River Night is the Co-founder of Developing Australian Communities. With more than 22 years in Disability, Mental Health, Education, Child Safety, Youth Justice, Quality Systems and Forensic Settings in Government and Non-Government Sectors, as well as lived experience of disability, River Night is an expert in raising the bar and helping 24/7 NDIS Funded Participants.
While the past two years have been challenging for all Victorians, none more so than those who have been diagnosed, or had a loved one diagnosed, with a disability. Despite over 1.1 million Victorians living with a disability, just under a third (31%) are not aware of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and what they do. Sadly, a staggering 41% of Melbournians report that the NDIS is too complicated to navigate without expert assistance, with one in 0ve (22%) believing that the NDIS prevents people from receiving care in a timely manner. Navigating COVID-19 and disruptions to our routines has been hard enough, with over a third (37%) of Aussies 0nding it di5cult to connect with family members living elsewhere. The disability community have the added stress of remaining connected to their support services too. To help Victorians living with a disability and struggling to navigate the NDIS, Developing Australian Communities are holding the inaugural Melbourne Disability Connection Expo at the Melbourne Convention Centre from 18 – 19 January 2022. Along with a wealth of information and opportunities to connect and ask questions, the event has been designed to make the process of finding the right service providers more straight forward and a lot less daunting. With access to funding and support and 0nding the right service providers cited as the biggest challenges facing the disability community, the expo serves as a solution for Victorians to 0nd the right support and guidance amidst the ongoing pandemic and the challenges that brings to the disability community.
River has spent two decades supporting participants living with disability, mental illness and complex behaviour, and working with participants who require coordination of a variety of stakeholders including Statutory Agencies. By applying his own experience in disability, mental health, education, youth detention and child safety, River helps others to set and maintain better standards for the disability sector. He also brings expertise in licensing, forensic disability support, government, and non-government roles to his position as a consultant and disability services industry leader.
Further information With almost 130,000 Victorian participants receiving NDIS help - and more than 55,000 people with disabilities accessing the scheme for the first time - it can be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack when it comes to searching through the hundreds of providers to connect with THE right one, which is why our 2022 Disability Connection Expos are so vital. The Melbourne Disability Connection Expo 2022 Presented by Afford, on January 18 and 19, can change lives by bringing hundreds of NDIS business providers and thousands of participants together under one roof for two fantastic days of fun and information. There will also be an NDIS Q&A Concierge desk facilitated by experts where visitors can go for answers to any of their burning NDIS questions and there will be lots of live streaming over the two days so participants who aren’t there can still get in on the action. There will also be entertainment and activities throughout both days from live demonstrations and performances to obstacle courses and face painters! 2022 Expo Dates and Locations Melbourne Disability Connection Expo 2022 18th - 19th January 2022 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Free to attend Sydney Disability Connection Expo 2022 4th - 5th February 2022 International Convention Centre Sydney Free to attend Brisbane Disability Connection Expo 2022 4th – 5th March 2022 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Free to attend Perth Disability Connection Expo 2022 20th – 21st May 2022 Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre Free to attend About Developing Australian Communities Developing Australian Communities, works closely with Service Providers, Carers and Participants through events to ensure that the much-needed change in the disability sector will be provided for the betterment of the services across the sector. With a vision of making Australia the world leader in Disability Services, the organisation is providing a voice for the sector, increasing professional standards and bringing people together to talk about the most pressing issues in the sector and to deliver solutions