Natalie Wade is currently a Principal Project Officer for the South Australian Department of Human Services, leading a project on the transition of government disability services to the non-government sector as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme reform agenda. Awarded Young Lawyer of the Year for South Australia and Australia in 2016 for her work on the South Australian Child Protection Systems Royal Commission and contribution to law reform for people with disabilities, Natalie has a well-respected legal background in international human rights law and law reform.
Natalie received a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor Commerce from the University of Adelaide and a Master of Laws (Legal Practice) from the Australian National University. As a leader in disability rights and reform, Natalie was the founding Chairperson of Australian Lawyer’s for Human Rights’ Disability Rights Subcommittee and has worked individual complaints to the Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Since 2015, Natalie has been member of the Every Women, Everywhere Campaign which advocates for an international treaty on violence against women and girls. In that role, Natalie assisted in drafting the Implementation and assessment memo for the campaign.
Natalie has dedicated much of her time to research relating to participation of individuals with communication disabilities in courts. Her research advocated for the implementation of judicial training on obtaining evidence from witnesses with communication disabilities. Following the introduction of the SA Disability Justice Plan, Natalie prepared a comparative analysis, published in the Alternative Law Journal, of the law reform in South Australian and Commonwealth jurisdictions to evaluate their effectiveness in upholding the international human rights of people with communication disabilities.