MYEFO 2015-16 measures will hurt migrant partners and children of Australian citizens and permanent residents

The government is proposing to save $225 million over four years by removing exemptions from the Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period for new migrants who are family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents from 1 January 2017.

The effect of this is to reduce support for new Australian families.  This is short sighted policy that affects vulnerable families facing the challenges of adapting to life in a new country, just when they need more support not less.  Supporting new migrants to Australia benefits the whole community.

Under the current law, new migrants to Australia generally have to wait two years after the grant of their permanent visa[i] before they can access most income support payments.  However, there are some exemptions from this two-year Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period (NARWP), which include an exemption for a person who is a family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident (of at least two years).  This exemption is mainly for partners or children of an Australian citizen or permanent resident.  Other people may be treated as family members, but in practice this is rare.

In our experience, this measure will mainly affect partners of Australian citizens or permanent residents.  Its effect will be to reduce support to these families at a critical time, increasing financial stress and hardship.

We call on the government not to proceed with this proposal.

For Comment

NWRN President Kate Beaumont: 0448 007 428

NEDA Offie (02) 6262 6867

FECCA Office (02) 6282 5755

[i] The NARWP commences from either the date of arrival in Australia, or the date of grant of permanent residents visa, whichever is later.


MEDIA Release December 15, 2015

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) has received clarification about questions raised by NEDA President Suresh Rajan as to the employment of family members to support people living with disability within the NDIS. This area of support has always been of concern for NEDA and an area that was identified as an area of concern by people who live with disability from within the CaLD/ NESB community. We also recognise that it could be an area of some concern to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Often English may well be the fourth or fifth language that they may speak. Under those circumstances, family members may well be the only people able to provide these needed supports.

For NEDA, the concern has been the ambiguity of the ruling and mixed messaging from senior staff at the NDIA. Some members of the NDIA had stated that the employment of family members was a reasonable process to accept while other senior management at the NDIS stated that it was not cut and dry and that it may have been warranted in exceptional circumstances.

The letter from the NDIA now clearly states, “The NDIA will not fund parent/ family members of participants to provide personal care supports except in exceptional circumstances”. The NDIA then list what those exceptional circumstances might mean.

NEDA CEO Dwayne Cranfield stated that “we are seeking clarification from Jenny Macklin MP as one of the architects of the system, while in government, as to what the policy was during their time our recollection is that the original policy was more open”.

Suresh Rajan NEDA President stated “of concern is that the ambiguity leads to an individual interpretation that may vary from one NDIS planner to another, that the policy is subjective and open to personal values and does not embody true choice and control, the hallmark of the NDIS.”

“This is a significant issue for all recipients of the NDIS. To be able to employ family or friends given their possible special cultural and linguistic needs can be far more an issue for the CaLD/NESB and ATSI communities. We must give all people true choice and control” Mr Rajan further stated.

For further information, please see the full letter from the NDIA on the NEDA website at or for further discussion please call Dwayne Cranfield NEDA CEO on 02 62626867 or Suresh Rajan NEDA President on 0413436001.


MEDIA Release December 7, 2015 20th Year Celebration

On December 2 2015, The National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) celebrated its 20th Birthday at the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, in Canberra. It was an eventful day for NEDA Council members and staff coming together for our AGM and a face-to-face board meeting during the day, prior to hosting and celebrating the festivities in the evening.

NEDA would like to thank council members, key partners and guests who helped us celebrate 20 years of NEDA operations. It was great to have Ministerial, Government, peak body and community organisations representatives in attendance as well as representatives from our member organisations, all showing their support for NEDA and the work that we do.

During our celebrations, we awarded the inaugural NEDA Medal to 6 recipients, all of whom are champions for CALD and NESB people with disability. Professor Emeritus and NEDA Patron Professor Ron McCallum and Professor Mary Crock were the first to receive the NEDA medal in recognition of their ongoing support of NEDA.

FECCA Chair, Mr Joe Caputo (OAM JP) also received an award for being a strong advocate for multiculturalism in Australia and for his leadership in driving FECCA’s CALD/NESB Disability Sub-committee. Mr Nic Manikis and Dr Dinesh Wadiwel were also recipients of the NEDA medal in recognition of their long history and commitment to promoting human rights for all Australians.

The final 2015 award went to NEDA’s project officer and data expert Mr Brian Cooper, recognising his commitment to CALD and NESB people who live with disability, acknowledging his dedication to securing better outcomes for our constituents.    

‘What a great night’, said Mr Suresh Rajan (NEDA President), ‘having the NEDA team and our friends come together to celebrate NEDA’s 20 years of advocating for people with disability from CALD backgrounds. It was wonderful to see so many people show their support and enjoy the festivities of the night.’

Photos from NEDA’s 20th Birthday can be found on our Facebook page, here:

For further information please contact NEDA CEO Mr Dwayne Cranfield on: 02 62626867 or NEDA President Mr Suresh Rajan on: 0413436001.