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Building Opportunities, Building Communities Conference 2020

This year might not have turned out how we expected, but it doesn’t have to be a complete write-off. In reality, for those of us providing essential services, there is no better time to learn from industry leaders on how we can improve services. And you can do it safely by joining us virtually.

The NDIS and a global pandemic mean more than ever we have to learn how to be innovative and agile while making sure no one is left behind, that the most disadvantaged have equal access to opportunities.

To meet the new demands of COVID, the two day conference is now fully virtual. But if you’re lucky enough to live in lovely Tasmania, there’s the option of coming along to our Hobart day in person.

Get your tickets today.


Prof Christine Bigby

Director, Living with Disability Research Centre / Chair, Academic Board School of Allied Health, Human Services & Sport / La Trobe University:

Professor Christine Bigby

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Professor Christine Bigby has a national and international reputation for her research on the social inclusion of adults with intellectual disability. The focus of her work is policy issues, program effectiveness and front line practice that supports quality of life outcomes for people with intellectual disability. Her current research is examining the effectiveness of supported accommodation services, the nature and meaning of social inclusion for people with intellectual disability, and supported decision making for people with cognitive disability.

Speaker Brendan Murray

Director, Article 26, Melbourne:

Brendan Murray

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Brendan is a Sanctuary Institute Faculty Member with MacKillop Family Services. He is an educationalist, a justice advocate and a human rights proponent with a particular interest in inclusive schools, education directed to the full development of the human personality and justice systems that accord its prisoners with respect and dignity for the betterment of its society.

Founder / Chief Executive Officer, Guidestar:

Helen Killmier

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Helen Killmier is Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Guidestar, an organisation that she founded in 2017. Guidestar supports people with multiple and complex needs using a trauma-informed approach to achieve meaningful participation and an improved quality of life. Helen has extensive experience in leadership roles and her industry experience includes disability, mental health, homelessness, alcohol and other drugs, justice and local government.

A registered Community Psychologist,  Helen’s research interests are sense of community, sense of place, community wellbeing, dual disability and mental health. She is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society, a Fellow of the College of Community Psychologists, a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Honorary Fellow of Melbourne University.

Executive General Manager, Practice Innovation and Service Development:

Nicola Crates

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Nicola Crates is Executive General Manager, Practice Innovation and Service Development at Possability. She is a trained Speech Pathologist with over 15 years’ experience in Positive Behaviour Support. She has published on staff training and associated client outcomes in the Journal of Intellectual Disability in 2012 and has presented extensively on Positive Behaviour Support at National and International Conferences. She has recently had two articles relating to non-aversive crisis management published in the latest International Journal of Positive Behaviour Support and presents regularly at national and international conferences.

Phil Richardson

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Phil leads the team at Chapter2, a registered SDA provider and property specialist. Chapter2 has an exclusive focus on the development and management of SDA properties. Phil and his team are driven first and foremost by understanding the individual needs of the clients. Then through intelligent design and creative problem solving they strive to tailor and manage environments that enhance and enable quality of life. Phil has an engineering background and has been an active member of the Melbourne property community for over 15 years.

Rob Hannaford

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As one of the three co-authors of the NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation Design Standard, Robert’s guidance on the technical aspects of SDA requirements is sort after by organisations and individuals nationwide. With over 30 years’ experience in Not for Profit and Community Housing, as well as the building and construction industries, Robert is a specialist in SDA accommodation. Harnessing the conscientious effort to a person-centred approach and the goodwill of the business and private sectors, to see people achieve their goals and dreams for the future.