Annual General Meeting 2016/17

Annual General Meeting 2016/17

Posted by Phillip Camela.

On Tuesday 17 October 2017 AED held its AGM at the Office of the Public Advocate.

During the meeting the Chairperson - Gaetano Ravida, Erwin Ng on behalf of the Treasurer Jeffrey Au and Legal Manager - Kairsty Wilson tabled their reports which were unanimously accepted.

One of the most remarkable facts about the 2016/17 financial year when compared to the 2015 /16 financial year, is that AED has significantly improved its financial position from a deficit of $ $26,050 to a surplus of $18,461. This very positive result has been achieved through the crisis intervention plan that the AED Committee took in January 2016 where employment expenses were curtailed as well as additional revenue due to funding for legal advice under the BSWAT Payment Scheme and the $117,000 grant to run the NDIS Appeals Program.

The Legal Manager - Kairsty Wilson said that  the 2016/17 financial year had been characterised by some very positive developments, including: diversification  and growth in service delivery, a significant improvement in AED's financial position, the employment of a Human Rights Lawyer and an upgrade of our IT infrastructure.

She added that: "Fair and equitable wage determination remains one of our key strategic issues. As well as individual casework we have worked on systemic projects requiring collaborative efforts and inputs on multiple fronts for the benefit of employees with disability working in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs)".

The new AED Committee for 2017-18 is made up of:
Gaetano Ravida - Chairperson
Kairsty Wilson - Secretary
Erwin Ng - Treasurer
Wendy Davies - Ordinary member
Stacy Mallis - Ordinary member
Nicole Williamson - Ordinary member
Chris Devine - Ordinary member
Jeffrey Au - Appointed member

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
Applying for a payment under the BSWAT Payment Scheme

Applying for a payment under the BSWAT Payment Scheme

Posted by Phillip Camela.


Around 2,300 people with intellectual impairment who registered with the BSWAT Payment Scheme now need to apply for a payment.

More than 8,700 people have already applied - and some have already received payments!

The closing date for applications is 30 November 2017.

YOU can help participants to apply -  visit to find out more.

Have you received an offer of payment by the Department of Social Services under the BSWAT PAYMENT SCHEME?

If you have, AED Legal Centre can give you free legal advice on the payment offer. All you need to do is call us on (03) 9639 4333 and leave a message or contact

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
BSWAT Payment Scheme (1)

BSWAT Payment Scheme (1)

Posted by Phillip Camela.


People who work/have worked at ADEs and were assessed using the BSWAT may be entitled to a payment through the BSWAT Payment Scheme. They have to register by April 30th or they will miss out. Here is a list of ADEs that used the BSWAT by State and Territory:…/ADEs-that-used-the-BSWAT-by-State-…
Can advocacy organisations please check the list.
* Do you know people who work, or have worked, in one of these ADEs?...
* Are any of the workers your current clients or past clients?
* Are they part of a Self - Advocacy group or peer support group that your organisation supports?
* Are you able to speak to, or visit, any of your closest ADEs to ask the workers if they have registered?

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
NDIS Appeals Program

NDIS Appeals Program

Posted by Kairsty Wilson.

We are pleased to announce that AED Legal Centre has received a grant from the Department of Social Services under the NDIS Appeals Program. The grant provides funding to assist applicants to navigate the process of seeking an Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) review of National Disability Insurance Agency decisions. Activities will include preparing documents, attending conferences and hearings. AED will assist clients who have concerns about their individual plans, including funding levels, and are seeking a review.

Kairsty Wilson Legal Manager

Kairsty Wilson Posted by Kairsty Wilson.
People must register for the BSWAT Payment Scheme by 30 April 2017

People must register for the BSWAT Payment Scheme by 30 April 2017

Posted by Phillip Camela.

Thousands of people with intellectual impairment could be entitled to a one-off payment through the Australian Government’s BSWAT Payment Scheme if they register by 30 April 2017. People could get a payment of $100 or more.

The BSWAT Payment Scheme is for around 10,000 eligible supported employees of Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) who had their pro-rata wages or training wages worked out using the BSWAT and have an intellectual impairment. They must have worked for at least one day in the period starting on 1 January 2004 and ending on 28 May 2014.

Now that the Federal Court has approved the settlement of the BSWAT class action, the scheme is the only way for class action members to receive a payment.

To apply for a payment, people must register with the scheme by 30 April 2017. It’s quick and easy to register using this online form. Or, people can call 1800 799 515 or send an email.

Important: If people don’t register by 30 April 2017, they cannot apply for a payment – even if they may be eligible.

The Department of Social Services recently wrote to people who may be eligible for a payment. The letter included a payment application form and reply-paid envelope.

Potentially eligible people can complete the payment application form, put it in the reply-paid envelope, and post it as soon as possible so we receive their form by 30 April 2017. By completing the form, the Department will automatically register them for the scheme as well as process their application for a payment.

If a person is not ready to apply, they can register for the scheme by 30 April 2017. They then have until 30 November 2017 to apply for a payment. It's quick and easy to register for the scheme using this online form. Or, people can call 1800 799 515 or send an email.  

People can ask someone they trust to help them to register and apply. This could be a family member, advocate, nominee or someone in their ADE.

If you know someone who could be eligible, please tell them about the scheme and encourage them to register by 30 April 2017!

For more information visit Here, people can find an Easy Read Handbook, resources for supporters, the payment application form, information about financial counselling and legal advice, and more.

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
Employment terminated after disability disclosure

Employment terminated after disability disclosure

The client was the wife of and is the trustee and executor of the estate of a deceased 45 year old male who had been diagnosed with cancer. His work hours were reduced and employment eventually terminated after disclosing his cancer diagnosis to an employer he had been working for 17 years.  

The deceased had worked for his employer for 17 years, no issues ever being raised about his performance. After disclosing his diagnosis, his hours were drastically reduced and his employment eventually terminated several months later. The employer claimed that the deceased was unable to perform his daily work functions and posed a risk of danger to other staff. This contradicted a medical certificate issued at the time declaring that the deceased was fit for work.

With the support of AED, the client filed an anti-discrimination complaint to VCAT on behalf of the deceased, under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. The employer made a strike out application on the basis that the client did not have sufficient standing under the law to bring such a claim on behalf of another person. A hearing was held where barristers for both parties put forth arguments claiming that the client had or did not have, under relevant legislation, sufficient interest to make the complaint on the deceased’s behalf.

 Current legislation is unclear about the client’s position with regards to commencing her action. In such circumstances, Parliament’s intention in enacting the relevant legislation is considered. The VCAT member found that the objectives of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 include the ongoing improvement of society by the elimination of unlawful discrimination and that the client is not excluded from taking the present action against the deceased’s employer. The strike out application was therefore dismissed and matter is ongoing.


Kate back on the job after dismissal

Kate back on the job after dismissal

WHEN Kate Last was sacked she thought her world had ended.

The Parkville woman, who has an intellectual disability and short-term memory loss, worked for a disability service provider for four years before being dismissed.

Ms Last said the reason given for her dismissal was she had become a danger to other employees.

The 40-year-old was handed a letter of termination and escorted off the premises.

She said in her job she was required to undertake multi-tasking but due to her disability, she wasn’t able to understand new tasks that were only relayed verbally.

Her co-workers went on strike after learning why Ms Last wasn’t at work.

Ms Last said in the years that followed she lost a lot of weight and at times contemplated suicide.

Ms Last said because she felt she was wrongly done by she contacted the Association for Employees with a Disability Legal Centre to get her job back.

Two and a half years later and three days before a scheduled hearing at the Fair Work Commission she was reinstated.

Ms Last said when she learnt she could go back to work she was over the moon.

Dismissal in contravention of a general protection

Dismissal in contravention of a general protection

A 42 year old male with brain damage after an accident, as well as physical injuries including shoulder reconstruction and broken back and neck contacted ADE Legal Centre. 

The client was unpaid by his employer for substantial number of hours worked beyond his employment contract. He was also made to perform duties outside of the scope of the contract, subjected to treatment by the employer amounting to bullying and/or vilification and not provided with entitlements under his contract. The employer made rude and abusive comments about the client’s and his partner’s disabilities to other staff.

The matter was initially brought to the Fair Work Commission as a General Protections Application Involving Dismissal, under the Fair Work Act 2009. A conciliation was organised by the Commission but no settlement was reached.

The parties continued negotiating on their own but failed to reached agreement. The matter was subsequently filed at the Federal Circuit Court as a Claim under the Fair Work Act 2009 alleging dismissal in contravention of a general protection. A mediation was organised by the court in which the parties managed to reach a mutually agreeable settlement

The outcome of AED's intervention is that the parties agreed on terms of settlement after a mediation at the Federal Circuit Court.

Failure to make reasonable adjustments for employee with disability cost employer over $170k

Failure to make reasonable adjustments for employee with disability cost employer over $170k

19 July 2015

Article by Louise Rumble and James True

Marque Lawyers

The Federal Circuit Court has ruled that Corrective Services NSW unlawfully discriminated against Caryn Huntley, an employee, who suffered from Crohn'sDisease and idiopathic hypersomnolanceby failing to make "reasonable adjustments".

While the Court found a number of flaws in Corrective Services NSW's handling of the medical condition and subsequent termination, it focussed on the employer's obligations around "reasonable adjustments". Suffering the disease and sleep disorder ("disabilities" for the purposes of disability discrimination legislation), Ms Huntley had provided medical evidence to the employer regarding her ability to perform her role which, relevantly, included some travel.

The Court found the employer had misinterpreted that evidence when it determined Ms Huntley should be medically retired because she was unable to travel for more than 30 minutes. On the contrary, that medical evidence asserted Ms Huntley could take trips greater than 30 minutes, so long as she was able to take a break along the way. A reasonable adjustment to make?

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (Act) provides that an employer will not have unlawfully discriminated against an employee if, because of the disability, the employee would be unable to carry out the inherent requirements of the job even if the employer made reasonable adjustments for that employee. Under the Act, an adjustment is reasonable unless making it would impose an unjustifiable hardship on the employer.

So, did Corrective Services NSW make reasonable adjustments? Basing its decision on the fact the employer had misinterpreted the medical evidence presented by Ms Huntley, had considered the condition an "illness" rather than a "disability" (the latter meaning the disability discrimination legislation was relevant) and subsequently terminated the employment, the Court said no.

Corrective Services NSW had failed to: consider the inherent requirements of the role; consider any reasonable adjustments that could be made to assist the employee to perform the inherent requirements; and implement those adjustments. Relevantly, the employer was ordered to pay compensation for pain and suffering and breach of contract to the tune of over $170k plus interest.

Lessons learned: employers ought to carefully consider whether an employee's illness or medical condition is a "disability" and, if so, take steps to comply with the obligations which arise from the disability discrimination legislation. A failure to do so could be costly.

We do not disclaim anything about this article. We're quite proud of it really.




AED Blue Illusion Fundraiser

AED Blue Illusion Fundraiser

Autumn is here and AED and Blue Illusion are pleased to invite you to a fundraising fashion night featuring French inspired designs.

Blue Illusions - 91 Puckle Street Moonee Ponds

Thursday 5 April 2018 @ 7:00pm Doors open at 6:30pm

Tickets $10 include :

Finger food and champagne
Fashion parade @ 7pm
Advice on accessories + Gifts

15% of sales will go to AED to support people with disability

For more information please email:

or leave your contact details on (03) 9639 4333.

AMF Bowling Fundraiser

AMF Bowling Fundraiser

Join us for what promises to be a really fun night at the AMF Bowling Club - 938 Nepean Hwy, Moorabbin at 6:30pm for a 7:00pm start on Saturday May 12.

Long standing AED member and supporter Alysia Maloney is organising this event and rumour has it that she's a keen player and that she's managed a few strikes in the past.

The venue charges $15 for 2 games and requires a minimum of 30 people.

Book your tickets now from

Congratulations Courtney!

Congratulations Courtney!

Our warmest congratulations to Courtney Davies who on Wednesday February 21 graduated in Laws at Deakin University (Geelong Campus). Courtney is a valued member of staff at AED and her work currently focuses on the #NDIS Appeals Program. Best wishes to Courtney again and we have no doubt that she will have a very rewarding and distinguished career in Law.

No prizes for recognising the people in the picture. Of course it's (left to right) Courtney Davies and Kairsty Wilson

Happy 10th BIrthday AED

Happy 10th BIrthday AED

AED Legal Centre 2008-2018

Giving access to justice to people with disability

It just seems like yesterday that we started, but on July 1 this year AED will be 10 years old!

In the months ahead the AED Committee, management, staff and volunteers will be given an opportunity to bring forward ideas on how we should celebrate this very important occasion. Clients of the service will also be involved in this process as well as advocacy agencies with whom we closely work.

NDIS Appeals Flowchart

NDIS Appeals Flowchart

AED Legal Centre is currently providing assistance to NDIS participants who are seeking a review of an NDIS decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

For more information about this service please contact AED Legal Centre, Suite 4 Level 9, 276 Flinders Street, Melbourne, 3000.

Ph:(03) 9639 4333 or email

(03) 9639 4333

Suite 4 Level 9
276 Flinders St
Melbourne 3000

view map