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Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes will complete his term of office on 4 July. In this presentation, Commissioner Innes will review his eight and a half years in the role. Appointed by the Howard Government, in 2005 he was re-appointed by the Rudd-Gillard government.
The Federal Government announced – as part of budget savings measures – that his position would not be filled by a full-time Commissioner who has lived experience of disability, and knowledge of the disability sector. Instead, one of the current Commissioner’s will fill the role on a part-time basis.
Commissioner Innes will examine – through the personal stories of people with disabilities – the successes which have occurred, and the progress achieved. He will talk about better access to buildings and public transport. He will assess how the National Disability Insurance Scheme will improve the lives of people with disabilities, and resource them to make a positive contribution to the Australian community and economy.
He will also look at areas where success has been lacking- unequal access to justice for victims and offenders, the employment crisis facing people with disabilities, and the poor educational outcomes being achieved.
Finally, he will provide a frank assessment of missed opportunities, and the directions which government should take on disability policy in the future.
Given his preparedness to call it as he sees it – figuratively at least – and the fact that his term will end two days after, his presentation should be informative and entertaining.