Northern Territory Disability Strategy

The Northern Territory Disability Strategy Consultation

The Northern Territory (NT) is developing a NT Disability Strategy (the Strategy). The Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities (TFHC), through the Office of Disability (OoD), is asking Territorians what they think should be included in the Strategy.

The Northern Territory Government needs to understand what is important for people with disability.  We want to work together with people with lived experience ofdisability, their networks, family and carers, the sector and industry stakeholders and the broader community to make a Strategy and action plan that will work in the NT.

The Strategy will:

  • show principles, a vision, goals, outcomes and priority areas for 2022 – 2032
  • describe what people with disability in the Territory need to have a good life and to make an accessible and inclusive society where people with disability can reach their full potential
  • tell us where we are now, what we want in the future, how we will achieve it; and how we will know if we have made a difference
  • help government and community work together to make change
  • show how the NT is fulfilling its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disability; and the NT commitment to Australia’s Disability Strategy (ADS), which is to be released in late 2021

Who is the Strategy for?

This Strategy is for everyone in the Northern Territory and it will aim to achieve outcomes for all people with disability, including people with significant; or mild to moderate disability.  It also will consider the different experiences of disability, including physical, sensory, cognitive, developmental disabilities and mental health conditions.

Did you know?

  • There are approximately 20,500 people with disability in the Northern Territory.
  • There are 4000 National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants in the Northern Territory.
  • Half of NDIS participants in the Northern Territory identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander; and 45 percent of NDIS participants are under 14 years of age.
  • Autism, intellectual disability, developmental delay and psychosocial disability are some of the most commonly reported disabilities for Territorians.

Road map – How the Strategy will be developed and implemented


The Road Map shows key stages and important milestones for the development and implementation of the Northern Territory (NT) Disability Strategy.


Stage One

Strategy Consulation

  • Develop high-level   vision of the Strategy.
  • Establish the NT Disability Strategy Oversight   Group.
  • Minister formally   launches Disability Strategy consultation.
  • Draft discussion   paper launched on NT Government HaveYourSay website.
  • Office of   Disability – Consultation page launched.
  • Consultation with   the disability sector and stakeholders through targeted meetings and   engagements – sector requested to encourage input and feedback.

Stage Two

Strategy and First Action Plan Development

  • Consultation outcomes published on the Office of Disability   consultation webpage and circulated to stakeholders. Including the draft   vision, outcomes areas and priorities of the NT Disability Strategy.
  • Consultations to refine the first action   plan under outcomes   areas will occur through workshops; and targeted meetings with stakeholders.
  • A draft 10 Year Strategy Document is produced for finalisation by   Oversight Group and NT Disability Advisory Committee.

Stage Three

Strategy Finalisation and First Action Plan Finalisation

  • Public release of the final NT Disability Strategy and first action   plan following formal launch by Minister.
  • The first action plan will include ongoing governance, monitoring and   reporting.

Stage Four

NT Disability Strategy – Tools and Support

  • Development of resources and tools to support community, business,   non-government, and government organisations develop their own disability   action plans.
  • Release of tools on website.

Stage Five

Actioning the Strategy

  • Ongoing promotion, engagement and support to drive the Strategy and   development of complimentary action plans.
  • Monitoring and annual reporting of progress and outcomes to the NT   Disability Advisory Committee and the Minister for Disabilities.

Office of Disability Engagement Framework

The OoD Engagement Framework guides the way that the OoD will consult to ensure that engagement is:

  • inclusive and reflective of the diversity of people with disability and their experience and reviews
  • appropriate and accessible and met the needs of individuals, groups and communities
  • transparent and accountable
  • safe, supportive and trauma informed

Read the Engagement Framework PDF (172.0 KB). Plain language versions will also be available soon.


TFHC invites comments and ideas on the development of the NT Disability Strategy and first three year Action Plan. Your experiences, values and ideas will inform the development of the Strategy.

You can have your say by:

Please read the following consultation materials before making a submission. Easy Read and plain language versions will be available soon.

OoD is working with Darwin Community Legal Service and Disability Advocacy Service to support you in providing input to the consultation and to make sure that the broad range of people who make up people with disability in the NT are consulted.

You can ask for help to give your feedback by contacting:

Submissions close 22 November 2021.


TFHC is undertaking a co-design approach to inform and deliver the first disability strategy for the Northern Territory.

The Northern Territory Disability Advisory Committee and the Children and Families Standing Committee will oversee the development of the Strategy.

A Steering Committee will guide the development of the Strategy and includes representation from people with disability, carers, advocacy organisations and peak bodies, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, the disability sector, local government and the Northern Territory Government.

Working groups will inform the development for the Strategy and will ensure stakeholder input and support a process for co-design.


A steering committee will guide the consultation approach and development of the Strategy. TFHC is committed to partnering closely with people with lived experience of disability and the sector to ensure the Strategy is a practical ‘live document’ that mobilises collective ownership and commitment across multiple stakeholder groups.

The Steering Committee, which will be co-chaired by the General Manager, Community Participation and Inclusion; a person with lived experience, Ms Liz Reid and a sector representative Ms Annie Rily.  The Steering Committee will meet very six weeks and a Communique from the meeting including key outcomes and discussion at meetings will be provided below.

You can contact members to talk about the Strategy, those things that are important to you and your input to the consultation.

Steering Committee Members and contacts

Member Job titleRepresenting
Helena Wright (Co-Chair) General Manager Community Participation and Inclusion Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities
Annie Riley (Co-Chair) CEO – Carpentaria Disability Services Chair – National Disability Services - NT National Disability Services - NT
Liz Reid AM (Co Chair) Executive Officer, Youth Worx; Member, National Disability Strategy Reform Steering Group; Member, Australian Federation of Disability Organisations Board; President, Physical Disability Australia Member, National Disability Insurance Agency Independent Advisory Council  
Chris Blackham-Davison Northern Territory Disability Advisory Committee - Chair Northern Territory Disability Advisory Committee
Sean Holden Chief Executive Local Government Association NT Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT)
Deborah Di Natale Chief Executive Officer Northern Territory Council of Social Services
David Woodroffe Principal Legal Officer at North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA)/ Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory (APO NT)
Gemina Corpus TBC Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT)
Nadia Lindop / Deputy Chair NDS –NT CEO Machado-Joseph Disease Foundation National Disability Services Northern Territory
Lawson Broad Deputy Chair NDS –NT CEO Somerville Community services National Disability Services – Northern Territory
Larrisa Derm General Manager Integrated Disability Action
Steve Vitone Chief Executive Officer Carers NT
Mr Geoff Radford Executive Officer Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition
Ms Kellie Streeter Team Leader Seniors and Disability Rights Services, Darwin Community Legal Service Northern Territory Disability Advocacy Collective
Cindy Jarvis Director Social Policy Northern Territory Government, Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet
TBC TBC Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Please direct any queries to the Steering Committee Secretariat at the Office of Disability via email to; or telephone (08) 8999 2445.

Four working groups will also be established as part of the consultation process.  The Working Groups will play a key role in supporting stakeholder engagement and providing input to inform the development of content for the Strategy.

The four groups provide the following representation:

  • Working Group 1 – People with lived experience of disability and advocates
  • Working Group 2 – NT Government and Statutory Offices
  • Working Group 3 – Mainstream Services
  • Working Group 4 – National Disability Insurance Scheme

Membership of the Working Groups requires:

  • a collaborative approach
  • engagement with the stakeholders that members represent
  • understanding of the issues of importance for people with disability in the NT.

You can contact members of the Working Groups to talk about the Strategy and your input to the consultation.

Members and contact details will be provided following their establishment:

  • Working Group 1 – People with lived experience of disability and advocates
  • Working Group 2 – NT Government and Statutory Offices
  • Working Group 3 – Mainstream Services
  • Working Group 4 – National Disability Insurance Scheme

The Office of Disability, Darwin Community Legal Services, and Disability Advocacy Services will be undertaking face to face consultation activities between 14 October and 22 November. A workshop schedule will be uploaded prior to the 14 October,

  • You can attend the workshops or events to be provided in the table below, please contact the organiser to let them know you are coming and to let us know your accessibility needs.
  • You can also ask the Office of Disability, if you would like us to support or attend a meeting or workshop to talk about the Strategy.
  • You can ask us to add your consultation or engagement activity to the schedule.
  • If you have any questions about workshops that will be held in your area please contact the Office of Disability.

Last updated: 14 October 2021

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