Embracing the NDIS!

Mrs Tanya Whitley1

1Mackillop Family Services, Collarenebri, Australia


Mackillop Family Services have been supporting children and families with a disability in remote communities in western NSW for over 17 years. Access to allied health professionals is a key issue for the delivery of early childhood intervention services for children and families in western NSW and the development of an allied health assistant model has helped Mackillop Family Services to increase access for the people in remote western NSW.  Mackillop Family Services have strong links with the community and a stable local workforce who are responding to the challenges presented by the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, significantly changing the service delivery environment. Staff have embraced the opportunity to upskill in developing individual plans and to support families to engage with a new and unfamiliar scheme. The service has identified some tensions in transitioning to an individualised funding approach with changes to service eligibility resulting in some existing clients being outside the scheme guidelines. NDIS participants face difficulties due to inadequate provision for travel and associated costs with the delivery of allied health services in remote communities leading to threats to the successful implementation of plans and reduced outcomes.

This presentation will outline the services provided by Mackillop Family Services early childhood/therapy support workers and proposed innovations funded by the NSW Department of Industry through the Disability Sector Scale-Up – Business Acceleration Grants program to develop services in response to the needs of NDIS participants.


Tanya is a Allied Health Assistant ( certificate 4)  working in the small rural town of Walgett delivering Early Childhood Intervention Services. Tanya has been working for Mackillop Family Services for 4 years, during this time Tanya has worked closely with Allied Health Professionals delivering programs, Tanya has been part of the NDIS transition Early Childhood Early Intervention approach. Tanya is committed to providing these supports to families and children in the Walgett community.

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