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NDIS Law Conference

February 24 @ 9:00 am - 5:15 pm AEDT

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Examine the key legal issues related to the NDIS. The morning session focuses on legal updates & procedures as the AAT, NCAT & leading lawyers explore recent cases, participant & substitute decision making & more. The afternoon’s provider-centric program covers the Royal Commission, workplace law for providers, & disability & SDA housing. This is a can’t miss event for lawyers working in personal injury, aged care, government & not for profit law, and it’s essential for disability service providers.

Attend and earn 7 CPD units including:
4 units in Substantive Law
3 units in Professional Skills

This program is applicable to practitioners from all States & Territories.

To book and for more information, see the conference website.

Use code SPK30 for a special 30% off the conference fee. Book now.

Session 1
Decision Making and Tribunal Procedures

Chair: Kim Boettcher, Barrister, Frederick Jordan Chambers

Professional Skills
9.00am to 10.00am Substitute Decision Making and the Interplay with the NDIS

General overview of substitute decision making / guardianship jurisdictions
The NDIS: Application and plan management – is there a role for a formally appointed decision maker?
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and Restrictive Practices: the source of consent
Presented by Malcolm Schyvens, Deputy President, Division Head – Guardianship Division, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Professional Skills
10.00am to 11.00am Empowering Participant Decision Making

Decision making ability: a relative concept
Connecting Supported Decision Making and the National Decision Making Principles
Linking administrative and legal representation into a care plan
Estate administration; the emerging multi-disciplinary practice field
Presented by Michael Perkins, Founder, Autonomy First Lawyers

11.00am to 11.10am Break

Professional Skills
11.10am to 12.10pm Practice and Procedure: Internal Review Process at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Business as usual’ during a pandemic: lessons learnt
The value of evidence in an application for review
Ongoing case management
Presented by Fiona Meagher, Deputy President and Division Head for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Division, Administrative Appeals Tribunal

12.10pm to 1.10pm Recent Decisions from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Review recent cases on the Tribunal’s approach to considering whether a person meets the criteria for access to the NDIS
Analyse recent cases on funding for reasonable and necessary supports
Presented by Jackie Finlay, Senior Solicitor, Legal Aid for NDIS and Social Security

Session 2
Legal Issues Impacting Disability Service Providers

Chair: Andrea De-Smidt, Senior Solicitor, Queensland Advocacy Incorporated

2.00pm to 3.00pm The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Examining the work of the Royal Commission thus far
The Interim Report
Where to from here?
Presented by Penelope Eden, Partner, MinterEllison; Recommended Health & Aged Care Lawyer, Doyle’s Guide 2020

3.00pm to 4.00pm Workplace Law Issues for Disability Service Providers

NDIS-worker screening: compliance implications when hiring, managing and ending the employment relationship
Where to now for casual employees? What do DSPs need to know?
Tips and traps for conducting effective workplace investigations
Strategies to navigate the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme and Disability Worker Regulation Scheme (Victoria and national operators)
Portable Long Service Leave for Disability Services Providers, implications for Victorian/ACT providers and national providers
Presented by Skye Rose, Practice Leader, Moores

4.00pm to 4.15pm Afternoon Tea

4.15pm to 5.15pm Review of Disability and SDA Housing

Recent changes in the SDA regulations
What are some of the best contract structures between housing providers and support providers, and what are the risks?
What funding structures can be used to develop disability and SDA housing projects?
Presented by Tony Rutherford, Partner, Mills Oakley


Kim Boettcher, Barrister, Frederick Jordan Chambers
Kim practises in Equity, Common Law, Commercial law, Property law and Wills &Estates. Prior to coming to the Bar, Kim practised as a solicitor in commercial and civil litigation law in England and Wales, NSW and Queensland. She also practised as a Solicitor at the Seniors Rights Service, an independent legal centre. She was appointed to the NSW Minister of Fair Trading’s Retirement Villages Advisory Council in 2013 and also to the Minister’s Expert Committee on Retirement Villages Standard Contract Terms and Disclosure Documents in 2011. She is a Director of INPEA and Treasurer of the International Commission of Jurists Australia.

Malcolm Schyvens, Deputy President, Division Head – Guardianship Division, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Malcolm Schyvens was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 1997. He was in private practice in Hobart for 11 years. He has held various high profile roles including Deputy President of the Guardianship Tribunal of NSW in October 2008 and President of that Tribunal in September 2011. Malcolm was appointed as a Deputy President of NCAT and the Division Head for Guardianship on 1 January 2014. He is Chair of the Australian Guardianship and Administration Council, the National Secretary of the Council of Australasian Tribunals, and a member of the Law Society of NSW’s Elder Law and Succession Committee.

Michael Perkins, Founder, Autonomy First Lawyers
Michael Perkins TEP is a lawyer, author and educator with over 30 years’ experience in trusts, estates and private client practice. He has worked in boutique and large firms helping families across generations to preserve and manage their wealth, family and community connections. He is a founder of Autonomy First and is focused on helping empower and evidence the decision making ability of his clients. He is focused on building cognitive responsive workplaces and workers so professional and commercial service providers alike can work more effectively to help their clients and patients age well.

Fiona Meagher, Deputy President and Division Head for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Division, Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Fiona was admitted as a solicitor in 1989. She practiced in commercial litigation and corporate law before working in house as General Counsel and Company Secretary for Telecom New Zealand Australia, a joint venture between Bell Atlantic and Telecom New Zealand during the deregulation of the telecommunications industry in Australia. She also worked as the Chief Operating officer of McCullough Robertson for a number of years. Fiona has worked in Tribunals since 2014 – for the Queensland Mental Health Review Tribunal between 2014 and 2018 and was appointed as a part time member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Migration and Refugee Division) in 2015 and assigned to the NDIS Division in 2017. She was appointed a full time Senior Member of the AAT in 2018 and has had management responsibilities for the NDIS Division since that time. She was recently appointed the Deputy President and Division Head of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Division at the AAT. Fiona is also an accredited mediator.

Jackie Finlay, Senior Solicitor, Legal Aid for NDIS and Social Security
Jackie Finlay is a senior solicitor at Legal Aid NSW in the Government Law team. Jackie has practised as a lawyer for over 20 years, focusing on areas of law that affect disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the community. Jackie is currently the senior solicitor at Legal Aid NSW managing the Social Security and National Disability Insurance Scheme team. She previously worked at community legal centres in NSW and the ACT, including 8 years as the Principal Solicitor at the Welfare Rights Centre, Sydney.

Andrea De-Smidt, Senior Solicitor, Queensland Advocacy Incorporated
Andrea de Smidt has worked for over twelve years as a lawyer supporting disadvantaged members of our community. Andrea’s experience includes coordinating the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic and Self Representation Service, both initiatives of LawRight, and working as a Senior Lawyer for Legal Aid Queensland representing clients in anti-discrimination complaints and National Disability Insurance Scheme appeals. Andrea enjoys working with vulnerable clients and tries her best, through her practical and empathetic manner, to make a difference in their lives.

Penelope Eden, Partner, MinterEllison
Penelope provides regulatory and commercial advice to private, listed and not-for-profit operators. She understands emerging sector trends, government policy and the day-to-day issues facing operators of health, aged care and disability services. Penelope advises on regulatory compliance, risk management following major clinical or service related events, managing complaints involving industry regulators, advising on accreditation issues, drafting resident agreements, advising on security of tenure and all aspects of clinical governance. Her clients include insurers and public and private healthcare operators. She is a litigator and has appeared in all courts and tribunals in a range of civil proceedings and appeals.

Skye Rose, Practice Leader, Moores
Skye leads the Workplace Relations practice at Moores after working at Victoria Legal Aid, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, and Minter Ellison. With over ten years’ experience representing both employees, employers, and government, Skye regularly appears before the Fair Work Commission, VCAT, Human Rights Commissions, and the Federal Circuit Court, and has a strong focus on the early resolution of disputes. Skye also has a strong practice in child protection. She works with organisations to prevent child abuse from occurring, and ensures that allegations are properly responded to when they arise.

Tony Rutherford, Partner, Mills Oakley
Tony regularly advises disability organisations and technology start-ups in relation to legislative, policy and commercial issues arising under the National Disability Insurance Scheme. He has advised on large and complex infrastructure projects across a wide range of sectors including social and affordable housing (including specialist disability accommodation), health and hospitals, roads, rail, mining, oil & gas, water, wastewater, telecommunications and power. Tony has also advised on projects and construction disputes and is well-versed in the full range of dispute resolution mechanisms.



February 24
9:00 am - 5:15 pm AEDT
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