eDIN newsletter 52nd edition May 2018 now available.


Busy month with a couple of key takeaways of interest. The first of which was the Federal budget 2018. Two main things for me from the budget  – (1)a positive, government committing an increase of $338 million in mental health funding  and (2) the negative, and the abandonment of NDIS funding via the Medicare levee. For a good overview of all things Federal budget make sure you check out the special budget article from Pro Bono news by following this link.

Second key takeaway was the submission of my annual report to the Department and subsequent pause as we wait to see the details of a new four year contract. Given the extensive consultation done by the department I am expecting business as usual, but you never know.

All the usual features covered in this edition and I highly recommend checking out the Podcast link posted on page 2.


NDCO eDIN newsletter, 51st edition now available


Another month of interruptions as I managed sometime off in line with the school holidays bookended by Easter and Anzac day celebrations. So again this months edition is a little bit abbreviated but still filled with lots of news.

I note the latest twist in the NDIS rollout with politics playing its latest part regards funding with the upcoming delivery of all things budget in this an election year. I stand very much with most advocates who see the latest Medicare levy announcement as a regressive step, on the other hand I also note that there a range of much more urgent issues to be addressed in the medium term.

Key features for me in this months edition are (1) the return of the NDCO podcast, (2) the launch of the disability awareness on-line training resource and (3) that April was ‘Autism Awareness month’ and I have included a link to some great webinars in recognition of that event. In regards to things to  keep a lookout for as we head into May the key feature will be the budget announcements (State and Federal). Its also reporting time again for the NDCO program so not sure how out and about I will again this month. My apologies in advance. Either way, have a great month and…be well!


NDCO eDIN newsletter, 50th edition March 2018

eDIN 50th edition now available.


Welcome to Easter. Hope you have an enjoyable and safe break. (Or ‘have had’ — depending on when you received this).
First mention this month is a congratulations to Sally Bailey, NDCO region 14 (Southern Melbourne) who has managed to secure a seat around the table at the newly formed Department of Education and Training’s NDIS Workforce Expert Advisory Group. I look forward to having some access to the discussions and will keep all informed re any major actions coming out of this group. The origins and details of this initiative can be found in the Victoria’s workforce plan for the NDIS document.
Second thing to mention is the on-going discussions behind the scenes for the extension of the program. At this stage I am hoping to have some firm (and positive) news by the end of May. In the interim I will continue with an expectation of things continuing as per nor-mal.
In this regard also note that I am about to launch into a series of pod-casts after a previous experimental phase with this format last year. If you have any specific topics you want me to cover please give me a call or send a message. Until next time, be well…

NDCO eDIN newsletter (49th edition) February 2018 now available.


eDIN 49th edition now available. 

Welcome to Autumn as February came and went in its usual quick fashion. Personally I was slowed up with a foot injury so not as many out and about articles this month.
My key points this month; firstly I am very much enjoying the input of the new Federal Senator Jordon Steele-John who seems to be one of the few people making sense in Parliament this year. I highly rec-ommend following his posts on Facebook.
Second thing to note is that I have made some subtle changes to for-matting in the newsletter . This follows a conversation with our new NDCO colleague Ramona Mandy (vision impaired) who was kind enough to help me with some improvements regarding accessibility for eDIN. I have made some limited progress so far and look forward to more changes in the coming weeks.
Last thing to mention before I sign off is the breaking news from the NDIA in which they have announced, “NDIA accepts Independent Pricing Review recommendations.” There a 25 recommenda-tions in all in which the NDIA have indicated an in principle support for all of them.

Cheers, Mark Cottee.

NDCO eDIN newsletter 48th edition now available (January 2018)

NDCO eDIN newsletter 48th edition now available (January 2018)


Welcome back everyone. ‘Living the dream 2018’ is my new catchphrase since returning to work. Despite the  holiday feel I have been busy planning the next twelve months and revamping a lot of resources. At this stage I haven’t made any major changes to the eDIN format although I am considering the move away from once a month to once every two months.

For this particular edition I have kept things fairly light and concise with some usual features not appearing due to the hiatus of some information streams.

As mentioned late last year I will also be conducting some survey feedback research in preparation for the program being formally extended for several years  in the near future. I do hope, and encourage everyone to participate in the feedback process and as such I will make it as easy as possible.

One quick thing before I go. I missed commenting on this late last year but a big congratulations to Senator Jordon Steele-John. I highly recommend checking out his maiden speech by clicking here.  In particular if you do not know who he is.  Also a quick hello to Ramona Mandy who joins the NDCO team in region 11. Great to have Ramona on board and I look forward to her sharing her expertise on accessibility for the vision impaired.


NDCO eDIN newsletter, 47th end of year edition now available


Welcome to  the 47th (special) edition of eDIN, electronic Disability Information Network  monthly newsletter. Designed for the Disability Education and Employment Community of Northern Victoria.

No real need to express how fast the year has past, just a natural condition of getting older, (and wiser, I hope). Welcome to the fourth end of year special of eDIN news where I attempt to summarise the key categories of the year past.

Number one highlight of the year has to be the indication from the Department that the NDCO program is to be extended until June 2022. Not only great to receive some certainty about the program but also knowing this six months out from the close of the current contract allows for better improvement in strategic actions and directions. I am already turning my attentions to a review of  environmental scan early in 2018 to guide any changes in direction.

Which brings me to the number two highlight of the year—the rollout of the NDIS. Whilst there had been a lot of speculation around the impacts and implications for the disability sector it is now crunch time. For me as NDCO I have already seen many opportunities come and go and there is clear need for more work to be done around the integration of NDIS and transition pathways for people with disability. Another priority is the engagement of business and industry in the employment and support for people with disability, especially in the framework of NDIS across all community.

Merry Christmas to you all. Have a safe and happy festive season and I look forward to seeing you all on the other side.


NDCO eDIN newsletter 46th edition Nov 2017 now available

Click here to access the latest edition of eDIN news November 2017

Was a bit of a struggle putting this together this month due to the fact that I was out of office for most of it.  As such I have made some slight format changes and apologies for any inconvenience if caused.

First thing to mention here is some major news from the Education Department that governs the NDCO program. Not only have they indicated that the program will be continued, it will be rolled over until June 2022. Wow. Wasn’t expecting that. They have also released the evaluation report as promised. I am expecting that there should be no disruption of the program through this rollover process and I am extremely excited to have the chance to re-focus my activities with a longer term vision in mind.

As already mentioned, there was a lot of out and about this month which is reflected in a majority the articles featured in this edition. In particular; a sojourn to the Mallee district, participation in the Local Aboriginal Network state gathering and attendance at the CEAV conference in Melbourne.

I look forward to sending out a special end of year wrap up in a couple of weeks as per previous years. Until then, be well and keep looking after to each other.

 Oh—and just before I go, the big thumbs up this month goes to the Australian voters and the positive step forward towards community inclusion and equality in the same sex marriage issue