Media Release from CMHA: World Mental Health Day – A reminder that this is about people

10, October, 2017


CMHA logo








World Mental Health Day – A reminder that this is about people

On World Mental Health Day, Kerry Hawkins, Vice President Community Mental Health Australia has asked for governments, agencies and anyone involved in mental health to remember who this is about – people living with a mental illness and psychosocial disability.

“Every year on World Mental Health Day we take the time to focus on mental health and the various issues that impact people living with a mental illness. This can be about stigma, employment, homelessness or a range of other issues”.

“The most important factor for us to remember is that this is about people living with a mental illness and how everyone – whether that is government, service providers, organisations or the community – directs efforts on policy, programs or anything else to develop approaches which enable people to recover and be contributing members of their community”, Ms Hawkins said.

“CMHA promotes the recovery of people living with a mental illness so that they are contributing citizens and included in all of the economic and social aspects of their community. A recovery-based approach to mental illness – built on years of work and evidence-based good practice – is what we know works and where the person, their family, loved ones and carers, are at the centre of what is done”.

“At a time when community managed mental health is going through significant changes, in particular being impacted by the NDIS, we must remember that we aren’t dealing with line items on a budget, we are dealing with often complex, high needs people. These people should get high quality, comprehensive support when and where they need it”, Ms Hawkins said.

“Community Mental Health Australia and the community managed mental health sector stands willing to work with government at all levels to make sure the various changes that are happening work, but they must listen to us. We do not want to see mental health go backwards or to lose the expertise in our sector that we have worked hard to develop. Again, this should be about what is best for the person living with a mental illness or psychosocial disability and not the bottom line of a budget.”

Media contact – Amanda Bresnan, Executive Director, 0417 193 407

Twitter @CMHA2016

Click here to download the Media Release

Webinar on National Service Provider Benchmarking Survey

9, October, 2017

AbleInsight is conducting a webinar that will include important information about the National Service Provider Benchmarking Survey on the 13th October 2017 at 2pm AEDT.

Webinar participants will be able to ask questions, in real time, of our panelists (including representatives from AbleInsight, Mental Health Australia (MHA) and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)).

The webinar will provide you with information about the survey and what is involved in completing the form, as well as the level of support available from AbleInsight and the benefits that are expected to accrue to Survey participants.

In short, the customised benchmarking reports that participating providers will receive will be valuable in assisting with their transition to a more open and competitive disability support services market under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  Also, de-identified aggregate data from the survey will assist the NDIA to make well informed and transparent decisions in its NDIS market stewardship role.

Both the survey and the webinar are open to all disability service providers; you do not need to:

* be NDIS Registered

* have NDIS participants accessing your services

* have already registered to participate in the Survey


Register for the webinar.

There is still time to register to participate in the survey and receive free customised reports. There is not charge to providers the benchmarking reports or for any of the tailored survey support services (onsite and/or telephone consultations, website access). See the survey manager website  for more details or register directly.

Please do not hesitate to contact AbleInsight on 1800 959 665 or use their contact page should you have any questions.

*Posted for the AbleInsight Benchmarking Team.

Appointment of NDIS ECEI and LAC Services in Rockhampton

13, September, 2017

NDIS logo

An NDIS Partners in the Community Program Grant Agreement for Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) and Local Area Coordination (LAC) services in Rockhampton has now been executed with BUSHkids for the delivery of ECEI services and Carers Queensland for the delivery of LAC services.

In line with the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments’ announcement of an agreement to bring forward the NDIS start date in Rockhampton, the NDIA and its Partners in the Community in Rockhampton will work together to ensure early access for Queensland Government disability clients from November 2017 is provided. While prioritising early access for Queensland Government state clients; six months in advance readiness activities will also occur in order to prepare for other eligible people to enter the Scheme from January 2018.

Details of the Agreements:

  • ECEI services: Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme trading as BUSHkids
  • LAC services: Carers Queensland
  • Date of execution: Monday 04 September 2017
  • Service Area: Rockhampton
  • 2011 Local Government Areas: Banana, Central Highlands, Gladstone, Rockhampton (including Livingstone)


Please note: The Local Government Areas of Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall Tambo, Diamantina, Longreach, Winton, Woorabinda in Rockhampton Service Area given the classification of remote or very remote, will be supported by NDIA staff using Community by Community approaches, in line with the Agency’s rural and remote strategy.

All remaining Queensland services areas, Robina, Beenleigh, Brisbane North and South, Maryborough, Caboolture/Strathpine, Maroochydore and Cairns will be released in the NDIA’s next approach to open market (Round 3 – NDIS Partners in the Community program).

For further details, see the NDIS website.

New NDIS Translation and Interpreting Services Policies

13, September, 2017

NDIS logo

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released new policies relating to translation and interpreting services within the Scheme. NDIS has developed a MOU with TIS National to support participants to access supports and implement their plans.

This is an interim solution to fill the gap for translation or interpreter services for people who speak English as a second language (ESL). Further work is being undertaken with DSS to resolve the issue of addressing barriers for participants with ESL to implement their plans in the longer term.

Summary of the new process

Participants who speak English as a second language will be supported by either a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or Support Coordinator.  The LAC or Support Coordinator will assist the ESL participant to:

  1. Access supports in their primary language – usually by a provider who speaks the same language;
  2. Access mainstream National Translation and Interpreter Services (TIS) and coordinate informal language assistance through supports such as their local Migrant Resource Centre; and
  3. Access mainstream and community English learning and development opportunities.

Where the above solutions are not available, a LAC or Support Coordinators will support the participant to access TIS via TIS National for funded supports.

Funded Supports using TIS National

When deciding when to access TIS National, the LAC or Support Coordinator considers:

  1. What is expected to be provided through mainstream and/or universal services
  2. Informal/community/family supports available to assist
  3. Whether the TIS support is fundamental to support the achievement of the ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports funded under the plan
  4. Supports that assist long-term development
  5. Supports that improve functioning.


A significant point to note is the improved integration of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse considerations into the participant pathway – specifically with NDIA Staff, Local Area Coordination or Support Coordination to assist participants who have English as a second language.

TIS National supports can only be used for accessing/implementing funded supports in the participants plan.

There have not been any changes to how participants obtain TIS when engaging directly with the NDIS and Partners in the Community.

Our regional teams and Partners in Community have received initial communications to advise them of these changes, our internal resources have been updated to reflect them and further education will occur over the next few days.

Practice guidance about assisting communication has been provided to Agency staff and Partners in the Community.  This practice guide will also be supplemented with a further internal communications and training to strengthen Agency staff in their understanding of the needs of people from a CALD background.

To support future understanding of the need for interpreter services, we have also incorporated reporting requirements for TIS National to the NDIA on usage data and statistics. This data will inform future CALD initiatives undertaken by the NDIA as well as future reviews of TIS.

To capitalise on the reporting from TIS National, the NDIA will be seeking to work with and inform the market about opportunities for diversification with CALD providers moving into the disability service provision space and disability providers moving into bilingual and ethno specific service delivery.

There are also a number of resources available on our internet page NDIS Translation and Interpreting Services

NDIS Provider Information Sessions in September & October

11, September, 2017

The NDIS is rolling out across Gold Coast, Ipswich and Redland from 1st July, 2018. This notice is to inform both NDIS providers or interested providers about upcoming NDIS information forums in Gold Coast, Ipswich and Redland run by the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Outline of session locations and venues

September: Provider Readiness and Provider Registration Forums

October: Provider Support Coordination and Allied Health and Early Childhood Forums

Event flyers

Provider Readiness Forums

Logan Provider Readiness Forum in September

Gold Coast Provider Readiness Forum in September

Redland Provider Readiness Forum in September

Provider Registration Forums

Logan Provider Registration Forum in September

Gold Coast Provider Registration Forum in September

Redland Provider Registration Forum in September

Provider Support Coordination Forums

Logan Support Coordination Forum in October

Gold Coast Support Coordination Forum in October

Redland Support Coordination Forum in October

Allied Health and Early Childhood Forums

Logan Allied Health and Early Childhood Forum in October

Gold Coast Allied Health and Early Childhood Forum in October

Redland Allied Health and Early Childhood Forum in October


Inquiries and specific accessibility requirements

Please direct any forum inquiries or specific accessibility requirements to

* Please note: the NDIA will require five days’ notice if an interpreter is required.

NDIS request for further data

If you have time it would be greatly appreciated if you could email to advise which LGAs you service (or would like to service):

  • Redland
  • Gold Coast
  • Logan
  • Toowoomba
  • Ipswich
  • Somerset
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Scenic Rim
  • Northern New South Wales
  • South West (Shires of Maranoa, Paroo, Southern Downs, Bulloo, Quilpie, Balonne, Western Downs, Goondoowindi)


In addition, please tell the NDIA if you are:

  • A discrete specific Indigenous service provider
  • A discrete culturally and linguistically diverse service provider
  • A mainstream provider.

Further event information

Further information about each of the forums can be found on the Eventbrite website by searching “NDIS” or on our NDIA website

Community Grants Hub – Inclusive Communities Grants and Community Resilience Grants : Spotlight Call to Action

8, August, 2017

Community Grants Hub

The Australian Government is inviting applications via an open competitive process to deliver services under Families and Communities Program /Strong and Resilient Communities from 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2021 for the following two grant rounds:

  1. Strong and Resilient Communities – Inclusive Communities Grants
  2. Strong and Resilient Communities – Community Resilience Grants

Strong and Resilient Communities – Inclusive Communities Grants aim to increase the social and economic participation of vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and families within their communities and enhance their life‑time wellbeing and sense of community belonging.

Strong and Resilient Communities – Community Resilience Grants aim to build strong, resilient and cohesive communities to help make Australia more secure and harmonious as a whole.  This will be done through providing grants designed to address issues in communities that show potential for or early signs of low social cohesion, and/or racial, religious or cultural intolerance.

Applications for both grant rounds close at 2pm AEST Wednesday 23 August  2017
Further information about eligibility and how to apply are available on GrantConnect and the Community Grants Hub websites.

Information via: Community Grants Hub

Community Grants Hub – Disability Employment Services Registration of Interest now open: Spotlight Call to Action

8, August, 2017

Community Grants Hub

The Australian Government is inviting organisations to register their interest to deliver Disability Employment Services (DES) from 1 July 2018.
Stage one open date: 2 August 2017
Closing date and time: 2:00pm AEST Tuesday 29 August 2017

The Grant Application process for DES will be undertaken through two-stages. The first stage involves all organisations who wish to deliver DES from 1 July 2018 to register their interest through an unrestricted Registration of Interest process.

This process is open for four weeks. The second stage will comprise Invitations to Treat (ITT) and invitations to apply. Only those organisations who registered through the Registration of Interest process will be eligible to receive one or more ITTs and/or invitations to apply to join the panel of DES providers.

ITTs will be offered to existing DES providers to continue delivering a service, under the new Grant Agreement from 1 July 2018, in an Employment Services Area (ESA) where the DES provider has:

  • an existing contract that is rated as performing at 3-Stars or above in the June 2017 Star Ratings
  • received new or additional business through the 2016-17 DES Business Reallocation process, or
  • received new or additional business as a result of a gap-filling arrangement in 2017.

Registered organisations that elect to apply through the Grant Application process will be subject to an assessment conducted by the Community Grants Hub within DSS. Applicants will be asked to provide organisational level details on their governance and strategies and proposed specialisations. They will also need to demonstrate past performance in either the disability or employment services.
Stage one includes an unrestricted Registration of Interest for ALL organisations wishing to provide DES services post 1 July 2018. This includes organisations that are likely to be offered an ITT in Stage 2.

Registration of Interest
This is an unrestricted stage and will collect the organisational details of all interested parties. Organisations will still need to nominate their preferences and submit their registration of interest form by the relevant authorised officer of that organisation.

As part of the Registration of Interest process, all registrants will be required to:

  • indicate the ESA(s) they intend to apply for
  • and for each ESA:
    • indicate the DES services (DES-DMS and/or DES-ESS) they wish to deliver/ continue delivering
    • identify if it will be a specialist or generalist service.

Stage 2 will be a restricted Grant application process that will invite organisations that have registered their interest in Stage 1.

Grants will be undertaken in accordance with the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs)

Further information about eligibility and how to register are available on Community Grants Hub
and the GrantConnect  websites.

Please note: Information including question and answers may be amended over the course of the Registration of Interest period. It is important to check for any changes on the Community Grants Hub or alternatively register with GrantConnect to receive regular alerts.

Information via: Community Grants Hub

Podcast of The NDIS – One Year On: Spotlight NDIS

17, July, 2017

17 July 2017

To mark the first anniversary of the national roll-out of the NDIS, Pro Bono Australia’s Wendy Williams looks back at the highs and lows of the last 12 months, and whether the scheme is on track to deliver on it’s promise in a podcast entitled The NDIS – One Year On.

The episode, produced by Wendy Williams and Rachel McFadden, features:

  • Maryanne Diamond, the General Manager of Community Linkages and Engagement at the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
  • Minister for Social Services Christian Porter
  • El Gibbs,writer and disability advocate
  • Natasha Hudson, founder of Coforte Consulting, assisting organisations affected by the NDIS
  • Fran Connelley, founder of FC Marketing and The NFP Accelerator Toolkit and author of How to Thrive Under the NDIS
  • Ken Baker, the Chief Executive at National Disability Services.


List to the podcast The NDIS – One Year On.

*Information sourced from Pro Bono Australia.

NDIS Price Guide 2017 – 18 Released: Spotlight NDIS

17, July, 2017

NDIS logo

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released the prices for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funded supports for the 2017-18 financial year.

As has been the case in previous years, service values in participant plans will be adjusted automatically in the system to match the new prices.

This adjustment will be made in the coming weeks. The indexation of participant plans will be backdated to 1 July 2017.

Key changes to maximum prices include:

  • 4.5% increase for daily activity and community participation supports
  • 1.9% increase for capacity building supports
  • 2.1% increase for capital-related supports
  • No change for therapy services.


For further details, see the NDIS website news or access the 2017-2018 Price Guide for NDIS service providers in the Pricing and Payments section.

Invitation to Attend West Moreton MH and AOD Dual Diagnosis Working Group: Spotlight Call to Action

15, July, 2017

15 June 2017

West Moreton PIR logo

Drug ARM would like to invite community organisations and businesses to a meeting of the West Moreton Mental Health (MH) and Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Dual Diagnosis Working Group.

Dual Diagnosis is used to describe someone with two or more disorders or problems, one of which is a mental health problem and one of which relates to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs. WMO have started working on a coordinated response for assisting individuals affected specifically by Dual Diagnosis related issues.  It can often be a difficult task to assist individuals facing this issue and it has also been found that in some instances, in-home community services are refused due to the associated risks.

Please join our Working Group, which creates a forum for regional specific findings to be discussed, solutions found and actions taken as a collective.

For contact details, and meeting dates, location and times, please see the invitation (opens in Word).

*Posted on behalf of Drug ARM.