The Reference Group will have between 7 and 15 Cabinet endorsed members, a majority of whom are people with disability, including the Chair and Deputy Chair, and 5 ex-officio members.
Composition and Representation
The Reference Group will comprise people who work together in the best interests of people with disability in the ACT. The Reference Group is not a representative body but rather an advisory group of people who reside in the ACT or work, study or volunteer in the ACT; or demonstrate another significant connection and commitment to the ACT and are able to draw upon valued and relevant perspectives and experience.
The Minister will consider the composition of the Reference Group to ensure the group represents diversity, including an appropriate gender balance, experience of disability, people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex or queer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, and people of different ages.
Reference Group members may bring a range of experiences including as a:
- person with disability;
- young person with disability;
- person from an Aboriginal background with disability;
- person from a Torres Strait Islander background with disability;
- person who identifies as LGBTIQ with disability;
- person from a culturally and linguistically diverse background with disability;
- carer of a person or people with disability (of any age or background); and/or
- person engaged in the disability service system.
The Minister has the discretion to appoint additional members, including ex-officio members that may comprise in part representation from disability peak bodies in the ACT.
The Reference Group will provide opportunity to emerging leaders with disability who would benefit from observing community representation and provision of advice to government. Emerging leaders with disability will not be endorsed through a Cabinet process and they will not be considered members. Their contribution will be short term in nature and any supporting papers provided will be subject to confidentiality and at the decision of Chair.
The Reference Group will include the following ex-officio members:
- Director-General, Community Services Directorate
- Representative of ACT National Disability Services
- Executive Branch Manager, Office for Disability
- Representative of ACT Health Directorate
- Representative of Canberra Health Services
Term of Appointment for Cabinet endorsed members
- Appointment terms will be for two years with the possibility of extension for up to an additional two years at the Minister’s request.
- Appointments of incoming members will be staggered, to ensure corporate knowledge is not lost.
- Membership is appointed by the Minister for Disability and subject to endorsement by Cabinet.
- If members do not attend three consecutive meetings or do not attend 50 percent of meetings in a year, without the leave of the Chair, their place may be opened to a new member.
- The Minister may invite individuals to advise the group on particular issues.
- The above information does not apply to ex-officio members who are appointed by virtue of their position.
- Applicants must be ACT residents; work, study or volunteer in the ACT; or demonstrate another significant connection and commitment to the ACT.
- Existing Cabinet endorsed members may re-apply for a second term through a simple email or letter to the Reference Group’s Secretariat, without the need for a full application, but with an updated biography.
- Cabinet endorsed members may only serve two consecutive terms but may apply for a non-consecutive third term.
- ACT Public Service (ACTPS) employees are ordinarily eligible for appointment in a personal capacity, if there is minimal conflict between their duties to the Reference Group and to the ACTPS (see also ‘Conflict of Interest’ section below).
Cabinet endorsed members are appointed by the Minister, following recommendations from a selection panel, and the endorsement of Cabinet.
Appointment of Chair and Deputy Chair
Any Cabinet endorsed member can subsequently be appointed by the Minister as Chair or Deputy Chair without the need for further Cabinet endorsement. In the absence of both the Chair and Deputy Chair, the Executive Branch Manager, Office for Disability will assume the chairing role.
Members may resign from the Reference Group at any time. All resignations must be provided in writing to the Minister, stating their intention to resign, with a copy provided to the Chair. The appointment of replacement members is at the Minister’s discretion.