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The information contained in this newsletter is aimed at disability service providers.

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In this edition:

  1. New nationwide network of Carer Gateway service providers now operating

  2. Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation

  3. Recovery Coach

New nationwide network of Carer Gateway service providers now operating

Carer Gateway service providers are now delivering a range of support services to Australia’s 2.65 million unpaid carers. This Australia-wide network is now providing carers with access to:

Carer Gateway service providers are also providing assistance navigating local services available to carers through federal, state and local government and non-government providers, including the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), My Aged Care and palliative care.
These services are free, not only to carers but for anyone looking after a family member or friend with disability, a medical condition, a mental health condition or who is frail due to age.
Carers can access the services by calling Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 or visiting the Carer Gateway website:

The Carer Gateway service providers have a flexible workforce, shopfronts and service outlets to ensure that carers have access to supports and services no matter where they live. Although some of the in-person services have been affected by COVID-19, there is still a range of online supports available.
The new service delivery model is part of the Australian Government’s $700 million reform to carer services, which is the biggest reform to carer supports in more than a decade

How to access Carer Gateway services

Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation

Independent, culturally appropriate counselling and advocacy support is available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, as well as their families, and people engaging with the Disability Royal Commission. Support is free, private and independent.

Counselling support
The Australian Government is funding a range of organisations across Australia to deliver independent, culturally appropriate counselling services to help those who may have complex needs and require more in-depth support, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with disability. Support in some areas of Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland is provided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Advocacy support
Across Australia, 50 National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) providers have received funding to provide independent, culturally appropriate individual advocacy support to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability and their families. In the coming months, up to eight Indigenous Community Advocates will be employed to increase access to culturally appropriate support and information in identified communities.

Building cultural capability and understanding
First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) is being funded to help build the capability of support providers to strengthen their understanding, skills and capacity to deliver culturally appropriate supports. FPDN is also developing a range of Indigenous resources about the support services available, and working separately with the Disability Royal Commission itself on producing culturally appropriate information and videos about the process for sharing your story. More information is available at
FPDN along with the Department of Social Services and other partners, are also working to build pathways and connections with disability stakeholders and providers across Australia to find innovative ways to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, their families and communities find and access the support they need.

Further resources and a communication toolkit will be made available to stakeholders in the coming weeks to help spread the word about the services available.

How to get support
Support is available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia by phone, online and in-person. Indigenous-run support is available in some areas.

Contact the National Counselling and Referral Service for counselling support, or ask them to connect you to a counsellor or advocate near you.

Call 1800 421 468, 9am to 6pm weekdays or 9am to 5pm weekends and national public holidays. If you are worried about your safety right now, call 000.
People who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can contact us through the National Relay Service on 133 677.

Counsellors and advocates can arrange translations and interpreting for people who need help in another language.

For a full list of support services visit


Recovery Coach

A new support item called the psychosocial recovery coach (recovery coach) will be available for participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This new recovery coach has been developed in response to feedback on integrating recovery-oriented practice within the NDIS.
What will recovery coaches do?
Recovery coaches will provide support to people with psychosocial disability to live a full and contributing life. People will be assisted to take more control of their lives and to better manage complex challenges of day-to-day living.

Through strong and respectful relationships and skilled coaching, people will be supported to build capacity, including strength and resilience. Recovery coaches will work collaboratively with people, their families, carers and supports to design, plan, implement and adjust a recovery plan.

Recovery Coaches will collaborate with the broader service system and will assist with the coordination of NDIS and other supports.
When will it be available?
The new NDIS Price Guide for 2020-21 has been released, which includes detailed information about the recovery coach. More information is available at:
Qualifications and competencies of the recovery coach will ensure NDIS providers can deliver quality support and services. Noting the importance of other professions like peer work. More information about the recovery coach is available at:
As the recovery coach is new, it may take some time for it to become widely available

Copyright © 2018 Department of Social Services
ISSN 1448-8256