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By Mary Sayers.
Published on the VCOSS Voice on 18 December 2015.
We are pleased to award the inaugural RMIT-VCOSS PhD scholarship to Liz Hudson, who was chosen for her long history in social research and vast experience working with people with disability and complex needs and job seekers.
Liz’s PhD research thesis is titled “Pathways to consumer directed service delivery; an exploration of the experiences facing families, carers and people whose disability is episodic in nature”.
During her appointment, Liz will examine the experiences of people with episodic disability and how they might be affected under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This topic is of great interest to the community sector. The introduction of the NDIS is a profound change, and should provide greater choice, control and certainty for people with disability, their families, carers and advocates. However, it is not a complete resolution. The accessibility, eligibility and range of support for people with episodic disability under the NDIS remain uncertain because the scheme is focused around supporting people with lifelong impairments or conditions.
A first of its kind for the Victorian community sector, the RMIT – VCOSS PhD scholarship aims to strengthen the sector’s research capacity and improve the ability to support people to overcome disadvantage. Research outcomes and evidence generated will be applied to industry training practices to ultimately benefit the community services sector and the people who rely on services.
RMIT and VCOSS established an innovative partnership earlier this year, which focuses on promoting research into the causes and impacts of poverty and disadvantage in Victoria. This scholarship is one of the collaborative research initiatives of this partnership.
RMIT and VCOSS are looking forward to working with Liz as she commences her scholarship in 2016, and promoting the findings from her research as they emerge.
In VCOSS 2016 – 17 State Budget Submission VCOSS called on the Victorian Government to ensure people with disability receive continued support. While the NDIS will bring improved services to most people with disability, there is a concern among VCOSS members that some people with disability may not have access to services within in the scheme, or have services which they rely upon reduced.
Mary Sayers is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of VCOSS