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On 17 March, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Rural and Remote Engagement Strategies.

Highlights of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Strategy include:

  • The adoption of an ‘I’ model phased approach of ‘introduction, initiation and invitation’ for establishing sustainable relationships between the NDIA and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This model recognizes the important role local communities play in leading successful engagement.
  • Principles for engaging in the ‘proper way’ with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including adaptive communication and respecting the primacy of local customs.
  • 10 key engagement priorities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a disability. 

The Rural and Remote Engagement Strategy explores ways people with disability, their families and carers living in rural and remote communities can access quality disability supports which are as diverse as possible. Key to this are the NDIA’s commitments to:

  • Identifying and drawing upon the strengths and unique characteristics of rural and remote communities to enable greater service delivery opportunities;
  • Supporting local planning that builds on community strengths and is informed through collaboration, engagement and co-design; and
  • Developing creative supports and services to increase opportunities for people with disability living in a rural or remote area.

The core elements of these strategies align with recommendations in the 2016 NCOSS report Plan First, Don’t Retrofit: Delivering on the Promise of the NDIS for Aboriginal and CALD people in NSW. which drew on the expertise of our members and stakeholders.

We hope these Strategies are adequately resourced and implemented in their intended spirit, and look forward to the release of the NDIA’s engagement strategy for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Read more about the Strategies, and access easy English versions.