Co-design Advisory Group June 2023

The purpose of this communique is to detail the key outcomes of the Co-design Advisory Group’s 19th meeting, which took place Tuesday 13 June 2023.  

The primary purpose of the Co-design Advisory Group is for the Independent Advisory Council (IAC), Department of Social Services (DSS) and the disability sector to provide strategic advice to the NDIA on the development, focus and implementation of co-design and engagement processes within the disability community.  

The Co-design Advisory Group works collaboratively to: 

  • ensure disability community perspectives on issues facing the NDIS are represented  
  • gather feedback on the co-design priorities and approaches with peers and members and  
  • provide and receive strategic advice on the design, implementation and evaluation of co-design and engagement

The following members and NDIA representatives were in attendance. 


  • Dwayne Cranfield, CEO, National Ethnic Disability Alliance


  • Ross Joyce, CEO, Australian Federation of Disability Organisations 
  • Dr Sharon Boyce, IAC
  • Dr Leighton Jay, IAC
  • Leah Van Poppel, IAC
  • Julie Yeend, DSS
  • Trish Drury, DSS 

NDIA representatives 

  • Corri McKenzie, Deputy CEO, Service Design & Improvement
  • Donna Purcell, NDIA Participant Advocate
  • Shannon Rees, A/g General Manager, Communications and Engagement
  • Alex Rosenthal, A/g Branch Manager, Co-design and Engagement 


  • Matthew Wright, Director, Sector Engagement and Advice 
  • Courtney Hoffman, Director, Strategy, Communications and Innovation
  • Phillip Wakefield, Assistant Director, Sector Engagement and Advice 


  • Sam Bennett, General Manager, Policy, Advice and Research
  • Jennifer Cullen, IAC
  • Skye Kakoschke-Moore, CEO, Children and Young People with Disability Australia
  • Catherine McAlpine, CEO, Inclusion Australia

Meeting summary  

The Chair acknowledged the Traditional Owners of the land, paying respect to their Elders, past and present, and also paid respects to people with disability.

Co-design Advisory Group (CAG) members each paid respect to the Tradition Owners of the land on which they were meeting from.

The Chair welcomed Alex Rosenthal, new A/g NDIA Branch Manager, Co-design and Engagement to her first CAG meeting.

Reform for Outcomes status update and role of the Co-design Advisory Group  

The Chair introduced Corri McKenzie, Deputy CEO, Service Design & Improvement. Ms McKenzie provided an update on the program of work the NDIA is taking in partnership with DRCOs and the IAC, following the Tuesday 9 May 2023 Federal Budget announcement.

Ms McKenzie spoke to the establishment of an iterative approach for co-designing reforms as part of this program of work, known as the Reform for Outcomes program.

Ms McKenzie spoke to CAG about what role they should play in this co-design program.  

Ms McKenzie also spoke about developing an evaluation framework for the Agency’s co-design work and ensuring the CAG has a function as part of the framework.

The NDIA will present a proposed draft evaluation framework to the CAG for feedback at the next CAG meeting.

Ms McKenzie spoke about the NDIA embedding a new structure at the Agency that will better support co-design practices to be embedded across policy and process development from inception through to implementation.


CAG members raised some concern the 6 Agency-led co-design projects already underway have appeared to stall. They highlighted the importance of this work continuing through to implementation, and asked for the CAG to continue to have visibility of the 6 projects and for the NDIA to strengthen the links between the 6 projects and the RFO program.

CAG members outlined their support for the Agency increasing its capability to lead co-design projects internally to ensure the voices of people with disability are heard throughout policy and process design and implementation.

CAG members asked for greater communication between the Agency and representative organisations.

Members recommended providing Agency staff more information about the roles and responsibilities of DRCOs and IAC members and how the Agency can better engage them as subject matter experts.  
The Group took an action to further consider the role of the CAG in supporting the RFO program of work, and to review the terms of reference to ensure they still fit for purpose.

This will be discussed at the next CAG meeting.

Meeting close

The meeting concluded.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 11 July 2023. 

If you have any feedback or questions about the Co-design Advisory Group, please email [email protected]