairs of each of the six working groups.

The Co-Chairs of the working groups will be chosen by working group members.

The purpose of the Implementation Steering Committee was determined as being able to identify common threads between the 6 initiatives, providing opportunities to collaborate, share knowledge and identify risks. 

Members discussed the need for ongoing representation between working groups to ensure connection between work.

They asked the NDIA to confirm how other advisory groups and co-design projects would be included and considered through the Reform for Outcomes program. 

Ms Van Poppel expressed the need of ongoing and continued participation by members in the working groups to help the solutions progress.

And reiterated the need to work in a collaborative and supportive way to make sure everyone’s views could be heard through this process. 

Members expressed a potential timeline issue as working group members have not chosen their Co-Chairs, and this may not occur before the Implementation Steering Committee.

The first meeting of the Implementation Steering Committee was agreed to be scheduled after co-Chairs of each of the working groups have been appointed.   

The next meeting is scheduled for 23 November 2023.