21/05/2020 | Michelle Lensink MLC

The State Government has announced the 12 members to head up a new disability taskforce tasked with examining gaps in oversight and safeguarding people living with profound disability in South Australia.

The taskforce, to be co-chaired by independent Disability Advocate Dr David Caudrey and Disability Rights Advocate, former MLC Kelly Vincent, will make swift recommendations to the Federal and State Governments.

It will deliver an interim, urgent report by mid-June and a final report by the end of July.

The members of the taskforce include people with lived experience, parents and carers and service providers.

The taskforce member include:

* Dr David Caudrey (Co-Chair) – SA Independent Disability Advocate

* Ms Kelly Vincent (Co-Chair) – Disability Rights Advocate, former MLC

* Karen Rogers – Project Lead, Our Voice

* Trevor Harrison – Person with Lived Experience

* Jackie Chant – Person with Lived Experience

* Sam Paior – Parent Advocate and Founder of The Growing Space

* Richard Bruggeman – Authorising Officer, Attorney General’s Department

* Marj Ellis – Chief Executive Officer, Lighthouse Disability

* Lois Boswell – Acting Chief Executive, Department of Human Services

* Anne Gale – Public Advocate and Acting Principal Community Visitor

* Adam Kilvert - Executive Director, Attorney General’s Department

* Cassie Mason – Director, Office for Ageing Well, SA

Health Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the taskforce work will begin immediately, with the first meeting to be held on Wednesday, May 27.

“We want the taskforce to deliver frank and fearless recommendations to the NDIS and State Government as quickly as possible” said Minister Lensink.

“Ultimately, in a national system, we want to ensure South Australians living with disability are treated with dignity, respect and care and are adequately safeguarded.

“The NDIS has given thousands of South Australians living with disability more choice and control than ever before, however Ann Marie Smith’s recent tragic death has highlighted there are issues within the system and they need to be fixed to prevent such an event happening again.

“We don’t want to wait months and months for recommendations to be handed down which is why work will commence immediately with an interim, urgent report by mid-June and a final report by the end of July.”

Dr Caudrey was appointed the State’s first Disability advocate in 2018 and is a well-respected disability expert, having worked in the sector for many years. He was instrumental in the development of the Disability Inclusion Act.

Dr Caudrey said the taskforce would work quickly.

“I’m delighted with the strength of the taskforce, the people who have agreed to participate have extensive knowledge of disability from many perspectives including lived experienced, being a family member, service provide or advocate,” said Dr Caudrey.