Review into Disability Advocacy in NSW

The Ageing and Disability Commission has completed a review into disability advocacy services, and funding arrangements, in NSW. A copy of this report is now available.

What was this Review about?

The NSW Ageing and Disability Commission (ADC) conducted a Review to better understand the purpose, functions and future funding needs of disability advocacy across NSW. This was a key provision in the Ageing and Disability Commissioner Act 2019 and was to be completed by 31st December 2019. A copy of this report is now available (PDF, n/a) along with a summary of the new Disability Advocacy Futures Program (PDF, n/a).

Additionally, an accessible version (DOCX, n/a) of the report  along with an easy read guide (PDF, n/a) explaining the review and recommendations is available.

How many people took part in this Review?

The ADC met with over 70 people from 43 organisations across Sydney, Parramatta, Newcastle, Wagga Wagga, Lismore, Wollongong and Dubbo, as well as people who have a lived experience of disability. An issues paper was available for public comment for six weeks. The ADC received 43 written responses to the paper. There was also an opportunity for anyone to phone the ADC and provide a brief comment during the six week consultation period.

What is the key take-out?

A new funding program is proposed in the Commissioner’s report that aims to deliver a more sustainable, equitable and high-quality advocacy service for people with disability in NSW, called the NSW Disability Advocacy Futures Program.

Funded, effective advocacy in NSW should serve to promote, protect and secure the rights of people with disability, enable them to better access services and inform public policy.

The proposed program:

  • offers a way to deliver more accessible and competent advocacy services for people with disability regardless of location, disability, age or background
  • provides new resources to improve  advocacy sector’s skills, capacity and capabilities
  • enables organisations to function more sustainably through long-term funding arrangements with a clearer focus on systemic and individual advocacy and representative activities
  • provides a streamlined process between the disability advocacy sector and the government to inform public policy and  deliver evidence-based solutions for people with disability.

What will happen to funding?

The Commissioner recommends the government provide a budget allocation of $13 million for F/Y 2020/21, and $14 million for F/Y 2021/22. The funding allocation for the first full year of the DAFP program is recommended to be $15 million for F/Y 2022-23 (up from the current year’s $11 million direct allocation).

These allocations are based on a progressive two year implementation of the reforms and should be adjusted if full implementation can be achieved earlier.

What happens now with the Commissioner’s recommendations?

The Review has been handed to the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, the Hon. Gareth Ward, and has been tabled in the NSW Parliament. The NSW Government will now review the recommendations.

More information

You can also access the responses received to the issues paper. Please note, not all responses have been made public at request of the author. Additionally, the Commission is publishing responses as they were received, and are unable to produce the documents in an accessible format.

If you have any questions please contact

Last updated:

10 Oct 2022

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future. 

Informed by lessons of the past, the Ageing and Disability Commission is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.

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