First Nations National All Abilities Initiatives: A NDIS Conference

10 - 12 December, 2024

Hilton Hotel, Cairns QLD

Conference Aboriginal Art


2024 First Nations National All Abilities Initiatives: A NDIS Conference is designed to provide NDIS registered service providers, community organisations, service managers, support facilitators, allied health professionals, frontline workers and NDIS participants the opportunity to network, discuss and share information in regard to the successes and challenges experienced in the rollout and implementation of Australia’s largest social policy reforms. The ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) stated that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience disability at more than twice the rate as compared to non-Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples with disability also experience inequality and prejudice across a spectrum of health, well-being and social indicators, often facing multiple barriers to their meaningful participation within the wider community.

As a result, Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples living with a disability and their families are amongst the most disadvantaged and disempowered members of the Australian community, which impacts on health, education, employment, personal safety, and compounded risks of entering the mainstream justice system. The conference will also be a great resource and avenue to identify models of support and engagement that reflect various cultural practices of our communities to ensure that First Nations Peoples’ living with a disability can live life their way. Sharing stories and storytelling is so strong in Aboriginal communities, in that it leads the way to support healing in our community so we can move forward and get things right. Reflecting the importance of culturally respectful planning resources and tools to adapt the changes to the disability sector, that is people with disability will have “choice and control” over their own lives and empowered to make decisions for their own care according to their personal needs and wants.

Furthermore, the conference also aims to give a voice to Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples living with a disability and their family carers to share their needs, their concerns and share their story and experiences. This conference presents a chance for Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander frontline disability support workers, mainstream community and allied health workers serving First Nations NDIS service users to engage with industry leaders and peers, learn cutting edge innovations and techniques as well as hear firsthand experiences from Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples living with a disability. The conference will also examine innovative ways to activate and engage people with disability in employment opportunities and challenge delegates individually and collectively to identify the way forward for their organisations. This conference is for anyone who is interested in strengthening and upholding the rights of people living with a disability. With a rich diversity of speakers, delegates and exhibitors, this two-day conference will empower you, inspire you and invigorate your passion for supporting your clients to reach their goals each day through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).


This year's conference focuses on how service providers are finding ways to deliver high-quality support to First Nations peoples with a disability in a NDIS context to tackle some of the difficult issues that have threatened to derail the delivery of NDIS in our communities. The conference themes include:

• Health & Wellbeing

• Community Living – housing and supported living accommodation

• Residential and Centre-based Day Respite Services

• Mobility & Transport

• Capacity Building in Life skills, education and employment

• Disability Workforce Sector Development • Technology & Innovations

• Allied Health Services


This conference presents a unique opportunity for delegates to participate in a positive environment that is dedicated to the sharing of information and the empowering of all who attend. In our everyday working environment, the day to day stresses of our positions tends to limit us in expanding our knowledge and networking. Whether you work at a community level or at the governmental level the opportunity to network and gain contacts outside of your local region tend to be limited, this is why this conference will be so valuable to participants. Hence all Indigenous people and non-indigenous people, whether professional or community-based, who have a vested interest in improving the health and well being of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples with a disability are invited. This conference is for anyone who is interested in strengthening and upholding the rights of Indigenous peoples living with a disability. With a rich diversity of speakers, delegates and exhibitors, this two-day conference will empower you, inspire you and invigorate your passion for supporting your clients to reach their goals each and every day through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).


• Disability Support Workers

• Allied Health Professionals

• Behaviour Support Specialist

• NDIS Participants

• Family Carers & Advocates

• Recovery Coaches

• Psychologists

• Occupational Therapists

• Speech Therapists

• Indigenous Community Workers

• Remote Community Connectors

• Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Peoples living with a disability

• Nurses, Doctors, Psychiatrists, Social Workers and Allied Health Workers

• Teachers and Special Education Educators

• Community groups and Human Rights Enthusiasts

• Family relationship workers

• Elders and community leaders

• Indigenous women and men’s groups

• CEO, Executive Managements, Program Managers

• First Nation’s groups, Human Rights Enthusiasts

• Government and Non-Government Organisation Representatives

• Field, Remote & Rural Health Workers

• Community Visitors

• Public Guardians (OPG Delegate) • Public Trustee Officers


The conference is not politically biased. Rather, it should be seen as an opportunity to access information that is not readily available. Today the world has become smaller with the invention of the internet and jet travel. As such, we are of the belief that there is nothing more empowering and more effective than people having an opportunity to network and collaborate. The conference vision for this event is to embrace the philosophy of First Nations community-controlled and mainstream service providers through promoting an informative forum of research, health education and training of staff for the betterment of Indigenous health. To engage in partnerships with mutual respect

• In 10 years, the closing the gap initiative has had mixed results

• We still have an Indigenous life expectancy of around 10 years less than mainstream Australians

• The past decade has seen a 70 per cent increase in Indigenous students undertaking Higher Education

• Employment targets not met

• Many Indigenous Health Targets were falling short of the mark The Federal Government has made a commitment to creating more opportunities for Indigenous Australians to

• Celebrate those successes

• Recognise “Healing Takes Time”

• Acknowledge, embrace, celebrate the humanity of Indigenous people

• Bring to the table policies and approaches that nurture optimism rather than entrench despair

• Do things WITH Indigenous people, not FOR Indigenous People

• Even though Indigenous Australians only make up 3 per cent of the population, First Nations People still make up over 20 per cent of the prison population and that number is still increasing


This event guarantees the opportunity to enlarge your network and information base, thus empowering all delegates to make greater informed decisions within their professional and extended communities. Furthermore, it has been proven time and time again that events such as this empower and reinvigorate workers with new ideas and enthusiasm, with a greater feeling of support and new contacts that may be utilised for the betterment of their own local community. Whether you are an allied health professional, Indigenous health worker, medical professional or in an administrative clerical role within the organisation, this conference will provide excellent opportunities to gain and share information that will be of use to you and your organisation back in your community. The opportunities that this Conference provides to people involved in First Nations Health is the sharing of knowledge and development of long-term friendships/partnerships. This conference is designed from an Indigenous perspective, in which we all lend support to each other regardless of our employers. With all this in mind, we invite you to actively participate in the upcoming event.


The conference objectives are designed to empower and stimulate discussion in a positive manner that can and may be used back in our work environment to further develop strength, unity and education. Moreover, one of the most powerful objectives that Indigenous peoples have is the strength to overcome adversity through the power of sharing knowledge and therefore the conference will attempt to foster all of the issues set out in this conference. The conference believes that the participation of First Peoples living with a disability in the consultation, planning, formulation of policies and programs for Closing the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage to include the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and other aspects of the National Disability Strategy is fundamentally important to achieving our desired goal of closing the gap. Moreover, the conference also aims to:

• Provide an open and frank forum for discussion

• Network and lend support to individuals and families working in the disability sector

• Help establish and grow a national network and resources through information sharing

• Show that there are great efforts being made to make change

• Exchange information regarding the successes and challenges in the roll-out and NDIS implementation

• To bring together all sectors of the community as a united voice

• Bring together researchers, service providers, government agencies, policymakers & organisations

• Foster partnerships between government, NGOs, community groups and Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples living with a disability and their families


We wish to invite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people from Australia and throughout, to attend the conference to share and gather information. We also extend an invitation to participants to join us at the conference dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. To ensure that delegates attend and participate in the conference experience, it is important to note that to show accountability of delegates in meeting their obligation; each delegate will receive a Certificate of Attendance only when they attend 85% of all the conference sessions. In addition, at the end of the conference, delegates will receive a copy of all papers & presentations presented at the conference through Dropbox.


Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) is a privately owned, wholly self-funded Indigenous business that specialises in events and conferences. Even though we are a self-funded enterprise, we come from grassroots backgrounds with burning passion for social justice issues. As such, we seek to complement the workings of community initiatives and organisations across a broad spectrum of Indigenous affairs. The events that we design seek not to have a political agenda, however, to complement local, state and national organisations. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) seeks to employ local community members wherever possible and gives a strong undertaking to adhere to local customs and protocols. As we are a not-for-profit enterprise, we are continually seeking to partner with organisations. ICS-MEES Pty Ltd is totally Indigenous-owned and over time has helped establish Indigenous controlled organisations free of charge.


If you have any participation requirements (e.g. hearing loop, interpreters, large print program) please advise us to ensure availability. Delegates will need to organise their own personal support. Family carers attending will need to register as well. The venue is wheelchair accessible and meets all the requirements to be NDIS user friendly.


Come and celebrate First Nations people & Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, strengths, successes and empowerment. To share First Nations people’s stories and ideas about what has worked for you or your community and how we address life’s challenges. This conference is blessed with an abundance of the highest calibre guest speakers from proud Indigenous peoples around Australia. As an employee, we are asked to present valid reasons why we should attend. Listed below are valid points that can be raised with your employer to justify your attendance.

• Staff attending conferences regularly tend to become long term employees

• An event such as this adds to the positive morale of staff

• Conferences are a great way of providing ongoing training

• Provides the opportunity to further enhance the organisation knowledge base

• The opportunity for saving organisations money because of the short duration of the event

• Allows delegates to showcase their organisation nationally and internationally

• May provide organisations with new ideas

• Gives organisations a voice at a national level

• Provide an opportunity to evaluate various programs

• Because this event is conducted over a short period, staff are only absent for a minimal number of days

Become Part of ICS



Empower others with your stories, insights, and wisdom, inspiring a world where Indigenous culture is celebrated and respected.

Become a Speaker


Use your platform to create awareness about vital Indigenous causes and issues, inspiring attendees to become advocates for positive change.

Become an Exhibitor


Associate your brand with a cause that matters, gaining valuable exposure to a diverse and engaged audience, both locally and globally.

Become a Sponsor
Australian Conference by Indigenous Organizers

Join Our Conference

Subscribe to our mailing list and stay informed about the latest developments in the world of ICS conferences.