Inaugural Director appointed for newly established Office of Disability

  • Marion Hailes-MacDonald appointed first Director of Western Australia’s Office of Disability
  • Office of Disability will promote the rights and interests of people with disability and the broader disability sector
  • Director will be a key role in sector stewardship, advice and innovation
  • Marion Hailes-MacDonald has been appointed Director of Western Australia’s Office of Disability.

    The Office of Disability has been established by the McGowan Government to promote the rights and interests of people with disability and the broader disability sector. The appointment of Ms Hailes-MacDonald finalises the creation of the Office of Disability, delivering on a key component of the State Disability Strategy 2020-2030.

    As its first Director, Ms Hailes-MacDonald will lead the Office of Disability, which has been set up to provide disability sector stewardship, advice on State and Commonwealth systems, and drive work and innovation to improve the inclusion and participation of people with disability.

    Ms Hailes-MacDonald has extensive experience in the disability sector and has worked closely with community sector organisations to develop and improve services and supports for people with disability, their families and carers.

    Initially working in health overseas, Ms Hailes-MacDonald migrated to Australia and began working in the disability field in Perth soon after, supporting people with complex needs in residential settings. She has subsequently managed services and held senior management and leadership roles in the areas of commissioning, procurement, quality assurance and policy. She has also led significant funding and policy direction and reform across both State and national agendas.

    Having been involved in the initial design of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) following the 2011 Productivity Commission report, she oversaw changes across the disability landscape and WA’s transition to the NDIS, leading the establishment of the Office of Disability within the Department of Communities.

    Ms Hailes-MacDonald will also lead the implementation of A Western Australia for Everyone: State Disability Strategy 2020-2030.

    As stated by Disability Services Minister Don Punch:

    “The appointment of a Director for the Office of Disability is a major step for disability services in Western Australia and will play an integral part of empowering people with disability to participate in all aspects of the community.

    “Importantly, the Office of Disability will also have a role in informing and advising Government on the experiences between Western Australians with disability, their families and carers, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

    “The WA disability landscape is changing rapidly and the State Government is continually evolving to ensure positive outcomes for the 411,500 people across the State living with disability.

    “The Office of Disability will be a vital conduit of information and knowledge about the services people with disability require.

    “It will also be a catalyst for innovation and the delivery of sustainable, efficient and high-quality services.”

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