Disability Inclusion Committee

Strategy 4 of City Of Newcastle's Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2016-2019 reads as 'Establish partnerships which address community wide barriers to access and inclusion' and action (d) is 'Establish a community advisory committee in the next term of Council'.

By Council resolution on 24 October 2017, approval was given to proceed with an Expression of Interest process to establish a Disability Inclusion Advisory Committee (DIAC). The functions of this committee are outlined in the Committee Charter.

Objectives and Responsibilities

  • To enhance the delivery of Council's commitment to the Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2016-2019
  • To provide strategic advice and guidance to Council and Council Officers in relation to making Newcastle a highly inclusive community
  • To engage people with disabilities, their carers and disability service providers in Local Government
  • To discuss localised concerns about barriers experienced by people with disabilities
  • To support Council in a manner that is consistent with Council values
  • To submit an annual report to the elected Council on the operation and actions of this Committee.

Committee Charter

 Committee Charter (pdf)


DIAC meetings are held every 2 months for a period up to 2 hours, currently between 4:30pm and 6:30pm.

Meeting dates for 2018 include

Wednesday 27 June
Wednesday 22 August
Wednesday 24 October
Wednesday 19 December


The charter outlines that the Committee Membership will consist of 3 Councillor Representatives, 3 Organisational Representatives from community organisations specialising in service provision and/or advocacy services in the Disability Sector, and 3 Community Members who have live experience of disabilities and/or are carers or family members of people with disabilities.

In light of the applications received during the Expression of Interest process for the committee, a decision was made to increase the Community Membership from 3 to 5 positions resulting in the DIAC now having 11 members.

Current members

Cr Matthew Byrne (Councillor representative)
Cr Carol Duncan (Councillor representative)
Cr Peta Winney-Baartz (Councillor representative)
Nathan Burford   (Organisational representative-Guide Dogs NSW/ACT)
Cath Mahony   (Organisational representative-Community Disability Alliance Hunter)
Tracy Walker   (Organisational representative-Maroba Communities)
Chris Leishman (Community representative)
Norm MacPherson (Community representative)
Kirsty Russell (Community representative)
Eliot Shaw (Community representative)
Margaret Wood (Community representative)

Meeting Agendas

 Meeting One Agenda 28/02/2018 (pdf)
 Meeting Two Agenda 02/05/2018 (pdf)

Meeting Minutes

 DIAC Minutes 28/02/2018 (pdf)
 DIAC Minutes 02/05/2018 (pdf)


The committee is required to produce an Annual Report on it's activities to the Council each financial.