AGY-1645 | Ageing and Disability Department

NSW State Archives Collection
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The Ageing and Disability Department was established by the first Carr administration. Proclaimed on 6 April 1995 as a Department under Schedule 1 of the Public Sector Management Act 1988, with the abolition of three organisations previously administered by the Department of Community Services: Office on Ageing, the Office on Disability and the Social Policy Directorate (1).

Various agreements and legislation are administered by the Department, including the Disability Services Act, 1993 (Act No 3, 1993), Guardianship Act, 1987 (Act No 25, 1987) and Youth & Community Services Act, 1973 (Act No 90,1973) (2). The Commonwealth/State Disability Agreement commenced in New South Wales on 1 July 1993, bringing a change of administrative arrangements between the Commonwealth and New South Wales governments in relation to funding for the disabled. Under this agreement the NSW Government became responsible for all non-employment-related services, such as accommodation, recreation and information, while the Commonwealth became responsible for employment related services to the disabled (3).

The Department develops government policy to increase opportunities and access to services of ageing and disabled persons. It carries out research to assess the needs of older people and people with disabilities in New South Wales, gauges community attitudes and sets standards of service relevant to its responsibilities. The Ageing and Disability Department also funds specialist services under designated community programs.

The Director-General reports directly to the Minister and heads the executive team comprised of Director Strategic Policy and Planning; Director Policy, Planning & Operations; and Director Finance & Administration. The Audit Committee and the Executive & Ministerial Liaison Unit both report directly to the Director General (4).

Various bodies are linked administratively to the Department. The Disability Council and New South Wales Committee on Ageing report directly to the Minister for Ageing and Disability (5). Administration of the Guardianship Board was transferred from the Department of Community Services during the 1995/1996 financial year (6) however legislative change in February 1998 resulted in the new designation of Guardianship Tribunal (7).

Agency activities are directed towards the improvement of community awareness of ageing and disability issues and service standards across the community. It aims to develop better methods to monitor and assess the needs of older people and people with disabilities through committee interaction, community awards, action plans, community care projects and grants. Funding activities encompass many specialist services, including accommodation, education and skills programs, emergency support, advocacy and information services, and therapy provision.

The New South Wales Government Gazette of 20 April, 2001 announced the abolition of the Department of Ageing and Disability and the transfer of its branches to the newly established Department of Ageing, Disability and Homecare. (8) The Minister's press release regarding these changes was issued on 5 April, 2001.

1. New South Wales Government Gazette No 39, 5 April 1995, p.1865
2. New South Wales Government Directory, 1998, p.99
3. Department of Community Services Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 1994, Vol.1, p.25
4. Ageing and Disability Department Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 1998, p.26
5. Ibid. p.105
6. Ageing and Disability Department Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 1996, p.26
7. Ageing and Disability Department Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 1998, p.105
8. 'Public sector Management (Department of Ageing, Disability and Homecare) Order 2001 in NSW Government Gazette 20 April, 2001 p. 1960

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