WhatsUp in Disability Magazine July August 2021

Page 1

Disability Information Services by People with Disability Toowoomba and Southern Queensland

Volume 4, Issue 101

Subscription $20 PA

Proudly supported and printed by ToowoombaWhatsUp Region in Disability

Page 1


Highlights July / August 2021

09 10 13 14 21 27

COVID-19 Updates

SCHADS Award Shake Up

Something about Bella

Gig Economy

Business Disability Awards 2021

NDIS in Brief

Cover Page Tony Wigan Community Radio Champion Photo by a fan

Steven Paull JP (Qual) President Page 2

From the Editor’s Desk 2021 Federal Budget

Vale Eric Carle

Australia has come a long way over the last year. All Australians can be proud of the role they have played. Around the world, there are currently around 800,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day. Here in Australia, this scale of the tragedy has been avoided. Last year, the UK, French and Italian economies declined by over 8%. Canada and Japan contracted by around 5%. Australia’s economy contracted by just 2.5%. Australia now has over 74,000 more people in jobs than we had pre-COVID. This makes Australia the first advanced economy to have more people employed than pre-COVID-19. The pandemic is still far from over. There are many Australians doing it tough.

We were saddened to hear of the passing of children’s book author Eric Carle. This prolific author provided us with Hungry Caterpillars, Polar Bears, Brown Bears and Busy Spiders, and created generations of readers. His stories have provided hours of fun for our learners, clinicians and families.

The 2021 Federal Budget included a number of items to assist our sector including:

• Further tax relief for over 10 million low and middle-income earners, to reward hard work and stimulate spending through our economy.

• Investment in skills and training – including 450,000 JobTrainer places and wage subsidies to support 170,000 new apprentices and trainees.

• New medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to treat breast cancer, lung cancer, severe osteoporosis, severe asthma and chronic migraines.

• Nearly $18 billion in new funding to significantly improve the aged care system – including another 80,000 new home care packages (bringing the total to 275,000).

• Further mental health funding to provide more headspace centres, a new network of 40 Head to Health centres and more services through Medicare.

Thank you to our readers for the great feedback we have received for our special 100th edition that featured Kim Stokes and a year by year headline stories featured in WhatsUp bi-monthly editions. Here’s to the next 100 issues and our devotion in bringing stories to our readers.

Steven Paull JP (Qual) President WhatsUp in Disability

Page 3

WhatsUp I first met Tony Wigan at his café Cocos while having a cup of coffee with a client. For whatever reason we struck up a conversation and so began a friendship that has endured for over 25 years. With a voice (and a face) made for radio Tony has met some of the most talented and famous entertainers from all over the world and interviewed them for radio. His incredible memory for songs puts any computer to shame. But the thing that I find most inspiring about Tony is his love for Community Radio and his dedication in ensuring that our community continues to have a voice in a world where everything is either global or national, not local. From interviewing Mayor Paul Antonio during his Breakfast Show to promoting the Golden Years of music concerts he is a great and genuine person. My friend. Tony’s Story I first visited Toowoomba on a school excursion in 1973. We arrived from Longreach, a dry dusty country town in Western Queensland, into The Garden City shrouded in fog, and lit by greenery, massive leafy trees lining streets and bordering parks, studded by blooming flower gardens, on top of the Great Dividing Range, with a wonderfully welcoming atmosphere; immediately I was captivated. Then and there I fell in love with Toowoomba, not knowing what the future held; that I would return, set up a business, marry and raise a family. While still in Grade 12, I was given the opportunity to present The Goshow on Colour Radio 4LG, Longreach, for an hour every afternoon for a week. I remember how nervous I was; returning home at the end of the experience seven kilos lighter and having to hold my pants up! (Really?) My mother was very concerned, but it was too late, I had caught the radio bug. Four years later I returned to Toowoomba. I was transferred from Radio4LG, 4VLand 4LM in Western Queensland to host the Breakfast Program on 4WK Toowoomba - a huge score. All these radio stations were on the AM frequency, I mention this because, in 1979, while working at4WK something unexpected happened in the city; the first Community FM license in Queensland was granted to radio 4DDB FM. I clearly remember Page 4

Tony Wigan

by Tony Wigan and Steven Paull

when I first listened in and exclaimed, "WOW! What a great stereo sound!" and watched the community respond as this innovative enterprise developed. David Rapaport and his 4DDB FM team led the charge; their fledgling radio station provided great service to the community of Toowoomba and surrounding areas. In late 1980 I left radio to travel overseas for six months, through Europe, then back to Australia through Lebanon where I was born and I lived with our family until I was five years old. My holiday in Lebanon was fantastic, catching up with relatives I hadn't seen since I was a kid; also an eye-opener in a political sense as to what really goes on in the Middle East now I was old enough to have some understanding. Just before my family left for Australia, we lived in the little seaside village of Batroun where Stefan, the famous Queensland hairdresser, worked cutting hair in the local barber shop with my uncle Sam. I reckon it was because of their friendship we ended up living in Longreach because Stefan's first hairdressing salon was there. On my return to Australia, I went into the cafe business in Blackall but had a hankering to return to Toowoomba to try my luck, because I had so many innovative catering ideas I thought would work best in a larger centre. In 1984 I sold the Blackall business and set off for the green, green metropolis of Toowoomba. First came Coco's Crepes and Carvery which later became Rendezvous on Ruthven the popular main-street cafe I launched and managed for thirty years.

After moving to Toowoomba my life changed for the better; I married the Rose of Blackall, Roslyn and we have five wonderful children. But I digress. My early years in the café were so much fun; back then Toowoomba was like a big country town. One of my favourite cafe stories is of a gentleman off the land who came in and ordered a meat pie. I didn't sell pies so I sent out something from the menu, as close as possible to a pie.

A life in Community Radio On finishing his meal, he came up to the counter and said, "That was the nicest pie I've ever had. What do I ask for next time I come in?" I said, "Just ask for a lasagne' mate." He became a regular always asking for, "A 'le-zag-ne' please." I look back on those years and smile; amazed at how quickly time has passed. Now most of my children are grown and still live in Toowoomba. They often tell me how much they miss the coffee shop; remembering how they could help themselves to anything they wanted to eat or drink, but also, how they could be called upon to jump behind the counter and help their Dad any time the cafe got busy. They're the fun bits I fondly remember, in fact that's what small family businesses were all about once in this country. However, there's another invaluable spin-off; all my children can add and subtract without using a calculator because they've grown up in a bustling business environment. Today, I’m out of hospitality. I've come full circle and I’m back on radio, this time at4DDB 102.7FM the station that so amazed me back in the 1970s; though, it's a bit different now, but no unexpected weight loss this time around wishful thinking on my part. Community radio stations like 4DOB 102.7 FM continue to fill an important gap in the media mix. They offer residents the opportunity to be heard and to have their needs met: an example - the local newspaper read 'live' on air daily by volunteers for visually impaired listeners, keeping them up to date with the doings of the wider community. We also have the ethnic hour for people from France, The Netherlands, Persia and the Philippines to hear music and news in their own language. Being from another country myself, I realise the importance of this service. 4DDB 102.7 FM is now over 40 years old and I will do my very best to make sure this radio station continues to thrive into the future. There's still so much to appreciate and to say, and I plan to appreciate and say it for a long time yet.

Top to bottom: IDPwD Awards Night 2016 with L-R Peter Ford, Tony, Steven and Trevor Watts. Rendezvous on Ruthven

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 5


Community by Steven Paull

Community broadcasting in Australia emerged in the 1960s when demand was high for unique, localised content through radio. Listeners grew as did the respective radio stations and by the 1980s, nearly 50 community radio stations across the country were on the airwaves.

Community broadcasting is Australia’s largest independent media sector, a key pillar in the Australian media landscape, and recognised internationally as one of the most successful examples of grassroots media. Today 6 million Australians tune in to 450 plus not-for-profit, community-owned and operated radio services operating across the country each week. These stations provide programming that caters to the needs and interest groups of their communities and contribute to and reflect an Australia that is an open society, a strong democracy and a vibrant culture. Stations play an important role in providing a voice for communities that aren’t adequately serviced by other broadcasting sectors, including:

• Indigenous Australians • Ethnic communities • Educational services • Religious communities • People with a print disability

• Music, arts and cultural services and communities

• Youth and seniors’ communities • LGBTIQ communities Community radio promotes identities of local communities and contribute to social inclusion, media diversity and participation.

Page 6

From humble beginnings in a room at the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, now the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), 102.7 FM now operates from their building at 1 Scholefield Street in the Toowoomba CBD. “I started back in 1980 at the USQ doing a folk program,” remembered current President and Presenter Pat Menz. “We used to get the media students to do a 10-minute news bulletin for us each day.” “We really are like a family down here and we have a lot of fun too.” “I had a 79-year-old-teenager come in the other day to renew her membership.” “We’re always looking for new members and, of course new sponsors.”

Music & NEWS

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 7

Page 8

COVID-19 Updates respite care or supported employment.

Disability Provider Alert

• NDIS participants aged 16 years and over

On 4 June 2021, National Cabinet agreed to open access to COVID-19 vaccines from 8 June 2021 to:

• people with disability who have an under-

• all NDIS participants aged 16 years and over; and

• carers aged 16 years and over of NDIS participants of any age.

lying medical condition. Some states and territories will amend their eligibility based on their COVID-19 situation and vaccine supply and uptake. Please stay up to date with information from your local state department of health.

The following people with disability are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine:

• residents of disability residential accommodation settings (with two or more people with disability)

• people living with disability (such as Down Syndrome, muscular dystrophy, traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, or severe intellectual disability) and need frequent assistance with activities of daily living

• people with disability who attend centrebased services such as day programs,

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 9


SCHADS by Evie Naufal and Rob Woolley

Just in case you feel there has not been enough change in the disability sector of late, there has been yet another announcement set to rock our world. But this time, for once, it is not the NDIA that is responsible, and this one could lead to some fundamental changes to the ways that supports are organised and delivered. The Fair Work Commission is looking at making some pretty big changes to the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award (SCHADS Award). Many will know the SCHADS Award for its regulation of the wages paid to workers, but it covers much more than that, and changes to the Award can have implications for both providers and participants. What is the SCHADS Award and why is it changing? The SCHADS Award outlines the minimum wages and conditions that employees in the sector are entitled to. While the NDIA is responsible for setting maximum prices in the Price Guide, it’s the Fair Work Commission (FWC) that writes the rules for worker wages and conditions. They review these awards every four years, in consultation with unions and other employee groups. As you might have guessed, we are at the four-year mark once again. The FWC has released a comprehensive decision which proposes significant changes to the Award rate. For participants This could significantly reduce the affordability and flexibility of some supports. In particular, the requirements for a minimum two-hour shift and paying workers for all contacts made between shifts would seriously eat into participant budgets.

Page 10

These changes seem to position the Award in the middle of choice and control and participants and providers. What happens if someone only wants a one-hour shift? Will workers feel obligated to fill the other hour with busy work or other tasks that the participant might not actually want or value?

For providers Unless the NDIA finds a way to fully absorb these changes into its pricing models, this will result in increased costs for providers that are already running on fairly thin margins. It’s interesting to consider this in light of the current debate around gig economy workers in the sector who are not bound by the Award and are routinely paid below it as is. If these changes are enacted, we’d likely see more participants making use of these platforms to engage workers outside the Award, which is not exactly a win for labour rights.

If a provider decides that shifts shorter than two hours are essential to its service model it has limited choices. These changes seem to collide with some of the fundamental elements of the billing rules in the Price Guide, specifically the idea that providers are only billing for what they deliver. If there is a minimum two-hour wage payment in the Award, but the support actually delivered is under two hours, what wins out? So, there would also need to be some amendments to the Price Guide if these Award changes take effect.

For workers Under the proposed changes, there would be some scenarios where people would be restricted from working the way they prefer (for example, working one-hour shifts or more than three short shifts per day) but by and large, these would be very positive changes for workers, particularly those that work part time.

Award Shake Up SCHADS Rules to Remember Here are some of the rules in the SCHADS Award that sometimes get overlooked:

• Generally, seven days’ notice of changes to employee’s roster must be given, unless another staff member is absent due to illness or there is an emergency.

• Notice of client cancellations for home care services must be given to full or part -time employees by 5pm the day before the appointment – if the employee does not receive notice, they are entitled to payment for the minimum hours.

• Allowances

for staff working “broken shifts” are calculated according to the finishing time of the broken shift. Staff working broken shifts that span across more than 12 hours are entitled to 200% penalty rate.

• Depending on what type of shift an employee works, there are different requirements for minimum amount of rest time that must be provided between shifts.

• Where time of in lieu is agreed instead of payment for overtime, the time off must be equivalent to the overtime payment. For example, two overtime hours at 150% penalty rate means 3 hours time off in lieu.

• Twelve months continuous, satisfactory employment does not entitle employees to progression to the next pay point in their classification. Pay classifications and requires higher pay rates



The Federal Court of Australia recently clarified that staff are not entitled to automatically progress to the next pay point

by Kai Sinor

if, during the last 12 months, they have demonstrated satisfactory performance. However, certain streams of the SCAHDS Award have specific rules for what classification an employee must commence on when the start employment and how some employees progress through pay points within classification levels for different streams. For example disability services:

• staff working full-time in certain roles may be entitled to progress to a Level 2 pay point classification on completion of 12 months experience in the role.

• staff who hold certain qualifications may be entitled to commence, or be appointed, at a higher pay point classification (Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4), if they are required to undertake work relating to those qualifications. Right to request casual conversion Recent changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) give casual employees the right to ask for conversion to full or part-time employment if they have worked a regular pattern of hours over a period of at least 12 months and they could continue to work those hours without significant changes to their employment. Employers are also required to provide a copy of the “Casual Employment Information Statement” to all casual employees.

Businesses that engage employees to deliver services to NDIS participants have obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), the National Employment Standards and the National Employment Awards.

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 11

Page 12

Something about Bella Billy Drury is a devoted dad who has raised thousands for the Toowoomba Hospital through an event he held for his late daughter Bella, after she passed away from SIDS at just four weeks old. As a way to keep her memory alive, each year around her birthday, Billy hosts a party to share stories of Bella and raise funds for the Toowoomba Hospital’s Neonatal Unit. Something About Bella was held on Sunday, May 30 at Willowburn Park, with 400 people in attendance. There was a car show, skydivers, Dance Central performers, PlayStation challenges, and TOMNET volunteered to cook the barbecue with all meat donated by The Paddock Darling Downs. The goal was to raise $3500 and Mr Drury was thrilled when the final figure was tallied with $5769.13 raised. He said it made him incredibly happy that Bella’s fundraiser was a huge success and was growing. WhatsUp were able to provide access to the Park as well as opening the toilets in our Community Centre for the attendees.

Above: Billy and his ‘Pink Mate’ from Hogs Breath Below: One of the magnificent cars on show.

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 13


Gig Economy by Steven Paull and Sara Gingold

Case Against Contract Support In the last 30 days, chances are that you have had some form of contact with the “gig economy.” It’s become part of everyday life, using online platforms to enter into formal arrangements with independent contractors for the purpose of getting a job done.

This afternoon, I used the platform Uber to connect with the independent contractor Rahul to get me where I needed to be. Rahul is not employed by Uber, but in many ways, he is dependent on the platform to get work. This job was a one-off gig, and I will probably never see Rahul again. Since the formation of the NDIS, the disability sector has developed its own form of platform-based contract work. An increasing number of NDIS participants are using websites that connect them to available support workers in their area. Most of the time, these support workers are independent contractors not employed by the platform (HireUp is the only provider we are aware of that uses an employment model). The gig economy is supposed to operate on, well, “gigs,” one-off, short-term, time-limited jobs in which both sides have a level of autonomy. In such a context, a contract arrangement makes sense. However, technology has morphed and stretched definitions in ways that are challenging industrial relations all over the world. In the disability sector, for example, support work is rarely a one-off job. Usually, participants and support workers form a relationship and work together over a period of months or years. So, can a contract model really work? There is currently a Senate Select Committee on Job Security that plans to take

Page 14

a long, hard look at contract-based work in Australia. From what we have seen so far, we can safely assume that the disability sector will be a key focus. At the first hearing, two major NDIS providers were called to give evidence, joining global megacompanies like Uber, Deliveroo, and Menulog.

What has the committee heard so far? And what does it mean for the future of our sector? Critics of direct contract support and platform-based contracting identify three main issues. Risks to Participants There is a concept in employment law called “sham contracting,” which occurs when a business or individual hires somebody as a contractor although they are really operating as an employee. When it comes to online platforms operating in the disability sector, there is a problematic lack of clarity about whether support workers should be entitled to employment – and in the case of online platforms, whether it is the platform or the participant who should be considered the employer. There is a risk that in future legal proceedings, the participant using these platforms could be determined to be the worker’s employer. If this happens, participants could find themselves responsible for large sums of back pay, including contributions to superannuation and making up for any payments below award rate, as is common practice on some platforms. Many participants who use these platforms are completely unaware of any risk along these lines. The other risk to participants is that online sites that use contractors do not always take responsibility for the quality or safety of supports for either participants or workers.

one-off or short-term Most platforms are also not registered with the Quality and Safeguards Commission. Workers’ Rights Usually, when we hear a conversation about the gig economy, the focus is on workers’ rights. The Select Committee has heard that some of these platforms pay below award rate. Even beyond that, there are certain advantages for a worker of being an employee. They are entitled to award rate, rights around unfair dismissal, injury compensation, supervision, superannuation, tax payments, and sometimes regular leave. Even Playing Field for Providers According to some submissions to the Select Committee, having some workers classified as contractors when they are in fact employees creates an uneven playing field for providers. Companies that employ their workforce incur significantly higher costs and therefore need to charge a higher rate. In this way, the market incentivises providers to use a contractor model, despite the risks to participants and concerns about workers’ rights. Where is the NDIA on this? Notably absent from this conversation are the NDIA and QSC. When asked about related issues in past Senate Estimates hearings, both agencies have fundamentally shifted responsibility to the Fair Work Commission and the Fair Work Ombudsman. Naturally, from a workers’ rights perspective, Fair Work has an important role to play. But when the conversation goes beyond an employment law dispute to putting participants and the NDIS market at risk, it is difficult to see how the NDIA and QSC can avoid getting involved. It will be particularly interesting to see if the final Select Committee report calls out their conspicuous absence.

Case in favour of the Contract Model The case in favour of the contract model for support work is largely financial. From paying award rate to superannuation, employees are costly. However, a contracting model allows platforms to enjoy significant savings on overheads and obligations to their workforce, which they can pass on to participants. For participants who are trying to get the most out of a stretched plan, this can be hugely beneficial. Some workers do end up being paid a higher hourly rate than they would receive in employment. There are obligations however. Contractor vs Employee 40 years ago I was a Tax Inspector and one of my major roles was determining what was then called a Master/Servant relationship to determine whether the individual was a contractor or an employee. This was most prevalent in the Building Industry and it resulted in the Prescribed Payment System (PPS) being introduced to determine the contract or employment status and to collect taxes. It is important to distinguish between sole traders who operate their own businesses and workers who are in employment-like relationships with online platforms. A central question that the sector has to grapple with is whether the latter are employees in all but name. The line between contractor and employee has been blurred, but there are real legal differences between employees and contractors. Some of these differences are that employment work is ongoing and has regular hours and employees have little control over the work performed and cannot subcontract Here we are now all these years later and still having the same discussion.

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 15



South & Greenwattle Toowoomba

10.00 am every Saturday $20 per session 3 games Sports Registration $52 (membership) Glenda (07) 4614 1136 Kathy (07) 4630 5221 Page 16

Navigating NDIS ABC Radio Perth by Emma Wynne Thursday 27 May 2021

Lawyer Tom Monks applied for NDIS funding a year ago and said while acceptance was straightforward, getting funding for the things he needs has been a struggle. The 46-year-old lost both his legs in an accident when he was two years old. During his childhood in Albany he was cared for by the hospital system and said the treatment was great, but as an adult he has received far less support and has mostly self -funded his care. "For most of last year, due to COVID, I wasn't able to spend my money for therapies, and at this year’s review they used that against me.”

“It has taken me 3 months to get the reports to substantiate that I have no legs.” Tom Monks Lawyer and NDIS participant

A wheelchair user, Mr Monks relies on accessible taxis for transport and said he used to get a $70-a-week mobility allowance to help meet the cost. "They took that away from me, saying that my wife can take up the slack," he said. "They also took away what is a reasonable amount to fix my wheelchair." Requests for funding for physiotherapy and pain management were also knocked back. He submitted an application for a review, but said the entire process had left him feeling angry and disempowered. "It has taken me three months to get the reports to substantiate that I have no legs. It has taken me an exhaustive amount of time." He said the support he was asking for would help him to keep working full-time, support his family and contribute to society, and if he could not work he would be reliant on the JobSeeker allowance. "I'm not eligible for the disability support pension, I'm not disabled enough," he said. WhatsUp in Disability

Page 17


Autism in Girls by Andreas Deolinda

Information from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects 1 in 54 children in the United States across all ethnic groups and is four times as prevalent in boys than in girls. Various evidence now suggests that this is inaccurate, and more girls are living with ASD than people realise. ASD is characterized by social communication and social interaction difficulties, according to the DSM-5 classification system. However, research suggests that criteria for diagnosis is based on scientific evidence of autism in boys. As a result, diagnosing girls with autism usually occurs later in their development than it does for males. Due to this, many girls on the spectrum are left to go through life without the support and help they might need, unsure how to find answers to difficulties they face in their daily living. These challenges, depending on the extent and severity, can cause psychological strain for young girls as well as their families. Autism spectrum disorder is often described as a “boy” thing as there are more boys with a diagnosis than girls; this could be because the diagnostic criteria for autism is fundamentally based on research performed in boys diagnosed with autism rather than females. As a result, many girls are not diagnosed until adolescence. In many cases, girls with autism at a younger age show more capacity, in comparison to boys, to interact in social settings and they are often able to make and maintain friendships at a young age. This characteristic disadvantages girls with undiagnosed

Page 18

autism because, according to diagnostic criteria, autistic individuals lack the capacity for social interaction and communication. However, if undiagnosed, traits of autism become more evident as they reach adolescence as the need for complex social interaction capacity is heightened.

The autism diagnosis is a spectrum of different phenotypic expressions across every individual carrying the trait. It includes different types of autism, from high functioning to more severe or low functioning, types which are easier to diagnose. You can download your free copy of “What are the signs of Autism in Girls” at www.autismparentingmagazine.com

NDIS Pricing Changes 2021-2022 The National Disability Insurance Agency will soon release updated price limits that will go into effect on 1 July 2021. As in previous years, the NDIA will update the NDIS Disability Support Worker Cost Model when the Fair Work Commission annual wage review decision for 2021-22 is released later in June. This year the NDIS Disability Support Worker Cost Model will also include the Australian Taxation Office’s increase to the super guarantee percentage. (9.5% to 10%) Base price limits for core supports are determined by the application of the NDIS Disability Support Worker Cost Model, which is updated annually. Price limits impacted by the Disability Support Worker Cost Model will be updated in late June and will be effective from 1 July. NDIS will publish updated pricing documents at this time. There will be no changes to their price control structures introduced for 1 July. NDIS regularly review and make changes to their pricing arrangements to ensure a world -leading approach:

• better meet the needs of participants, their families, carers and providers

• remains affordable and in place for future generations of Australians. Other pricing updates effective 1 July are:

• The price limits for specialist disability accommodation will be indexed for the consumer price index and increase by 1.1%.

• The temporary transformation payment loading (TTP) will reduce by 1.5%, as previously announced.

• Extending the current transitional pricing

arrangements for group-based supports for 12 months.

• No other pricing changes will go into effect on 1 July 2021. To better align pricing reviews with provider business and budget cycles, it was decided last year to undertake all future Annual Pricing Reviews in the first half of each financial year. Rather than undertaking an Annual Price Review in 2020-21, the NDIA only conducted limited market and supports reviews as necessary and in response to changing economic conditions and emerging issues. NDIS are committed to ensuring the financial longevity of the Scheme and delivering the NDIS in line with the participant-focused vision set out in the 2011 Productivity Commission Report.

What is unclear, once again, is when the new Price Guide and supporting documentation for core supports linked to the DSW Cost Model will be released prior to their effective date of 1st July. The NDIA continue to disregard the significant impacts, both time and financial, that this delay will have on the Intermediary sector regarding the updating of business systems, processes and Service Agreements that price changes require. The preferred duration of NDIS plans is now 24 months. Finally, someone has calculated that the time required for planning meetings and development of 450,000 new plans each year is unachievable and not sustainable. WhatsUp in Disability continues to engage with the NDIA to understand the timing of the release of the Price Guide and convey the significant impact that ongoing delay’s have on our readers. WhatsUp in Disability

Page 19


Page 20


disABILITY Awards Productive and prosperous communities rely on all its members having the opportunity to participate in and contribute as fully as possible to their community. The 8th Business DisABILITY Awards of Australia aims to acknowledge those within our business community who are helping to achieve this aim. The Awards provides a platform to recognise businesses and individuals in the Toowoomba and Darling Downs region who support, educate and employ people with a disability. Due to an increasing awareness of the value and importance of disability access and inclusion, the Awards has grown significantly in size and profile since its inception. Date claimer Thursday 9th September 2021. WhatsUp in Disability is a Media Partner to the Awards

Social Inclusion Award

Indigenous Champion Award (New)

Recognising excellence in creating, promoting or supporting an inclusive workplace culture that supports all abilities.

Recognising Individuals, Business or a Community Group that has paved the way for First Nations peoples in the Employment Space.

Outstanding Employer Award

Recognising an employer who has provided opportunities for a person with a disability to pursue paid work in a supportive workplace. Outstanding Employee Award Recognising an employee who has demonstrated a notable attitude or effort in a work space. Outstanding Volunteer Award Recognising a volunteer who has demonstrated a notable attitude or effort in a volunteer space.

Innovation and Access Award Recognising outstanding achievement and/ or creativity in pursuing new, different or unique ways to increase awareness or adoption of inclusive practices in a work, training or volunteer space.

Business Engagement Award Recognising outstanding achievement and/ or effort in collaborating and engaging with the business community to create employment opportunities for people with a disability. Elissa Flanagan ‘Aim High’ Scholarship Awarded to an individual with a disability to be used towards the cost of professional development, training and/or education in their chosen field or pursuit. Judy Antonio Memorial Award Judy Antonio was the Patron of the Business DisABILITY Awards before she sadly passed away in 2016.

Education and Training Award (New)

This Award will recognise a business, group or individual that epitomises the values of social inclusion as so strongly espoused and lived by Mrs Antonio.

Recognising excellence in the inclusion of people with a disability in education and/or training.

The recipient will be chosen by the Awards Committee and endorsed by Mayor Paul Antonio. WhatsUp in Disability

Page 21


Page 22

Photographs by John Elliott

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 23

Warrina Services is a specialist support agency that has been providing individual support to people of the Darling Downs since 1986. We support people with a diverse range of needs and also provide mental health services to assist personal recovery.

(07) 4659 5662

We can help you to achieve positive outcomes in your life. These may be related to choice and independence, education or training, attending social activities, increasing skills, getting a job or contributing to your community. If you would like further information please visit our website

www.warrinaservices.org.au Or contact us Phone: 07-46 380 399 Email: warrinas@warrinas.com.au or visit our office at

172 Bridge Street Toowoomba Office hours Mon-Fri 9-5pm

Page 24

Have another go Jade by Jade Gilchrist No stranger to the challenges of living with a disability Jade Gilchrist has overcome many challenges. Not only advocating for herself but also advocating for her daughter Lian born with the same condition Treacher Collins Syndrome. TSC is a condition that leads to being born hearing impaired and with underdeveloped facial bones that can vary in severity. However, this article is not about disability but rather talking about overcoming it. Leaving school at 14 and now studying a master’s in health sciences may give you a clue on how your past does not have to dictate your future. In addition to this Jade has tried her hand at a few businesses over the years, Liandora Beads & Charms selling her own label of Jewellery in party plan delivery (now safely tucked away in storage to hand over to her daughter Lian). Jades second business Embracing Difference Consultancy to assist initially with advocating to educate the public about various disabilities, her consultancy shifted focused to leisure & health aiming to improve the lives of the elderly living in residential aged care. After graduating in 2014 with honours in Anthropology she had returned into the Leisure & Health industry and in 2019 bought a trike so she could take her residents out for a ride as part of the activity program. “I already ride a motorbike and was looking for something like a trike as my daughter Lian kept falling asleep on trips, I figured a trike would be safer for her. When I was shopping around, I thought if I bought a three-seater, I could use it at work for my residents” Jade said. To cut a long story short Jade had accomplished her mission and this was added to the activity program at the facility where she worked and even appeared on Channel

Seven! Jade began to get a lot of attention from her trike and toyed with the idea of starting a tour business here on the Darling Downs aimed at the elderly. With much time and money invested in February 2020 she launched her trike business at the Clifton Show with some fundraising rides for the local hospital. “it was a huge investment, but I was excited that I could do something new and offer rides to all people regardless of their disability, I was surprised at the amount of red tape involved and I had to do a tour operator course which taking me into an industry I knew nothing about” Jade said. Sadly, just like many businesses in Australia and especially the tourism industry the COVID Pandemic all but obliterated any opportunity to start her trike tours.

The business and the trike were put aside as the COVID Pandemic became the total focus not just in Australia but worldwide. Fast forward to February 2020 Jade had given up her dream and put her trike up for sale as covid seemed to be too much of a barrier, however Jade decided to ring another trike tour business to enquire how they were going with the COVID situation. Upon hearing their business was booming due to more people looking for local activities Jade once again mustered up her enthusiasm and threw all she has left back into getting her business up and running. “I won’t lie, it is hard to keep trying but each business I had before has taught me something, I can bring those skills and experience into this business.” “Yep I am going to have another go after all I am no stranger to overcoming life’s challenges!” said Jade.

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 25


Commission Media Release

24 May 2021

Inaugural NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Graeme Head to step down at end of term Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC I have been informed by Mr Graeme Head, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner, that he will conclude his tenure at the end of his current statutory term, on 30 June 2021. Mr Head was appointed for a three-year term in July 2018. I thank Mr Head for his leadership of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) since commencing as the inaugural Commissioner. Mr Head brought his wealth of experience in policy, public administration and regulation across federal and state government to establish and lead the NDIS Commission through a critical phase of its establishment.

NDIS participants have the right to be safe and to receive quality services from the providers and workers they choose to support them under the NDIS. During his tenure, Mr Head oversaw the delivery of a significantly more comprehensive and different approach to the regulation of disability supports and services. Under his leadership, the NDIS Commission

Page 26

worked to support people with disability in voicing concerns they have about their supports and services, and to strengthen the capability of the sector to uphold the rights of people with disability, and ensure the services and supports provided through the NDIS are safe. In addition to establishing each of the Commission’s functions and transitioning almost 20,000 providers into the system, the NDIS Commission has major initiatives underway addressing the needs of those people with disability who are at heightened risk of abuse and neglect. I would like to personally acknowledge the outstanding contribution Mr Head made over the past three years, including leading the NDIS Commission’s evidence submitted to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability and continuing to deliver NDIS Commission services during the COVID19 pandemic. I thank Mr Head for his efforts, and I wish him the very best for the future. The NDIS Commission continues to provide a critical service to Australians and the Government. A selection process will be undertaken to fill the position.

NDIS in Brief Personalised Budgets

Quarterly Report

We’ve released new papers on Personalised Budgets to give more information on the way we propose to build participant budgets in the future.

The Minister for the NDIS, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC has released the NDIS Quarterly Report to disability ministers Q3 2020-21. This Quarterly Report is a summary of how the Scheme performed from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021.

In 2020 we released a paper on proposed changes to our planning policy for Personalised Budgets and plan flexibility, and encouraged participants, families, carers and the wider sector to respond. Your feedback told us you wanted fairer decisions. You also told us you wanted us to be more transparent about how we worked out the funds in participants’ plans. The Personalised Budgets papers give you more information on how we are developing the new budget model and how we propose budgets will be built. New participant journey maps explaining the proposed planning process for participants have also been released. These maps can be found on the NDIS website. We’re still designing and testing Personalised Budgets. We are taking more time to listen to feedback from the community so any changes we make will help deliver a better NDIS. We’re also working hard to support Minister for the NDIS, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, in continuing to gather feedback on the NDIS reforms from participants and stakeholders. There are three versions of the Personalised Budgets paper available for increased accessibility. They include: 1.

Personalised Budgets - technical information paper


Personalised Budgets - information paper for participants, their families and carers


Easy Read Guide - A new way to work out how much funding you receive in your NDIS plan

We are now supporting more than 449,900 people with disability. Over 19,000 people joined the Scheme this quarter. The data in the Quarterly Report shows we are making progress across many different areas of the Scheme. Despite COVID-19, participation rates in community and social activities have increased, while the overall rate of participation in work has remained stable. Participants continue to have positive outcomes the longer they are with the Scheme. The NDIS continues to grow. The scale of the Scheme and the cost per participant is now on a trajectory well ahead of what was anticipated in the original design. This Quarterly Report outlines the plan to improve consistency, flexibility, choice and control and manage the Scheme for the longer term.

Group-based Supports In response to sector feedback and the impact of COVID-19, the transitional pricing arrangements for group-based supports are extended until 30 June 2022. Extending the transition for a further 12 months allows you more time to adopt a program of supports approach and agree the new arrangements with participants. During the transition period, providers can continue to use the 2019-20 pricing arrangements and decide when to transition to the new pricing arrangements. The transitional arrangements have price limits that are inclusive of non-face-to-face supports and centre capital costs. These cannot be claimed separately when using transitional support items. WhatsUp in Disability

Page 27


Page 28


Local Stories Local Employer wins Award

The Future Collective Impact Project

A huge win for local employer, Angela Brown and Angie’s Domestic Duties who were named as the 2021 champion employer at the National Employment Services Association awards night in Canberra.

Would you like the opportunity to effect change? Do you have ideas on how to create real career pathways? Would you like to be involved in solving youth unemployment?

Do you want to influence the future of work? Would you like to be recognized for your contribution? Do you want to win prizes that can help boost your career?

NESA is the peak body for Australia’s worldrenowned contracted Employment Services sector since the sector’s creation in 1998. They help Employment Services Providers offer their very best to job seekers – particularly to disadvantaged job seekers – as well as to employers. Their members include not-for-profit and forprofit organisations who offer jobactive, Disability Employment Services (DES), the Community Development Program (CDP), and other complementary programs such as Transition to Work (TTW). They lead, collaborate and engage with key stakeholders throughout Australia, always focussed on a holistic, positive notion of employment. Their work continues to support Government initiatives which have made Australia into a world leader in the provision of governmentcontracted employment services. They deliver tailored, market-specific policy support and guidance, advisory services, program design, professional development and capacity building and provide a bridge between Government and the Employment Services.

If you said yes to any of the above and you’re aged between 17 (no longer at school) and 27 we want to hear from you. The Future Collective Impact Project will provide a forum to discuss the current challenges faced by early-career adults (17-27 yearolds) in the Toowoomba region. It will be an opportunity to develop ideas on what could be done to affect change at a scalable level to improve employment outcomes and address the higher instances of unemployment and underemployment. Participants will also be provided with tools to help them with their career development including pitching themselves to future employers etc.

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 29


in July

To spread the word about your next event contact WhatsUp on (07) 4632 9559 or email admin@whatsupindisability.org Page 30


in August

8am to 1pm 3rd Sunday every month Frogs Hollow Hume Street Toowoomba Supporting WhatsUp in Disability

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 31


mycommunity www.mycommunitydirectory.com.au

By Andrew Spradbrow Applications Now Open for the Youth Leaders Program Calling all young people aged 14-24 to submit your application to become a volunteer Youth Leader with Toowoomba Regional Council. The program allows young people across our region to learn about their local communities, groups, events, activities and youth services and have the opportunity to create positive change for their communities. Applications are now open and close on Friday 30 July, 2021. To be eligible you must:

Page 32

• Live, work or study in Toowoomba Region • Be between 14-24 years of age at time of application

• Participate in both training camps on 21-

23 September 2021 and 14-16 December 2021 Commit to attending regular monthly meetings during their time as Youth Leaders Applications are strongly encouraged from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young people, young people from a range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds, young people with disabilities and LGBTQI+ young people.


New to Disability? First Points of Contact Centrelink Payments and Services

132 468


132 717

Disability Support Pension

132 717

Health Care Card

132 490

Family Assistance

136 150

Indigenous Call Centre

1800 136 380

Emergency Crisis Payment

132 850

NDIS General Enquiries

1800 800 110

NDIA Toowoomba Office

07 4592 4057

Local Area Coordinator

07 4646 2800

Medicare General Enquiries

132 011

Pharmaceutical Benefits

132 290

MyGov Help Desk

132 307

Queensland Government

Toowoomba Disability Information Office Open Monday to Friday (9:00am to 3.00pm) A question on disability or a service you require? Try us, most of our volunteers have a disability themselves and will be glad to assist you. If we can’t help, we will refer you elsewhere. JP services are also available

Child Safety

07 4699 4255

Disability Services

07 4615 3900

Toowoomba Hospital

07 4616 6000

Department Housing

07 4699 4400

Community Groups Carer Advisory Service

1800 242 636

Carer Respite

1800 059 059

Lifeline Darling Downs

1300 991 443

Relationships Australia

1300 364 277

There are a number of support groups for most disabilities available in this region. Contact WhatsUp in Disability on: Phone: 07 4632 9559 Email: admin@whatsupindisability.org

11-15 Alexander Street Toowoomba (07) 4632 9559 A volunteer disability service organisation run by people with a disability

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 33

WhatsUp Executive Team

PUBLISHER: Disability Media Association Inc (Australia) (DMAA) TELEPHONE: (07) 4632 9559 OFFICE:

Paul Myatt Community Centre 11-15 Alexander Street Toowoomba (open Monday to Friday 9:00am-3:00 pm)

POSTAL ADDRESS: PO Box 3621 Toowoomba QLD 4350 E-MAIL: admin@whatsupindisability.org MANAGEMENT BOARD: Steven Paull (President) Courtney Carroll (Editor) Kylie Gordon (Secretary) Ann Paull (Treasurer) ADMINISTRATION: Tasha Grundon, Dean Gill and Bec McDermott CONTRIBUTORS: Liz Schneidewin, Bronwyn Herbertson, Sharon Boyce, Aidan Wilcock , Steven Paull and many more. PUBLISHED January/March/May/July/September/November ABN: 72 821 350 911


PRINT POST APPROVED: PP 424022/ 1811 DISCLAIMER/INDEMNITY Articles and adverts reproduced on these pages are accepted and published in good faith. It is a condition of acceptance that advertisers and article writers accept full responsibility for their advertisements and articles, and will fully indemnify the producers in the event of any claims or legal proceedings against them. Articles published are not necessarily the view of the publishers. Advertisements are also accepted on the basis that they do not conflict with any discrimination laws or other laws currently in force. ADVERTISING


Although we are a volunteer and non profit organisation, we are not funded in any way, and have to cover costs of this publication by charging for advertising. WhatsUp reserves the right to adjust, resize or move advertisements when necessary to allow for editing

WhatsUp IS AVAILABLE FROM: 1) SUBSCRIPTION (In advance) $18 per year (includes postage). 2) A single edition of WhatsUp can be bought at the office and selected outlets. You may also subscribe by using the form on the outside cover. 3) Reference copies are held in the Tourist Office and Toowoomba Library. COPYRIGHT


Copyright Protected. All pages are subject to copyright law and may be copied only with the permission of DMAA. Copies are not to be used commercially or for profit or for personal financial gain. Permission may be granted to copy only if the purpose is to give it away to others for their personal interest but not to any other organisation or service. DISCLAIMER

All articles are accepted in good faith and are not necessarily the view of the Editorial team or Management. Articles are accepted on the understanding that in the event of any claims against WhatsUp, the writer of the article will take full responsibility and indemnify WhatsUp in the event of legislation against it. Articles are also accepted on the understanding that the contents do not breach any Disability laws or other legislation currently in use. ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY/ COPYING

ANN PAULL Treasurer

Page 34

WhatsUp In Disability is provided as a Master Copy to individuals and organisations. We are environmental friendly, we do not print any more copies than is absolutely necessary. We prefer and encourage the practice of passing the magazine from person to person or copying the whole magazine to pass on to others. Permission is needed to copy (see Copyright above) When copying the magazine we require that the pages be marked ‘copy’.


WhatsUp Accommodation Annie’s House

Mobility Equipment Page


Support Services

Reben Mobility



Information Services

Anne’s Angels



Down Syndrome Support Group

Anuha Services (Gatton)



(Toowoomba and District)



BigDog Support Services



Epilepsy Queensland Inc.



Breakaway Toowoomba



Every Australian Counts



CPL (Choice Passion Life)


TASC National



Liberty Health Services



Toowoomba Disability Information



Quality Lifestyle Support



RAWR Support Services



Super Starters Ten Pin Bowling



Wagtail Services



Toowoomba Sunset Superbowl



Warrina Services



Toowoomba Region





Akadia Training



ALLPLAN Management



BigDog Cleaning Services



Jakins Accounting



BigDog Lawn Mowing Services



NDSP Plan Managers



Cranbrook Press



Queens Park Market



Tony Wigan Show 102.7 FM



Toowoomba Clubhouse



Support Coordination Access Support Coordination


Other Services

Plan Management

Employment MAS Experience

Page 20

Uniting Care Community



www.whatsupindisability.org To contribute to the next edition please send your article to

WhatsUp In Disability


is proudly printed by the Community Development and Facilities Branch of the Toowoomba Regional Council

by the 20th February/April/June/August/October/December or reserve your advertising or story

WhatsUp in Disability

Page 35

WhatsUp In Disability PO Box 3621 Toowoomba Qld 4350 Phone: (07) 4632 9559 Email: admin@whatsupindisability.org

WhatsUp In Disability APPLICATION FOR SUBSCRIPTION 2021 ($20 per year including postage) NAME ADDRESS

Post Code


E-MAIL $20





DIRECT DEBIT: BSB: 638 070 ACC: 1071 4219

“Please make cheques payable to Disability Media Association Inc. (Australia)” Page 36

Please cut out / scan and post to: PO Box 3621, Toowoomba 4350 with your cheque