Disability Minister's Advisory Council

The Disability Minister's Advisory Council gives advice to the Minister about the important concerns of the 330,000 South Australians with disability, along with their families and caregivers.

Council members share their lived experiences to provide strategic advice on disability-related matters to the Minister for Human Services and support the State Government when making decisions on policy and legislative reform.

This Council operates alongside the Department of Human Services’ Disability Engagement Group.

Council members

  • Amanda Shiell
  • Belinda Lambert
  • Belle Owen
  • Ellen Fraser-Barbour
  • Jarad McLoughlin
  • Katharine Annear
  • Kwan Leung Chia
  • Kym Langton
  • Michael Taggart
  • Scott Crowley
  • Sisaleo Philavong - Chair
  • Sylvia Maso

Disability Minister's Advisory Council - Meeting outcome statements

Update as at 9 November 2023

The Disability Minister’s Advisory Council met for their fourth quarterly meeting on the 9 November 2023. Along with meeting with the Minister, the Council met with Parliamentary Counsel representatives and discussed the Concessions review and coordination of the Disability Royal Commission (DRC) response with the relevant Project Leads from DHS.

The Minister gave the Council a brief update on DRC findings and recommendations and advised the Council that she wants their feedback on the State Disability Inclusion Plan and the Carers Recognition Act review in 2024.

The Council was also advised of the DHS’s current areas of focus and timeframes on coordinating the response to the DRC recommendations. They also discussed how they would like to be consulted on implementing the DRC recommendations.

The Council met with representatives from Parliamentary Counsel to discuss disability language in legislation where they learned about the functions, advantages and drawbacks on changing definitions in law. They also learned about the constitutional implications which may exist if Commonwealth and State laws are in conflict and potential solutions for this.

The Project Lead from DHS Concessions advised the Council on the review being undertaken on the 22 household, transport and health care concessions that are available for people on low incomes. The Council provided feedback on the lack of accessibility to application forms and DHS advised that this is something that will be worked on as part of the review.

Members were officially thanked for their contribution and meaningful engagement in the Council over the past year. The new meeting schedule for the Disability Minister’s Advisory Council will be established in early 2024.

Update as at 5 September 2023

The Disability Minister’s Advisory Council met for their third quarterly meeting on the 5 September 2023. The Minister spoke about her recent meeting with Flinders University on the Australian Hospitality Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) Toolkit. Members were interested in providing feedback on behalf of the Council which will be facilitated by the Department for Human Services.

The Minister provided an update on the Disability Reform Ministerial Council (DRMC) meeting on 23 June 2023 which included discussion on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the National Autism Strategy. The Council provided feedback on the NDIS and suggested opportunities for improvement. The Council was informed that the Disability Royal Commission findings will be received on 29 September.

Members enquired regarding extension of the South Australian Transport Subsidy Scheme (SATSS) and improvement in public transport accessibility. The Minister advised that she is working with the Minister for Transport on these matters.

The Assistant Minister for Autism provided an update on her role as Assistant Minister for Autism and the Autism Strategy consultation that is being led by the Department for Human Services. She went on further to explain the progress South Australia is already making prior to the implementation of the State Autism Strategy.

The DHS brought the State Disability Inclusion Plan Discussion Paper to the Council and explained their role in the development of the new Plan and implementation. The Council provided feedback on the Discussion Paper, which DHS incorporated, prior to public release.

The Disability Minister’s Advisory Council will meet for the final time this year on 9 November 2023.

Update as at 7 June 2023

The Disability Minister’s Advisory Council met for their second quarterly meeting on Wednesday 7 June 2023. Along with meeting with the Minister, the Council met with the Chair and SA Representative of the Australia’s Disability Strategy Advisory Council, Dr Ben Gauntlett and Ms Natalie Wade respectively.

Dr Ben Gauntlett and Ms Natalie Wade provided information on the functions and objectives of the ADS Advisory Council and an update on work to implement Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-31, to achieve real change for Australians with disability.

The Minister provided the Council with an update on progress to implement recommended amendments to the Disability Inclusion Act 2018. The Council advised the Minister on the importance of aligning language used in legislation relating to disability, impairment and barriers with United Nations definitions, where applicable, and their interest in providing advice to legislative drafters on these matters.

The Council discussed how they would like to operate to develop informed advice to the Minister and build the State’s capacity to develop legislation and policy that responds to the lived experience and needs of people with disability. As a result of this discussion, the Council elected member Mr Sisaleo Philavong as Chair.

The Council meets next in September 2023.

Page last updated 9 January 2024