Stories of interest

VALID CEO Kevin Stone and Alan Robertson

CEO Kevin presented with Alan Robertson, and Advocacy Manager Sarah Forbes was there as part of a panel of advocates at the Disability Royal Commission this month.

Jake Castledine

On Wednesday 16 October 2019, Jake Castledine, and his mother, Janice Castledine, received the news that they won their three-year-long battle with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

VALID thanks the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme for the opportunity presented by this inquiry to further examine and address some of the important issues with Supported Independent Living (SIL) funding. VALID has three key points and recommendations based on our experience of providing direct assistance over the past six years to hundreds of people with intellectual disabilities who are participants of the scheme.

seven people facing camera holding their certificates from the Dulcie Stone Competition

On Wednesday 31st July over 80 people gathered at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne to celebrate the work of the writers who entered the 3rd Annual Dulcie Stone Writers Award which VALID hosts in partnership with Writers Victoria.

man in wheelcheer sitting at a desk across from woman. both are smiling at a camera

John McKenna sat down with Olivia Petty from the Disability, Priority Communities Division for the Victoria Police.They discussed her role and how the Victoria Police are working with people with an intellectual disability. 

NDIS Code of Conduct

The NDIS has a Code of Conduct to make sure that you receive high quality products and services and that you are safe when you are receiving NDIS-funded supports. Advocacy Manager, Sarah Forbes, breaks down the NDIS Code of Conduct and explains what it all means

NDIS and Making Decisions

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 says that people with disabilities are the decision-makers about their NDIS planning and supports. Even if you need a lot of support to make your wishes known, you have the right to have others help you to do what you would like to do. Someone else should only be making decisions for you if you really can’t make the decision for yourself and only if there is absolutely no other option. Our Advocacy manager Sarah Forbes goes through your rights when it comes to the NDIS and making decisions

people sitting outside at dusk looking at a projector promoting FANTASTIC FLICKS

The VALID Moe Peer Acton Group, Moe Life Skills, High Street Community Hub and Latrobe City Council in partnership with film makers and producers from the City of Port Phillip, Arts Access Victoria, the Self Advocacy Resource Unit (SARU) and MOJO Films held an outdoor screening of Fantastic Flicks at the High Street Community Hub on Friday 5 of April.


VALIDs’ Keys to Success team have been working in rural Victoria. They delivered the Staying Safe presentation to a group of young adults from Special Olympics Victoria in Echuca. The people who attended were enthusiastic and honest in their reaction to the videos and conversation. VALID also received great feedback - that the presentation was informative and easy to understand.

Woman with dark hair with braided bun smiling at camera

Sometimes people get caught in situations where they feel confused, misunderstood or unsafe. Self-advocate Elicia found herself in a situation recently where she felt unsafe and found the courage to seek help.

NDIS puzzle

VALID is contacted almost every day by NDIS participants, families, and Support Coordinators for advice about Support Coordination. NDIS participants tell VALID that they are not sure what their Support Coordinator should do for them, and Support Coordinators often call to request an advocate for a participant when the task that needs to be done is something a Support Coordinator should do.

Jade and Bill Shorten

People with disability, families, carers and people who work in the sector all came together on Friday 3rd May for a National Day of Action, organised by Every Australia Counts, to demand a better NDIS.

LGBTIQA Alliance Survey Results

VALID has undertaken an exciting new project focusing on LGBTIQA+ disability, working alongside disability organisations and LGBTIQA+ community healthcare services.


A number of VALID staff members recently took part in Mental Health First Aid training. The course focused on high-risk issues that staff members should be prepared for if someone shows signs of depression and suicide.

The training focused on some of the assumptions surrounding suicide and the myths that have been perpetuated over the years.

Staff learned about the Three L’s: Look, Listen and Link and what they mean when it comes to preventing suicide.

LOOK: Take notice of people around you and their behaviours

Professor Gerard Quinn

Professor Gerard Quinn, from the National University of Ireland. was recently invited to Australia in March 2019 by Deakin University to do a series of presentations. 

John McKenna and Gerard discuss how other countries are looking at topics such as guardianship, supported decision making, and how other countries are also looking closely at the development of our National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Having a Say Conference

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Having a Say Conference which was held at Deakin University Waterfront Campus. Over 1000 people from across Australia and the world attended the three-day event. It’s always fabulous to see everyone attending the conference, but especially this year in its 20th year.

Heather Forsyth

Recently, Heather and Jon attended the Disability Support Worker Conference in Brisbane. They were involved in three presentations over the two days of the conference. The first presentation involved Heather presenting on how she has used her skills as a strong self-advocate to live life her way.

Disability Services Commissioner Arthur Rogers

Many Victorians who are involved in disability and in particular have interacted with the Department of Health and Human Services will most likely be very familiar with the name Arthur Rogers.

For those who haven’t heard of Arthur, he has held leadership roles within the Victorian Government in disability, social housing, and is currently the Victorian Disability Services Commissioner.

If you’ve ever had a chance to meet with Arthur, I’m sure you will agree he is a strong advocate for independent choice and the inclusion of people with a disability.

Robert Martin

The VALID Podcast provides regular commentary and updates on VALID’s work, and chats with other people who share their stories about disability. Our first podcast is an interview with Robert Martin MNZM.

Man introducing people to art exhibition at Having a Say Conference

Here are some photos of the ‘Having A Say Anniversary’ exhibition launch at the Having a Say Conference. It was a retrospective of award-winning works created by artists with disability from over a decade of the Having a Say conference. The show was supported by the Senior Practitioner, Office of Professional Practice and presented by VALID.