An open letter to the NDIS on its official first day

Getting NDIS ready with Hireup letter.

Dear NDIS,

Today is the day! You’re here! We’re thrilled you’ve officially made it. We know it hasn’t been smooth sailing for you but after three years of trialling, testing and refining, your full national rollout begins from today, 1 July 2016. It looks like you passed your first major testing period with flying colours and near-universal approval. You’ve gone from being a pipedream to a transformative reality and that alone is cause for celebration.

In one sense, you have materialised incredibly quickly. Only five or so years ago, the vast majority of Australians had never heard of you, and of those who had, almost all would have described you as a complete pipedream. Some might have even scoffed or laughed at the thought of you. And fair enough too, you are revolutionary. You are the kind of innovation that only shows up once in a generation at best. Back then, disability policy barely registered on the national political radar. The concept of any government agreeing to spend $22 billion on one uniform, national system of disability services seemed extraordinary. But that’s what’s happening.

Despite all the budgetary pressures our federal governments have faced over recent years, we think it speaks volumes that all sides of politics have continued to provide you with unwavering, bipartisan support. Take that feather and stick it in your cap.

At the same time though, it feels like you’ve also materialised agonisingly slowly. There are Australians that were absolutely desperate for better disability services three years ago who are still desperately waiting today, and many will have to continue to wait. We know this is a nature-of-the-beast type side effect. You’re so large, so new, so national in scale. But while these are the qualities that make you so exciting, we hope you remain as self-aware as possible as you continue to grow. It hasn’t been entirely straightforward for the people you’re trying to help but for Australians with disability and their families, today is a day that warrants a big sigh of relief.

There’s no doubt the months and years ahead will need to be an all hands-on-deck effort to address the glitches, problems and frustrating waits that may continue to occur as you rollout. But, trial period over, it’s time to start firing on all cylinders. For all of us. Your innovation alone will not be enough, as industry leaders, consumers and participants, it’s up to us to respond with innovation. To think outside the box, to leverage your potential and to grasp the nettle with both hands.

Cheers,
Your Hireup admirers

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