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The event saw a full room of 100 Architects, SIL Providers, Builders, Property Developers, SDA Providers. 

We thank all who travelled interstate to attend this sold out event 

We are grateful for all Presenters, Sponsors and Exhibitors who contributed to the success of the day 

Copies of the presentations are available to all who attended. Please allow up to 14 days to receive your Certificate of Attendance for PD points 

We have received overwhelming positive feedback from the event, with many connected, updated and better informed. 

We look forward to sharing your company once more in the near future. 

Don't miss out on the next SDA Conference in Hobart, Wed 16th November 2022 


The State of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) in Australia

Presented by  Lalia Burnet | National Director Health, Aged Care and Seniors Living

M3 Property

•    Factors influencing investment in the sector
•    Investment Benefits and Pitfalls
•    Future Outlook

The Future of SDA with interest rate rises and cost of living pressures

Presented by Justin MacDonald |  Director | Just Advisory Services 


Justin will provide an in- depth overview of  the current state of SDA and the future of SDA  in the short and medium term.
His presentation will include the potential impacts will be with factors such as:
•    Interest rate rises
•    Cost of living pressures
•    Government changes at Federal and state level
•    Supply chain challenges
•    Access to mainstream bank funding
•    Increased building and construction material costs.

From the past we will then look to the future and what past indicators may tell us about the next 2-5 years in the sector and what does it mean for growth and expansion of the SDA sector?

Justin will  then discuss:
•    SDA integration into the community
•    Access to properties with a suitable design in a suitable location with a suitable configuration and layout.
•    Participant approval rates, participant numbers, 
•    NDIS funding and supports, 
•    Discussions around investment and access to mainstream funding channels

Is it all doom and gloom, or is there some upside for the sector?

SDA eligibility, participant preferences and recent review and appeal outcomes.


Presented by Greg Barry | Founder and Principal

SDA Services 

•    The 2 SDA Eligibility criteria – what they have in common – what distinguishes them – examples
•    The SDA needs requirement – how it works

Preferences and recent outcomes
•    Participants’ preferences as to building types – which includes living arrangements preferences – numbers of bedrooms etc. 
•    What weight attaches to preferences?
•    What’s happening around this? Recent AAT decisions.
•    Preferences and the Article 19 of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Benefits and risk of investing in SDA - Managed Funds 

Presented by Jacob Edwards | SDA Fund Manager  | Social Infrastructure | Australian Unity 

This presentation includes: 

•    A summary of key sector traits, investment characteristics, key roles, emerging trends, risks and future outlook
•    A summary of the types of investment into SDA broadly available to the market (direct, sleeve, portfolio) along with a description

      of each and key risks/benefits.
•    A case study of successes and failures
•    A background on the structure, strategy and methodologies of the Australian Unity SDA Fund

Specialist Disability Accommodation and fire safety

Presented by : Geoff Kaandorp | Manager, At Risk Groups at Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and 
Angela Cook | Senior Engagement Advisor, People at Risk at the Country Fire Authority (CFA)

People with disabilities are overrepresented in fatal home fire statistics. For people living independently, fire safety is a shared responsibility between individuals, the people that provide support for them at home and the fire services. Angela Cook (Country Fire Authority, CFA) and Geoff Kaandorp (Fire Rescue Victoria, FRV) will discuss the importance of home fire safety for people with disabilities, and the simple steps that everyone can take to be more fire safe in their home.      

Reaching Beyond the Standards – Understanding the disparity between Local Planning Codes, National Construction Code and the SDA Design Standards and how to navigate the landscape to develop high quality SDA.

Presented by : David Watson
Director | Architect | SDA Assessor | NDIS Registered Provider 
ArchR Design 

Currently Local Planning Codes do not have the flexibility and understanding to handle Multi-residential SDA Developments. These are not Residential Care facilities, Community Residences or Respite centres. There needs to be a mechanism that will permit council approval while also allowing ownership of apartments/ townhouses/ duplex.


Compliance with National Construction Code is not always simple either, items such as ‘flush thresholds’ require performances solutions to deviate from the acceptable solutions under the NCC. Not to mention the mandates from Private Certifiers/Surveyors to develop Multi-Residential SDA under Class 3 to mitigate fire evacuation risks.


In this session, David will discuss:

  • Common misconceptions around multi-residential SDS and town planning schemes

  • Performances solutions around SDA Design Standards and the National Construction Code

  • What in this market is considered ‘Industry Best Practice’


Safety in disability and care homes, and the NCC 

Presented by Daniel Rorke | Director


While the National Construction Code (NCC) would suggest that such properties should be classified as Class 3 (hostels) or Class 9c (residential care), often they are being built as Class 1a (single detached dwelling) or Class 1b (boarding house) buildings.  


Such properties would be fine for disabled residents who are capable of self-care, but often they are used for people who need full-time support.  

Unfortunately, these Class 1a and 1b buildings have inadequate fire protection to cater for people who require assistance for dull-time care.  

The use of these building classes for disability care can place individuals at risk and is potentially breaching the requirements of providers under NDIS rules.  

Daniel will present on the current approaches to home care,  and recommend changes that should be considered to protect people with disabilities.  

Challenges and Guidelines for NDIS home modifications

Presented by David Watson | Director | Architect | SDA Assessor | NDIS Registered Provider 

ArchR Design 

This presentation will discuss; 
•    Different types of home modifications (Adaptation, Minor, Complex) 
•    What is not covered under the NDIS
•    Approval process for CHM home modifications;  
a)    Plan approval
b)    Assessment
c)    Final steps

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