Setting up a National Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health is a priority action under the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability (roadmap). The centre will help us to successfully deliver the roadmap. Many actions in the roadmap depend on establishing the centre to support delivery and house essential resources.
In the October 2022 Budget, we allocated $15.9 million for a total commitment of $23.9 million over 4 years from 2022–23 for the centre. Funding will continue beyond those 4 years.
In 2021–22 we engaged consultants who led the scoping and co-design of options for the centre. They worked in collaboration with:
- clinical and academic experts
- intellectual disability advocacy organisations
- people with lived experience and carers
- state and territory health departments
- existing specialised intellectual disability health services.
Based on the results of the scoping and co-design work, the centre aims to:
- be a leader in intellectual disability health
- work out what research is needed so the health system can give better health care for people with intellectual disability
- improve health services for people with intellectual disability
- help people with intellectual disability and their families to find the right health services and access health information
- provide expert advice for implementing other measures under the roadmap.
Establishing the centre
We ran an open competitive grant process in early 2023 for the centre.
We awarded grant funding to a group of 9 organisations led by the University of New South Wales (UNSW).
The group includes:
- the University of New South Wales (lead organisation)
- the Council for Intellectual Disability
- First Peoples Disability Network
- Down Syndrome Australia
- the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Sydney
- Queenslanders with Disability Network
- the University of Melbourne (including the Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health)
- Telethon Kids Institute in Perth
- Mater Intellectual Disability and Autism Service in Brisbane.
The successful group worked closely with people with intellectual disability to prepare their grant application.
People with intellectual disability will be directly involved in creating and running the centre. People with intellectual disability will be:
- the centre’s co-chair and members of the centre's board
- members of other governance bodies
- have other jobs working for the centre.
Making sure that the centre is genuinely inclusive of people with intellectual disability will be essential to drive improvements in their health outcomes.
This paper tells you about the centre and the work that it will do. You can download it in PDF to read online or print.
If you have any questions about the grant process for the national centre, please contact Grant.ATM@health.gov.au or 02 6289 5600.
For more information about the national centre, please contact the Department of Health and Aged Care.