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The NDIS, Autism and Families presented by AFSA

Date:  Tuesday 28th May 2019 - 9:45am start, finishing at 2:15pm.  Light lunch provided.
Where:  Waratah Room, Whitehorse Centre, 397 Maroondah Highway, Nunawading
Contact: or send a message to 0421 642 364
More Details:  Presenters include Les Cope, Sue Dymond (iDareU), Sarah Forbes (VALID advocate), Mark Modra and senior NDIA officers - see below for details of all speakers.

Many families now have their family member participating in the NDIS.  For some things are progressing smoothly, but for many there are problems.  These include inadequate funding, the need for appeals, difficulties faced by those with complex and/or high support needs and difficulties finding appropriate service providers.

This Forum brings together parents, advocates and senior NDIA officers to provide information, guidance and the benefits of their experiences.  This is the third AFSA Forum - our objective is to provide parents, carers and family members with relevant and useful information from the very best in the field.

Download a flier here - and please share with your friends, family and colleagues.
Registration: Cost is $20 for AFSA members*, $30 for non members.
Book your tickets at Try Booking here (a .30 cent booking fee per ticket applies)
Limited places, please book early. 
Bookings close at 5:00 pm Wednesday 22nd May.
*Parents, family members and carers can join AFSA on our Membership page - membership is free!
About our Speakers:
Les Cope
- Les is President of ADAM Inc – Ability Dignity Access Management - - whose main focus is empowering and supporting people with disabilities.  Les has long been an active parent advocate and was able to negotiate early access for his son to the NDIS that now provides him with the supports he needs to live an independent life.  Les is also an administrator with the ‘NDIS Grassroots Discussion Facebook Group’. This complex group, with over 30,000 members including people with a wide range of disabilities, their families and community members and professionals supports people with disabilities to understand, work with and navigate the NDIS.  His  posts and documents cover NDIS processes, individual planning and problem solving.

Sue Dymond - Sue is an author, a mum of Shannon and Chloe (who is 27 and has Down Syndrome), founder of iDareU - - motivational speaker, counsellor, advocate and agitator.  iDareU aims to inspire and empower people with a disability and their families and help families to navigate the NDIS. Sue knows the NDIS language, gaps and pitfalls, but speaks a carers language. She helps people get the most from their plans, so they can live dignified lives.  She has been a panel member with Every Australian Counts and lobbies Governments to make the NDIS work as it was meant to - Choice and Control and Fair and Reasonable for all!

Sarah Forbes - Sarah is the Advocacy Manager at VALID – - and has worked with people with disabilities in various roles over 20 years. Sarah has attended around 125 NDIS planning meetings for people who need complex support arrangements to have an ordinary life, and is involved in both individual and systemic advocacy on the NDIS.

Mark Modra - Mark and his wife Ellen just want their 30-year-old son Luke to be happy, safe and cared for by supportive and understanding people.  Their efforts have seen amazing successes – and devastating failures – .  Mark will talk about their journey through ISP’s, service providers and now the NDIS.


  • Matthew Bennett – worked as a Senior Planner for the NDIA in Toowoomba, Queensland for two years. Currently he is the Assistant Director for Strategic Advisory Autism in the NDIA. His role includes talking with key autism advocacy organisations, conducting research about autism on behalf of the NDIA, and supporting the operations of the Autism Advisory Group (AAG).
  • Peter De Natris – is a Strategic Advisor at the NDIA. He has previously met with AFSA committee members to hear our concerns about how the NDIS is working for individuals with autism and their families.
  • Kathy McEwan – previously worked in Client Support Services with DHHS, and is now the Director, Barwon NDIS Service Delivery.
  • Community Engagement Officers from the NDIS will also be present with information materials and answers to your questions about the NDIS.