Access Advisory Committee

The City of Newcastle's Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2016-2019, Strategy 4, reads as 'Establish partnerships which address community wide barriers to access and inclusion' and action (d) is 'Establish a community advisory committee in the next term of Council'.

By Council resolution on 24 October 2017, approval was given to proceed with an Expression of Interest process to establish a Disability Advisory Committee (Now known as Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee). The functions of this committee are outlined in the Committee Charter.

Objectives and Responsibilities

  • To enhance the delivery of Council's commitment to the Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2016-2019
  • To provide strategic advice and guidance to Council and Council Officers in relation to making Newcastle a highly inclusive community
  • To engage people with disabilities, their carers and disability service providers in Local Government
  • To discuss localised concerns about barriers experienced by people with disabilities
  • To support Council in a manner that is consistent with Council values
  • To submit an annual report to the elected Council on the operation and actions of this Committee.

Committee Charter

View the  Committee Charter (pdf).


NOTICE - COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 - The safety of our communities, customers and employees is our top priority.  As such, on 28 April, Council adopted an amended meeting schedule for the period May to September 2020 which includes Advisory Committees being able to meet (quarterly as scheduled and if determined necessary by the Chair and Facilitator).  The location of all meetings will be determined by the Chief Executive Officer in consultation with the Lord Mayor, having regard to all relevant public health orders, and will be either via audio-visual platform or at an appropriate CN facility in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1993. We appreciate your ongoing support at this time.

Meetings are held every 2 months for a period up to 2 hours, currently between 4:30pm and 6:30pm.

Meeting dates for 2020

  • Wednesday 4 March 2020
  • Wednesday 3 June 2020 (Postponed pending Government Advice)
  • Wednesday 2 September 2020 (Postponed pending Government Advice)
  • Wednesday 2 December 2020 (Postponed pending Government Advice)


The charter outlines that the Committee Membership will consist of 3 Councillor Representatives, 3 Organisational Representatives from community organisations specialising in service provision and/or advocacy services in the Disability Sector, and 3 Community Members who have live experience of disabilities and/or are carers or family members of people with disabilities.

In light of the applications received during the Expression of Interest process for the committee, a decision was made to increase the Community Membership from 3 to 5 positions resulting in the Access and Inclusion Committee now having 11 members.

Current members

  • Cr Matthew Byrne (Councillor representative)
  • Cr Carol Duncan (Councillor representative)
  • Cr Andrea Rufo (Councillor representative)
  • Nathan Burford   (Organisational representative-Guide Dogs NSW/ACT)
  • Joseph Popov   (Organisational representative-Community Disability Alliance Hunter)
  • Tracy Walker   (Organisational representative-Maroba Communities)
  • Chris Leishman (Community representative)
  • Norm MacPherson (Community representative)
  • Kirsty Russell (Community representative)
  • Eliot Shaw (Community representative)
  • Margaret Wood (Community representative)

Meeting Agendas

 DIAC Agenda 20/02/2019 (pdf)
 DIAC Agenda 17/04/2019 (pdf)
 DIAC Agenda 19/06/2019 (pdf)
 DIAC Agenda 21/08/2019 (pdf)

Meeting Minutes

  DIAC Minutes 20/02/2019 (pdf)
 DIAC Minutes 17/04/2019 (pdf)
 DIAC Minutes 19/06/2019 (pdf)
 DIAC Minutes 21/08/2019 (pdf)


The committee is required to produce an Annual Report on it's activities to the Council each year.