Annual Conference and Awards Night

Disability Confidence Awards 5 June 2023 and National Conference 6 June 2023.

Registrations now open

Register your attendance to our Conference:

Attending both our Conference and Awards Night is an excellent way to maximize your experience and gain comprehensive learning, networking opportunities, cost savings, and professional development.

About the Conference

  • Date: Tuesday 6 June 2023.
  • Time: 9am to 5pm. In-person attendees will have ample networking opportunities with additional networking drinks till 7pm after the conference.
  • Where: Held virtually and in-person at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney.

Conference Agenda

This year’s Conference is shaping up to be our best one yet, with an amazing line-up of speakers, panel discussions, and informative sessions.

9am Welcome and Official Open

We’re excited to welcome Aussie Comedy legend Tim Ferguson as our Conference MC this year. Tim will kickstart the day at 9am sharp with an introduction, reflection and quick housekeeping. We will then hear an official Welcome to Country, and our Chairman Peter Wilson will share his official opening.

9:25am Am I Disabled Enough? Exploring the Complexity of Disability Experience

“I often feel like I’m caught between two worlds and wonder if my experiences are ‘disabled enough’.”

Every experience with disability is as unique as someone’s fingerprint. For some, society’s expectations may leave them feeling ‘not disabled enough’ to access workplace adjustments, but ‘too disabled’ to successful achieve outcomes.

In this panel discussion, we will hear from people with lived experience on the battle between societal expectations and perceptions and navigating one’s own identity. Panellists will share their experiences, knowledge, and insights on creating a psychologically safe work environments, how managers and organisations can support, and the power that comes when you control the narrative.


10:15am Sponsor Presentation

We’re excited to welcome back Tony Abrahams, Co-founder and CEO of Ai Media who will share Ai Media’s knowledge and experience in building an accessible community.

10:25am Morning Tea

We welcome everyone to break for Morning Tea. For in-person attendees, we encourage you to use this time to network and enjoy the Morning Tea we have provided. For virtual attendees, we encourage you to use this time to grab something to eat and have a screen break.

10:55am Finding your voice: Storytelling as a Tool for Disability Inclusion

Improve your impact through storytelling. Our keynote speaker will guide you through storytelling to bring people on the inclusion journey and deliver impact in the workplace.

This session will also cover how Disability Employee Network Chairs can support disability initiatives and help drive the desired impact and change throughout the business.


11:30am Sponsor Presentation

Thank you to our Event Accessibility Partner BindiMaps, who will talk to their mission of making every space 100% accessible.

11:40am Achieving Disability Employment Equity: Are Targets the Solution?

Should we have disability employment targets? This complex issue will be explored in this panel discussion to expand our thinking. Learn about the role employment targets have in achieving inclusion, real business examples of the impact, and how it can hold organisations accountable for creating more accessible and inclusive workplaces.

This session will arm you with practical takeaways on how to effectively, efficiently and successfully capture and utilise this data from your employees.


12:20pm Sponsor Presentation

Thank you to our Major Sponsor, the Attorney-General’s Department, for making our Conference possible. We’re excited to welcome back Cameron Gifford to speak at our event about the work the Department’s been doing to be accessible and inclusive of people with disability.

12:30pm Lunch

We invite everyone to break for Lunch. For in-person attendees, we encourage you to use this time to network and enjoy the Lunch we have provided. For virtual attendees, we encourage you to use this time to grab something to eat and have a screen break.

1:25pm Top 10 Tips for Inclusive Recruitment

Our top 10 tips session from last year was a crowd favourite, so this year we’re bringing it back!

With the current labour shortage, the talent pool of people with disability is one you can’t afford to not tap into. This top 10 tips session will focus on inclusive recruitment, equipping you with practical takeaways and strategies for you to take back to implement in your organisation.


1:35pm Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Thinking Outside the Box for Recruitment and Career Development

With unemployment for neurodiverse adults 3 times the rate of people with disability, and 8 times the rate of people without disability, this is a rich area to explore.

This session will explore case study examples and practical solutions on what organisations can do to support neurodiverse employees and cultivate inclusive workplaces including….

  • Examples of successful programs and initiatives.
  • Possible barriers and opportunities discovered from developing a supportive environment.
  • What success looks like for the organisation and the individual.


2:15pm Sponsor Presentation

Thank you to our Event Accessibility Partner TTC Global, who will talk to how they’re inherently inclusive in all that they do.

2:25pm Leading the Way: Insights from Disability-Inclusive Organisations on Retaining and Developing Talent

We all know the importance of retaining and developing talent. So, what are the practical strategies that organisations can implement to support the growth and success of employees with disability at all levels of the business.

Our panellists will share their experiences, insights, and best practices for creating an inclusive workplace culture that fosters growth and empowers employees with disability.


3:05pm Afternoon Tea

We invite everyone to break for Afternoon Tea. For in-person attendees, we encourage you to use this time to network and nibble on the Afternoon Tea we have provided. For virtual attendees, we encourage you to use this time to grab something to eat and have a screen break.

3:30pm Design for All: Creating Accessible and Inclusive Products, Services, and Spaces

Globally, people with disability have nearly half a trillion dollars in disposable income (according to a 2018 report from the American Institutes for Research). Learn how building accessibility from the design, to prototype, to launch, can help your business. This session will explore strategies, practical takeaways, and how organisations can leverage these principles to drive innovation and growth.

  • Expand your thinking around product and process design.
  • Hear from organisations revolutionising the customer experience.
  • Learn about the impact you can make by including accessibility from the start across all areas of business.


3:55pm Service Design for Success: Strategies and Best Practices

Despite progress in recent years, people with disability still face significant barriers when accessing goods and services. Research shows that customers with disability in Australia are significantly less likely to have their consumer needs met or to have positive customer experiences than customers without disability. 1 in 3 customers with disability say their customer needs were often unmet, meaning they were not able to purchase the products or services they wanted to.

So, what is a Disability Confident Customer Experience? This discussion will explore examples of best practice, learnings, experiences, and insights from a business leader and an advocate with lived experience. From co-creation to continuous improvement, speakers will discuss the strategies and implementation plans they have delivered to ensure impact at scale.


4:30pm Thank you and Close

Wrap up, thank you and close from MC Tim Ferguson and Australian Network on Disability CEO Corene Strauss who will also share an exciting announcement…

5pm Networking

We invite in-person attendees to discuss what you have heard and the ideas to innovate further over drinks and canapes at our networking event.

Download an accessible Word version of the Conference Agenda, (Word, 46KB).

Conference information and accessibility

We are excited for our Annual Conference.  Please find some information tips and hints to help on the day.



  • The venue for the Australian Network on Disability Annual Conference is at the Hilton Hotel, 488 George Street, Sydney. The conference will take place in the Grand Ballroom on Level 3.
  • The sensory room is located on level 3, off the exhibition centre.
  • The Emergency Assembly point is through the emergency exit door located to the right of the stage. If evacuation is required an alarm will be sounded.
  • The Australian Network on Disability team will be onsite to provide assistance to attendees – look for the white polo tops


You do not need to provide a ticket or QR code.  Your pass will be ready with registration via your name.   Your name will need to be updated correctly in Humanitix before Friday 02 June 2023.

Getting there

  • Public transportation –
    • St James station, located in Elizabeth Street, is 350m walk (4min) from the Hilton.
    • Bus stops are located at St James station, located in Elizabeth Street.
  • The main pedestrian accessible entrance is located off 55 Pitt Street
  • Hotel parking is available through Secure Parking located beneath the Hilton Sydney (entry via 255 Pitt Street) at a rate of $58.50 per 24 hours.
  • Accessible bays are located on B4 and B5.
  • Please be advised that we cannot reserve accessible parking bays and we cannot guarantee bays will be available on the night.
  • There is no braille or audio in the lifts from the carpark. If you require any assistance, please contact the AND helpline on 02 8270 9240.
  • The taxi drop off is located at 255 Pitt Street with electronic doors providing entry into the hotel foyer
  • Please be aware that there is stair at the George Street entrance of the hotel.
  • There is braille in the lifts with light activating to indicated which lifts are available and when the lift reached its desired floor. The lifts do not make announcements when the desire floor is reached, but AND staff will be onsite to assist.
  • In addition to the lifts, there are escalators available from level one to level 3.

Accessible Bathrooms

  • There are accessible bathrooms located on Level 2,3 and 4.

Accessibility assistance:

  • Captioning will be provided during the Conference presentation on large screens
  • Auslan interpreters will be on stage during the conference
  • Hearing loops will be available. Please let us know at the conference registration desk if you require a hearing loop.   There are no hearing loops in the reception of the hotel.
  • All registered support canines are allowed at the Hilton.   Any support animal that is not a canine (birds, cats, rabbits etc.) requires pre-approval from the hotel. A water station will be set up in the main exhibition area. Hyde Park is 350 meters away.

Virtual platform

No email to access Virtual platform?

An email was sent Friday 2 June and Monday 5 June with login information.  The email comes from and may be in junk mail or need to be released from some organisations firewalls if not whitewashed.  Please contact your IT .  Emails have been sent to the address provided through Humanitix.  If this address is not updated it is might not have been sent.

You have an email but can’t access URL?

  • Google Chrome is the recommended browser, Firefox and Safari are also compatible.
  • Please ensure your browser is up to date with the latest version.
  • If you are accessing from an internal work server, please speak with your IT team to ensure access to the site is not blocked.
  • DO NOT use Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge as these browsers are not compatible.
  • The Username and Password are case sensitive, please try to copy and paste.

Login Error

If your login is not working, please ensure the login and password is correct for this platform.  The login and password can be found in the email sent from  The username and password are case sensitive – copy and paste if you can.

If you are still unable to login, please contact or call (02) 8270 9200.


  • Captioning will be available in the live feed section
  • The Auslan interpreters will be filmed and broadcast in a separate box within the live feed.

Keyboard Navigation

The navigation list is available for you to navigate through the site. If you are using a keyboard to navigate through the platform, on selection of the navigation item you will need to move focus to the next item, which will be a ‘skip to content’ link that will take you to the main content of the page.

Assistive Technology Users

Some forms may not be clearly identified. If any forms including feedback are not accessible to you, please provide your desired feedback to

Live Stream Options

You can choose to have the pop-up video active, however this will visually obscure text and is not movable for a keyboard user.  This will allow you to navigate the site as you listen to the conference.

About the Disability Confidence Awards Night

Award winners

Congratulations to everyone who won a Disability Confidence Award.

Event details

  • Date: Monday 5 June 2023
  • Time: 6pm to 8pm
  • Where: This in-person event was  held at The Fullerton Hotel in Sydney

Building disability confidence in an organisation takes commitment and passion. These awards highlight the organisations and individuals who have shown commitment to disability confidence. ​

We’re excited to release the award nominations with this year celebrating more awards than last, bringing more opportunities to celebrate the impacts that we are making towards a more equitable future.

This year’s awards:

  • Access & Inclusion top performers 2022-23
  • Disability Confident Recruiter 2023
  • The Disability Inclusion Changemaker of the Year
  • The Disability Employee Network of the Year
  • The Supervisor of the Year
  • The Inclusive Initiative of the Year
  • The Mentor of the Year

Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate and share their outstanding work and the work of others. Congratulations to these award finalists, your dedication and passion is truly commendable, and we value your commitment to disability confidence. 

Winners will be announced on the awards night. Ensure you are there to cheer on the winners, network with fellow passionate allies, or even accept your award. The evening will include food and beverages as well as plenty of opportunities to network and socialise in-person.

This is a fabulous opportunity to celebrate the hard work and amazing impact we are making towards creating a disability confident Australia.


We are making every effort to ensure our Conference and Award Night is accessible to everyone. The below will be provided:

  • Captioning will be provided by Ai-Media.
  • Auslan interpreters will be present throughout presentations.
  • The venues have accessible bathrooms and lifts throughout.
  • Registered service animals are welcome.
  • A designated quiet space will be available.
  • If any videos are played, they will be captioned and audio described, with transcripts available upon request.

For our Conference, transcripts of each session will be available on our website following the event, if you require accessible, digital versions of printed material available on the day (this includes plain English alternatives), please contact

Accessibility information about the Awards Night venue


  • The main pedestrian accessible entrance to the venue is located off of Pitt Street.
  • The Awards presentation will take place in the Heritage Ballroom on Level 6 of the venue.  To access the Heritage Ballroom from the lift, you will need to move over a high indoor bridge with glass sides.
  • The Emergency Assembly point is just outside the building in Martin Place Square.
  • The AND team will be onsite to provide assistance to any attendee that may have accessibility needs.
  • Hearing loops will be available during the awards presentation. There are no hearing loops in the foyer.

Public Transport

  • Martin Place Station, located toward Macquarie Street, is 400 meter (5 minutes) walk from the Fullerton reception.
  • Bus stops at Castlereagh bus interchange in Castlereagh Street is 220 meters (3 minutes) walk from the Fullerton reception.


  • Hotel parking is available through Secure Parking located beneath the Fullerton Hotel.  Entry is from Pitt Street and casual rates apply.
  • Car park levels 4-7 have an accessible parking space each which is located to the left of the lifts. Please be advised that we cannot reserve accessible parking bays and we cannot guarantee bays will be available on the night.
  • There is no braille or audio in the lifts from the carpark. If you require any assistance, please call us on 02 8270 9240

Accessible Bathrooms

  • There are accessible bathrooms located on Level 6, as well as the ground floor with door width of 91cm.
  • The bathroom on level 6 may not be accessible for someone using a mobility scooter due to a restrictive door in this area
  • There is also an accessible bathroom in the lobby with a 90cm entry.

All registered support canines are allowed at the Fullerton.  Any support animal that is not a canine (birds, cats, rabbits etc.) requires pre-approval from the hotel. A water station will be set up in the Barnet Room. Wynyard Park is 250 meters away.

If you have any questions or require any additional adjustments in order to access the event, please email or phone 02 8270 9200.

How to get there and parking

The hotels have shared some extensive information on their website about the best ways to get to the hotel whether you’re travelling by car, train, bus, or from the airport.


There is an extensive number of hotels available to stay at in the Sydney CBD. The Hilton hotel are kindly offering a 10% discount to our Conference attendees. How to access the discount:

Our Sponsors and Partners

The Australian Network on Disability’s Annual National Conference and Awards Night is made possible by our generous sponsors.

Awards Night Major Sponsor

ASURIA (with the U as a smiling face). Assured people services

Asuria is a proud Australian-owned government outsourced services provider supporting thousands of people across Australia, Europe, and the Middle East.

For over 25 years Asuria has successfully delivered human services on behalf of government, across employment, welfare, community services, education, training, self-employment and allied health. Asuria supports the long-term unemployed and most disadvantaged people, youth at risk, single parents, First Nations, justice linked, mature-aged and people with disability to find and keep a job, participate in their community and reduce dependence on income assistance.

Asuria is a Disability Employment Services (DES) provider, helping people with a disability, injury or health condition prepare for, find, and keep a job.

What makes Asuria truly unique is that all our people are truly enterprising at heart. The Asuria culture drives a sense of innovation, excitement and passion in all programs and services we deliver.

Asuria is a people business that beats to an Enterprising Heart. We believe the success of our services comes from having every employee treat every job seeker with empathy, dignity and respect, supported by the adaptation of the latest thinking in cognitive science and behavioural economics to ensure we focus on every job seeker’s strengths.

Conference Major Sponsor

Australian Government Attorney-General's Department

Conference Gold Sponsor


Conference Silver Sponsor


Telstra logo: blue T half in an orange oval.

Event Partners 

ai media

Access Haven

Deaf Connect, Serving out community. Sharing our culture.



Sponsor our event

Would your organisation benefit from becoming a partner or sponsor of our events?

Connect with our audience of engaged, solutions-focused, forward-thinking change makers from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, who are passionate around issues related to the inclusion of people with disability.

Sponsoring our events is a unique and valuable way to demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to initiatives that support inclusion of people with disability.

In addition to the branding and reputational benefits, the conference also provides significant opportunities to network with and influence senior decision-makers from leading Australian organisations, in a positive, collaborative environment. For information, read our sponsorship proposal.



Past AND Conference presentations

Please login or become a member to download audio files and transcripts of past AND Conference presentations.