2nd CALD and Disability Symposium


Maria Eliadis

Maria Eliadis

Maria Bio

Maria has over 20 years’ experience working in senior management and consulting positions across the community, corporate and academic sectors. For the past 10 years Maria’s work has focused on developing programs that build people’s capacity and confidence to lead change, plan interventions and make a difference.

Maria’s work in disability has involved managing a boutique education and learning centre, undertaking program reviews and evaluations, running leadership development programs for people with intellectual disabilities and work readiness programs with ADE’s and capacity building and re-orientation programs for disability services networks to support social inclusion approaches.

In 2016 Maria, with her family, re-located to Adelaide after 23 years living in Victoria. Maria lives in the Adelaide Hills with her husband, the local koala’s, one lone kangaroo and lots of fruit trees.

Keynote Speakers

Caroline Mannix

NDIA, Community Engagement Manager, SA and Far West NSW

Caroline Mannix Bio

Caroline Mannix is a qualified Developmental Educator, having worked within the Disability sector for over 15 years. Roles have extended across non-government agencies and at a state and federal government level. In addition, Caroline has worked as an academic at Flinders University, teaching in the School of Disability and Developmental Education. Caroline is currently the Community Engagement Manager, South Australia and Far West New South Wales at the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Lea Spaven

Feros Care, National Program Manager, Local Area Co-ordination

Lea Spaven Bio

Lea Spaven is the National Program Manager with Feros Care, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community for the Northern Adelaide, and Barossa, Light and Lower North regions in South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Mackay and Townsville regions in Queensland North.  Prior to commencing with Feros Care in April 2017 Lea worked as the Director of Stakeholder Relationships and Engagement for the NDIA in Queensland North.  She originally commenced as a Senior Local Area Coordinator with the NDIA in South Australia in June 2013. Before working for the NDIA Lea was the Client Services Manager for Can:Do 4Kids, a Specialist Children’s Disability Service Provider in Adelaide.

key issues discussed:

  • concern about the low rate of approved plans for people with disability from CALD backgrounds. Particularly concerns were expressed about eligible people missing out because their supports may not have been traditional ‘disability’ services hence NDIS information is not reaching them or the information is not accessible to them or their families, as well as potential cultural barriers to ‘pro-actively’ engaging with the NDIA or LAC’s ;
  • the importance of funding access to language supports not just to ensure access to the scheme and the quality of plans but also as an important factor in social inclusion and the quality of the support experience and;
  • as a consequence of the above issue concern was expressed that people with disability from CALD backgrounds are having plans rejected or are falling victim to nuances that result in ‘not very good plans’.

Key themes from presentations

February 2016: rolled out to children 0-14 yrs, state-wide. From January 2017: rolled out to young people 15-17 yrs, state-wide and from July 2017 rolled out to adults 18-64 yrs by area.

It’s estimated that 32,000 people in SA will be transitioned to the NDIS.

For more information – Go to NDIS SA site at https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/our-sites/SA

The NDIA is contracting Partner’s in the Community to deliver Local Area Coordination (LAC) services.For information about the NDIS and Local Area Coordination visit https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/our-sites/SA.html#lac

Feros Care is the LAC partner in the service areas of Barossa, Light & Lower North, and Northern Adelaide of SA. As your NDIS Local Area Coordinator Feros will:

  • meet with you, your family and carer to learn about your current situation
  • make it our priority to understand your goals
  • develop a plan to help you achieve those goals
  • find and help you access the best support services for your needs
  • help manage any issues you face in getting services and support
  • link you to information sources and support in the community
  • help you stay included and involved

If you are in these areas you can contact Feros Care via e-mail at lacinfo@feroscare.com.au or on 1300 986 970 or at their offices:

Northern Adelaide, at 34 Commercial Road Salisbury, SA 5108, and at

Barossa, at Unit 3, Level 1, 83-85 Murray Street Gawler SA 5118

We are waiting on the announcement of other LAC Partners in SA.

Caroline announced that the NDIA’s CALD Priorities Strategy is due for release in late 2017.

The strategy has been developed by the NDIA regional offices and the NDIA CALD Stakeholder Advisory Group.

It appears the Strategy will highlight ‘priority areas’.

We will make this available as soon as it is released.


Important Information and Links

For general information about the scheme go to Participants . Information available includes:

  • My NDIS Pathway
  • What are Reasonable and Necessary Supports?
  • Quality and Safeguards
The area of plan reviews, annual reviews, plan and application appeals and ending up at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal can be complicated and is definitely evolving!

Things to be careful about include the difference between routine plan reviews – that are annual, a review of a plan that may not be what was expected and an appeal of a decision that the NDIS has made in regards to a number of matters. This is an area we will look into more but for now here are some links to information that you can follow up on AND organisations you can contact to get support and advocacy assistance if there is anything you are not happy with.

For general information from the NDIS this link Participants Review Rights provides information about what is a reviewable NDIS decision.

Several agencies in SA provide advocacy support for people with disability and Disability Advocacy Agencies – South Australia provides a list of disability advocacy agencies available in South Australia (website is hosted by Department of Social Services).

Some agencies are also funded to provide NDIS Appeals Services. NDIS Appeals helps people who are not satisfied with a decision made by the NDIA with regard to their application and/or their plan.

The CCDD has developed relationships with the following organisations who offer support with NDIS appeals and general advocacy for people with disability across South Australia free of charge:

  • Brain Injury SA has established a specific NDIS Appeals Service, and
  • Disability Rights Advocacy Service (DRAS) has experience advocating for people from CALD backgrounds.
Many people are considered to automatically meet the requirements of the NDIS if they are/were involved in certain schemes or programs. Clients of the following South Australian schemes will generally be considered to satisfy the disability requirements without further evidence being required:

  • SA Child and Youth Services
  • Country Children’s Services
  • Individual Support Packages RCR Stage 1
  • Individual Support Packages RCR Stage 2
  • Individual Support Packages RCR Stage 3
  • Individual Support Packages RCR Stage 3 – Sensory
  • Unmet Needs Register
  • Supported Accommodation – Residential Institutions
  • Supported Accommodation – Group Homes
  • Therapy Services – Therapy Support
  • Positive Behaviour Support
  • Community Access

There are important Residency Requirements for Access that may be relevant to people from CALD backgrounds that have recently settled in Australia. This link includes information for visa holders.

People with disability who are non-English speakers can contact the NDIA in one of two ways:

  1. By calling the Australian Government Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) before contacting the NDIA on: 131 450. TIS will connect them with the NDIS via 1800 800 110, as well as the relevant interpreter.
  2. By calling NDIS 1800 800 110 and requesting an interpreter. National Contact Centre staff are to follow the Operational Blueprint and call handling instructions

Free Interpreting and translating services

The Australian Government, through TIS National, provides free interpreting services for non-English speaking Australian citizens and permanent residents when they are communicating with certain approved groups and individuals such as GPs and medical specialists, pharmacies for medication, non-profit, non-government, community based organisations for case work and emergency services, local governments on issues such as rates, garbage collection and services. You must provide participants with information about this service to meet their needs.

For further information go to About the Free Interpreting Service

Translation of Documents

The NDIS Act requires that the contents of any notice, approved form or information given under the NDIS Act or Rules to a person with a disability must be explained in the language, mode of communication and terms which that person is most likely to understand. Wherever reasonably practical, the Agency will provide the explanation orally as well as in writing.

NDIA LOTE publications

The NDIA is currently working towards creating more publications in LOTE, watch this space! In the interim, download LOTE publications in Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog, French, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Macedonian, Samoan and Vietnamese.

The next Provider forum for Adelaide is scheduled for February 27. Details and tickets were not available at the time of this update. Check for updates at Provider forums for 2018 – https://www.ndis.gov.au/providers/national-forums-2018.html

Providers under the NDIS are required to provide supports to participants consistent with the NDIA Terms of Business, SA Quality and Safeguards Working Arrangements, and Guide to Suitability.

Here are a variety of links to information about becoming an NDIS service provider:

The NDIS Provider Toolkit   – about the registration process

Module 3: Terms of Business

Module 4: Guide to Suitability

Module 8: PRODA Step by Step Guide

Module 11: myplace Provider Portal Step by Step Guide (also includes information on creating and managing service bookings and payment requests)

The NDIS website has a variety of fact sheets and publications that address most issues for participants and service providers. Browse these at NDIS factsheets and publications.

For more general Operational Guidelines information to help the public understand how the NDIA makes decisions about people and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

By phone on 1800 800 110 or via email:

  • Access enquiries: NAT@ndis.gov.au
  • NDIS plan enquiries – participants can contact their local office:

o   Elizabeth: elizabeth@ndis.gov.au

o   St Marys: stmarys@ndis.gov.au

o   Noarlunga: noarlunga@ndis.gov.au

o   Murray Bridge: murraybridge@ndis.gov.au

o   Port Adelaide: portadelaide@ndis.gov.au

o   Modbury: modbury@ndis.gov.au

o   Port Augusta: portaugusta@ndis.gov.au

o   Mount Gambier: mountgambier@ndis.gov.au

Third Symposium booked!  Save the date 13th March 2018.

Register your interest at contact us.