24 March 2016

The Brotherhood of St Laurence is set to play a key role in implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Victoria.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), administering the NDIS roll-out, has announced the appointment of the Brotherhood of St Laurence to deliver Local Area Coordination (LAC) services in Melbourne's north-east region. This work will span five municipalities – Banyule, Darebin, Nillumbik, Whittlesea and Yarra.

The Brotherhood’s Executive Director Tony Nicholson welcomed the opportunity to participate in an important national initiative. "The NDIS is Australia's most significant social policy reform in the last forty years, and the Brotherhood of St Laurence is pleased to be able to contribute to implementing it."

The coordination services will assist people with disability to exercise choice – enabling them to build and pursue their goals for a good life as they engage with the scheme and the broader community. They will also support the community and mainstream services to be more aware and inclusive of the needs and aspiration of people with disability.

Mr Nicholson said the aims of the NDIS were in line with the Brotherhood's goals as a not-for-profit agency which has forged close connection to communities. "We have long been committed to opening and expanding opportunities for disadvantaged people in the community so they are enabled to fully participate in social, economic and civic life," he said.

Mr Nicholson said the Brotherhood also recognised that choice, planning, coordinated community effort and mainstream connections were essential to achieve good outcomes for people with disability, their families and carers. "We look forward to working in partnership with the NDIA."

Mr Nicholson said he also believed as a not-for-profit the Brotherhood could make a lasting contribution to improve services by listening carefully to the views of people with disability in designing the implementation of the LAC services.“

The Brotherhood will also work in close collaboration with local community organisations, the designated local councils, disability service providers and other key stakeholders to drive the best results for people”, he said.

“It is important that we help build the capacity of mainstream organisations to be inclusive of people with disability.”

The Brotherhood will provide more information as the services are developed.