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

The safety of our communities, customers and employees is our top priority. All non-essential in-person Advisory Committee meetings are cancelled or postponed until the current NSW Government Public Health Orders are lifted. 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.