Six Years and Counting:

The NDIS and the Australian Disability Services System

A White Paper for the future of disability services in Australia

This project sets out the strategic white paper which has been developed out of learnings and experience derived across the Australian Disability Services Sector after six years of change as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is implemented. It has been designed to be readily accessible for people in policy and practice and to focus on the mitigations we think are necessary for the development of an effective national disability services system.

It also offers the supporting evidence and policy documentation as separate reports to allow for a deeper engagement with the issues.

If you have any suggestions or comments that you would like to contribute to the project, please feel free to contact the research team.

Download the White Paper

White Paper goals

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A realisation of better outcomes for all Australians living with disabilities.

Building a fit-for-purpose disability system in Australia.

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Increase understanding and encourage leadership to adopt the necessary changes to make a fit-for-purpose disability services system.

Supporting evidence and policy documentation



This paper was funded, developed and written by the University of Western Australia AccFin Not-for-profit Research Team. 


This paper should be cited as follows:
Gilchrist, D.J., P. A. Knight, C. A. Edmonds and T. J. Emery, 2019, Six Years and Counting: The NDIS and the Australian Disability Services System, a Report of Not-for-profits UWA, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia.


This paper has been developed via a process of meta-analysis of existing reports published between 2005 and 2019, examination of additional existing data and commentary. The paper has also been …

Transparency Statement

  • Professor David Gilchrist is a professor in the UWA Business School at the University of Western Australia. He has received funding for research and consultancy from the National Disability Insurance Agency, National Disability Services Ltd, and several disability service providers form various locations across Australia. He is a director of BaxterLawley Advisory and has been a director and chair of a number of human services organisations including in disability services.
  • Penny Knight is the Managing Director at BaxterLawley. Her clients have included national and sub-national government agencies, Not-for-profits and for-profits. She has also worked in the Strategic Policy Unit of the WA Treasury and was formerly a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. She is a director of Nulsen Disability Services and Juniper.
  • Craig Edmonds is a consultant for Commercial, Not for Profit and Government sectors with a specialty in regional and remote communities.
  • Thomas Emery is a Research Fellow at the UWA NFP Research Team under David Gilchrist. He holds a Masters in Public Policy (Dist) from UWA.

Contact Professor David Gilchrist

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