The long and winding road (big step)

Ms Donna Best1, Mr Paul O’Dea2, Ms Carol Bunt3, Belinda Drew3, Morrie O’Connor2, Michelle Moss1

1Queenslanders With Disability Network, , Australia, 2Community Living Association, Nundah, Australia, 3Community Services Industry Alliance, Wooloongabba, Australia

The NDIS offers many opportunities for people with disability. Funding through the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) is focused on the goals of inclusion, and some Queenslanders with intellectual disability identified that this is something for everyone, but the process for applying for this funding is not easy or inclusive for them. To address this, a group of Queensland self-advocates with a big goal to establish a self-advocacy led organisation in Queensland, and a consortium of organisations working alongside them have worked together. Supported by the Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) through their Inclusion Ready Project, they contracted the Australian Centre for Social Innovation to work alongside the group of self-advocates and consortium partners to design and develop a process for creating a theory of change that could help shape and evaluate their application, modelling user-led practice, develop supporting resources and tools to assist in replicating the model and lay foundations for other. This diverse group of stakeholders all identify a range of learnings, benefits, and outcomes unique to their stake in the work.

This workshop will provide an overview of the project, and engage participants in the processes used including an accessible, fun, interactive Theory of Change. The workshop will also explore the learnings and how this can be used to inform diverse groups with a common goal can co-create governance arrangements and a project submission/project plan for any opportunity. This workshop aims to assist self advocacy groups and organisations with information, tools, and resources to co-create a Theory of Change that enable the development of inclusive co-produced strategies and plans.


Donna Best has been an active leader in Queensland’s self-advocacy movement for the last four decades, championing the rights of people with intellectual and dual disability, and supporting others to have a voice, a say and be listened to. She has had a leading role in establishing and maintaining Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) Brisbane Hot Topics group as a welcoming meeting place, peer support and learning exchange for people with intellectual and dual disability. Donna has also held governance roles over the past decades with Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) and contributed to the formation of organisations and groups such as Speaking Up For You (SUFY).

Paul O’Dea is a passionate advocate for people with a disability. Paul takes pride in being a board member for ASID; board member and Treasurer for Community Living Association, Treasurer for Independent Youth Housing Group. One of Paul’s current projects is participating in a group of individuals launching a Self-Advocacy Group in Queensland. Paul will be sharing about this project as part of his presentation.

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