Confused about whether people with disability in the criminal justice system can access the NDIS?

This Panel of Experts drawn from disability including the NDIA, human rights, corrections, legal and advocacy will debate who holds responsibility for the different tasks and issues that face people with disability in the criminal justice system. In a facilitated conversation this panel will both offer perspectives and answer questions on how to best respond to people with disability in the criminal justice system.

Who should make an NDIS access request: when and why? How will NDIS provide support coordination in a prison. How will an OT assessment occur for a person detained in a prison and what aids and equipment are available. Can people with disability detained in a prison appeal a NDIS decision and who will help them. All of these and more will be explored by the Panel.

This panel presentation will aim to provide up-to-date expertise on the role of the NDIS for people with disability detained in prisons and forensic facilities. The Panel will also be taking questions from the floor so come armed with the curliest ones…..


Patrick McGee
Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
National Manager Policy Advocacy and Research

Biography: Patrick McGee has been working in the field of disabilities for the last twenty five years with a particular focus on working with Indigenous Australians with disabilities for the past ten years. Currently he is the National Manager Policy Advocacy and Research for the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations. In a voluntary capacity Patrick is the coordinator of Australians for Disability Justice, a national network of agencies and individuals that advocates for changes to legislation policy and practice that leads to the recurrent and indefinite detention of people with disability, particularly Indigenous Australians with disability.


Ms Colleen Pearce
Victorian Office of the Public Advocate
Victorian Public Advocate Colleen Pearce is Victoria’s first female Public Advocate, a position she has held since September 2007. As Public Advocate, she is the guardian of last resort for adults with disabilities in Victoria. Under legislation, she is also chair of the Community Visitor boards.

Colleen fearlessly advocates for the human rights and interests of people with a disability and a mental illness, and is outspoken in the significant issues of abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Colleen has more than 30 years’ experience managing community and health services in both the government and non-government sectors.

In 2003, Colleen’s outstanding contribution to community services in Victoria was recognised with a Commonwealth Centenary Medal. She has also recently been added to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and in May 2018, Colleen was recognised for her work advocating for people on the margins of society with an honorary doctorate from RMIT University.

She is a board member of the Connecting Home, an organisation established in response to the recommendations arising from the Stolen Generations Taskforce Report, and Wintringham, Specialist Aged Care.

Colleen is a proud Yuin woman from southern NSW.

Biography: Colleen Pearce is Victoria’s first female Public Advocate, a position she has held since September 2007. As Public Advocate, she is the guardian of last resort for adults with disabilities in Victoria. Under legislation, she is also chair of the Community Visitor boards.

Colleen fearlessly advocates for the human rights and interests of people with a disability and a mental illness, and is outspoken in the significant issues of abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Colleen has more than 30 years’ experience managing community and health services in both the government and non-government sectors.

In 2003, Colleen’s outstanding contribution to community services in Victoria was recognised with a Commonwealth Centenary Medal. She has also recently been added to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and in May 2018, Colleen was recognised for her work advocating for people on the margins of society with an honorary doctorate from RMIT University.

She is a board member of the Connecting Home, an organisation established in response to the recommendations arising from the Stolen Generations Taskforce Report, and Wintringham, Specialist Aged Care.

Colleen is a proud Yuin woman from southern NSW.


Mr Tim Marsh
Victorian Legal Aid
Chief Counsel Tim joined Victoria Legal Aid as a Senior Public Defender in 2011, after eight years at the Criminal Bar and commenced as Chief Counsel, Victoria Legal Aid Chambers in August 2013. Tim was formerly a solicitor at the Office of Public Prosecutions. Tim appears regularly in Supreme Court and County Court trials and appeals and has developed an extensive practice in mental impairment and unfitness matters. Tim was a member of the Victorian Law Reform Steering Committee for the VLRC reference into mental impairment and is a past legal member of the Mental Health Review Board. Tim has appeared as counsel in a number of significant Court of Appeal matters clarifying the law and procedure relating to mental impairment and unfitness to be tried matters, and was lead counsel in the decision that overturned the controversial ‘baseline sentencing’ provisions.

Biography: Tim joined Victoria Legal Aid as a Senior Public Defender in 2011, after eight years at the Criminal Bar and commenced as Chief Counsel, Victoria Legal Aid Chambers in August 2013. Tim was formerly a solicitor at the Office of Public Prosecutions. Tim appears regularly in Supreme Court and County Court trials and appeals and has developed an extensive practice in mental impairment and unfitness matters. Tim was a member of the Victorian Law Reform Steering Committee for the VLRC reference into mental impairment and is a past legal member of the Mental Health Review Board. Tim has appeared as counsel in a number of significant Court of Appeal matters clarifying the law and procedure relating to mental impairment and unfitness to be tried matters, and was lead counsel in the decision that overturned the controversial ‘baseline sentencing’ provisions.


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