Safeguarding the future conference - Canberra, 23-24 May 2024

Conference Schedule

On this page, you’ll find details of the Get That Good Life! conference schedule

Pre-Conference Webinars

Date  Session Details Presenter Times
Monday, October 18 Don’t Settle for “Doing Something Else”

Many children with disability have individual learning goals. These are often formalised into an Individual Education Plan. As a result, the student often ends up doing different work than their classmates. Sarah will share examples of how these personal goals can instead help provide access to the same learning as the rest of the class. In this section, the audience will be invited to share their own experiences. The goal is for participants to feel confident to not settle for “doing something else”.

Inclusive Education 

Sarah Humphreys 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM AEDT

(2 hours)

Thursday, October 21 Doing a Good Job of Getting a Good Job

One of the most challenging decisions facing employment supporters is determining their own role. It can be hard to know when to get involved and when to step aside. So Milton will discuss the best way to instruct and support an employee with a disability.

Customised Employment

Milton Tyree 10:00 AM – 12:15 PM AEDT

(2 hours, 15 mins)

Monday, October 25 Building a Powerhouse Team: Families and Their Support

During this two-hour presentation, Janet will focus on the unique role of paid support. She’ll explain how the role can be powerful when both family and paid supporters understand what “effective support” actually means. You’ll gain clarity about the most crucial role of the supporter: being a bridge to community and relationship.

Quality Support

Janet Klees 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM AEDT

(2 hours)

Get That Good Life! Conference – Day 1

Wednesday, October 27

All sessions take place in the platforms Main Room unless indicated otherwise.

Time Session Details Presenter Duration
8:30 AM AEDT Main Room

Welcome to Country

Wally Bell 10 mins
8:40 AM AEDT Main Room

Opening Address

Jan Kruger 20 mins
9:00 AM AEDT Main Room

The Essential Worker

This presentation will highlight the importance of having a Vision for a Good Life. It will emphasise the value of seeking typical experiences and holding high expectations for people with disability. And it will demonstrate how community connection can lead to opportunities, enduring relationships, and a life filled with rich experiences.

The Good Life

Annette Bush and Jacob Bush 25 mins
9:25 AM AEDT Break 5 mins
9:30 AM AEDT Main Room

Towards Mastering the Essentials of the Powerhouse Team

In this practical, interactive session, we will zero in on some essential elements and strategies that ensure that you and your team are on their way to making a lasting and positive difference in the lifestyle and experience of your family member.

Quality Support

Janet Klees 90 mins
11:00 AM AEDT Morning Tea and Video Break

We’ll be showing videos about microenterprise in our longer breaks. Grab a cuppa and watch the story of HAZZAH Apparel.

Ben Paior-Smith 10 mins
11:10 AM AEDT Main Room

Get That Good Life by Supporting New Behaviour

When people see unusual behaviours, they tend to make assumptions that may be unhelpful. So Kate and Anna will share a framework for thinking about behaviour from a processing perspective.

Quality Support

Kate McGinnity, Anna Nikolay, Sharon Hammer, and Lisa Ladson 80 mins
12:30 PM AEDT Lunch 45 mins
1:15 PM AEDT Concurrent Sessions – Please choose a session to attend from the two below 50 mins
Main Room

Keeping It Real: Relationships, Sexuality, and Pornography

People with disability face many challenges regarding their sexuality and relationships. In this presentation, Tim will share ways we can support people with disability in conversations about relationships and sexuality at home, at school and in the workplace. He’ll also explain how to access health information and education that is meaningful and relevant.


Tim Bavinton

Room 2

Reflections on a Journey of School Inclusion 

Many professionals told Erosha that her daughter Sethmi wasn’t ‘ready’ to be fully included in a mainstream classroom and should remain in an Autism Unit. So the family moved Sethmi to a school that shared their belief that, with the opportunity of inclusion, they would see her potential.

Inclusive Education

Erosha Bakmiwewa
2:05 PM AEDT Break 5 mins
2:10 PM AEDT Main Room

Preparing for When We Fall Off Our Perch

When their daughter Katie was born 35 years ago, Sue and Neil began to make plans for the future. Katie has lived in a home of her own for the past 14 years. The impact of autism has made it difficult for Katie to be understood at times. This hasn’t stopped the family from supporting Katie to live her best life in her home and make decisions for herself.

Creating Home

Sue Robertson 50 mins
3:00 PM AEDT Afternoon Tea and Video Break

We’ll be showing videos about microenterprise in our longer breaks. Grab a cuppa and watch the story of Flowers by Fleur.

10 mins
3:10 PM AEDT Main Room

From School to International Fashion Runways

Tia’s journey began with a desire to ensure her post-school life was not dominated by screens and solitude. She had an interest in fashion, design, and modelling. Her team explored this interest with her and tested creative methods of designing that didn’t involve sketching or drawing. As a result of this process, Tia has created her successful fashion label, Funk N Soul 97, and has become a runway model.


Tia Semi, Gina Semi, and Samantha Powell 40 mins
3:50 PM AEDT Main Room

How to be Driven by Vision, Not Fear

Sometimes we are driven by fear to select options that seem safe. These might include special schools, group homes, day programs, even “special swimming classes”. Yet, ironically, safety has never come from segregated settings. In this session, John will provide a framework to help us overcome our fears. He’ll show us how to use our Vision to truly safeguard the lives of people with disability.


John Armstrong 50 mins
4:40 PM AEDT Main Room

Day 1 Wrap Up

Jan Kruger 10 mins
4:50 PM AEDT Pre-Fashion Parade Video Break

We’ll be showing videos about microenterprise in our longer breaks. Enjoy watching the story of Jak’s Gems.

10 mins
5:00 PM AEDT  Main Room

Fashion Parade

Grab a cuppa or a glass of your favourite beverage and sit back to enjoy this fashion parade. You’ll see designs from Tia Semi (Funk N Soul 97), Ben Paior-Smith (HAZZAH), and more.

Tia Semi, Ben Paior-Smith 30 mins
5:30 PM  AEDT End of Day 1

Get That Good Life! Conference – Day 2

Thursday, October 28

Time Session Details Presenter Duration
9:00 AM AEDT Main Room

Welcome Back

Jan Kruger 15 mins
9:15 AM AEDT Main Room

Looking Through a Strength-Based Lens

How we understand inclusion is shifting. Educators and families have begun to recognise how unhelpful it is to focus on the labels of disability. That’s because these labels have historically moulded our assumptions about what a student with “X” cannot do. In this session, Shelley will discuss how and why we need to look at students through a strength-based lens. This critical step can only happen when we assume that every student has competencies in many domains, regardless of the labels they are ascribed.

Inclusive Education

Shelley Moore 60 mins
10:15 AM AEDT Morning Tea and Video Break

We’ll be showing videos about microenterprise in our longer breaks. Grab a cuppa and watch the story of Ground Control by Major Tom. You can learn more about Tom and his microenterprise during the concurrent session at 12:15 PM (Room 3)

Tom Neale 15 mins
10:30 AM AEDT Main Room

Getting a Good Start in a Good Job

Much has been learned through the years about open employment. There is much evidence that shows what works and what doesn’t work. When the well-established guiding principles of customised employment are applied, desirable results are likely to follow.

In this presentation, you’ll see how a local family applied these principles in the workplace. You’ll hear from a recent school-leaver, his job mentor, and his mother.

Customised Employment

Milton Tyree

Jack Kruger

Julia Shumaker

Jan Kruger

90 mins
12:00 PM AEDT Refreshment and Video Break

We’ll be showing videos about microenterprise in our longer breaks. Grab a cuppa and watch the story of Dried Fruit by Jocelynne.

15 mins
12:15 PM AEDT Concurrent Sessions – Please choose a session to attend from the three below 50 mins
Main Room

Ageing and Living Well

Sue and Susan have known each other for over 20 years. During this time, Sue has been Susan’s Citizen Advocate and has supported her to get the good things in life.

One of these good things was a place to call home. Susan lived in a group home for many years, but it wasn’t a place where she felt relaxed or in control. In this presentation, Sue will describe Susan’s steps to move into a place of her own.

Creating Home

Sue Robertson
Room 2

Translating High Expectations into Quality Education

This presentation is relevant for students, parents, educators and therapists. It emphasises the importance of working in partnership to design and deliver quality education based on high expectations.

Inclusive Education

Sarah Humphreys
Room 3

Creating a Good Life Through Meaningful Employment

When Tom was preparing to leave school, and no one was offering any suitable post-school work options, his parents knew they had to come up with the answer. Skip forward 5 years, and Tom is happily and successfully running his own lawn maintenance business with approximately 50 regular clients.

Think Big, Go Micro! 

When COVID-19 changed Chloe’s plans for employment, Chloe and her family decided to think big and try a microenterprise. In this presentation, Chloe and her mother Jodie will outline how they developed a successful microenterprise.

Microenterprise and Customised Employment


Tom Neale

Helen Neale


Chloe Reid 

Jodie Reid

1:05 PM AEDT Lunch Break  45 mins
1:50 PM AEDT Main Room

Kindness, Connection, and Community | What we can all do to build a more connected community

In his presentation, Hugh will help us reconnect with the magic of kindness. He’ll explain how building connections can start with small acts of kindness in your neighbourhood. We hope participants will be motivated to use these techniques in their own lives.

Relationships and Community

Hugh Mackay 45 mins
2:35 PM AEDT Break 10 mins
2:45 PM AEDT Concurrent Sessions – Please choose a session to attend from the three below 40 mins
Main Room

A Conversation with John and Jan: Shifting the ‘yes, buts’ and how being known can keep you safe

This session will draw from stories shared throughout the conference. Among other things, John and Jan’s conversation will look at

  • how people with disability exceeded expectations when they had the opportunity
  • how being known can keep people safe
  • why being present is the first step to being known
  • why you don’t need to speak to make connections and hold valued roles
  • how support can act as a bridge to connection.
John Armstrong

Jan Kruger

Room 2

I’m Ready for Work: Are You?

In this session, Fiona introduces participants to the concept of customised employment. It’s a great approach for people with disability who are looking for meaningful work. It helps everyone involved to imagine a broader range of employment possibilities. You may find that your understanding of “work readiness” will shift dramatically!

Customised Employment

Fiona McIntosh
Room 3

Making the Most of Therapy

Does therapy play a role in a Good Life? And if so, what exactly is that role? In this presentation, Anne will use real-life examples to identify the critical elements of successful therapy. You’ll see how these elements are universal. They can be applied irrespective of the individual’s goals or support needs.


Anne Keep
3:25 PM AEDT Afternoon Tea and Video Break

We’ll be showing videos about microenterprise in our longer breaks. Grab a cuppa and watch the story of Greens2U.

10 mins
3:35 PM AEDT Main Room

The Gift of Learning

Lifelong learning is an essential part of every person’s good life. But many people make dangerous assumptions about post-school learning for people with disability.

Annie Lee and her mother, Kathryn, will change the way you think about building skills and knowledge after school and beyond.

Lifelong Learning

Annie Lee

Kathryn Lee

25 mins
4:10 PM AEDT Main Room

Learn. Imagine. Create. Repeat.

After such a stimulating and informative conference, where to next? How might you nurture the hopes and manage the buzzing ideas?

Jane will provide a helpful set of ‘next steps’ and ‘first steps’ so that the individual with a disability can get that good life! through valued roles and important safeguards.

The Good Life

Jane Sherwin 30 mins
4:45 PM AEDT Main Room

Conference Wrap Up

Jan Kruger 15 mins
5:00 PM AEDT End of Conference