National Disability Sports Conference Schedule

Following on from the National Diversity and Inclusion Conference (Wednesday), Disability Sport and Recreation will host this one day conference focused on key opportunities in the sector, including:

  • Mental health and the importance of social connectedness
  • Embracing people with disability is good for business
  • Where to next? What the disability sport landscape will look like in 2029

Thursday 25 July 2019

8:45AM - 10:15AM

Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre

Global Thought Leaders Sessions  

Each conference will join together in the morning to enjoy the inspirational speakers from around the globe that have been brought together to explore the conversations we need to have today, to be ready for tomorrow. They will then be joined by a panel of Australian and New Zealand leaders and specialists to explore the implications nationally, state and territory wide, and locally.

View Global Thought Leader Sessions here 

11:15AM - 12:30PM

Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre

Plenary Theme 5: Reimagining Disability and Sport 

Mental health, the importance of social connectedness in sport for disability from a grassroots to elite level

This session will focus on the importance that positive mental health can have for people with disability and the impact that sport has on living a fulfilling life, exploring different perspectives to ensure a holistic approach is understood. 

12:30PM - 1:30PM

Sport and Recreation Expo


1:30PM - 3:00PM

Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre

Embracing people with disability is good for business – the importance of economic participation to the individual, the business and society.  

In this session participants will be educated and get an understanding on just how much impact people with disability have on the economy. Participants will also hear about the importance of true universal design when developing programs and how best to put people with disability in the box seat of this. The panel will also touch on the importance of employment and what supports are in place to support this.

Panel to explore:

  • Why should organisations employ people with disabilities in their workplace and what are the benefits to the sports sector of employing people with disability in their workforce?
  • Universal design – is disability sport the best example of universal design in practice, design thinking is not just about facilities but programming also
  • The importance of role models and mass promotion initiatives of disability sport

3:00PM - 4:00PM

Expo Area


4:00PM - 5:00PM

Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre

Where to next? What does the disability sport landscape look like in 2029 and what are the biggest challenges in our way?  

Some great strides have been made over the past 10 years, but looking ahead to the future what are the major challenges posed to the sector? Embracing key learnings and teachings from panel members and delegates to develop a roadmap for the sector to use over the next few years. Mass participation events and partnerships are only part of a bigger engagement strategy for people with disability.

Panel to explore:

  • Biggest concerns that may be faced over the next few years, how we break the cycle of short term funding and embed sustainable programs into the evaluation and planning stage.
  • Partnerships – how can sports, whether they are well resourced or not, collaborate and deliver more powerful outcomes than in isolation. What are some best practice examples of this?
  • Change makers – how can sports embed disability sport at the top level all the way down to a grassroots community level?
  • Mass disability sport events – are they the way of the future, how can sports team up and deliver better outcomes?


National Sports Convention 2019 Closes