Grattan Institute launches new Disability Program

Australia’s leading public policy think tank, the Grattan Institute, is expanding, with the launch today of a new Disability Program.

We are delighted to announce the appointments of Dr Sam Bennett as Director of the Disability Program, and Alastair McEwin AM as part-time Senior Fellow in the Disability Program.

Sam has worked at the heart of disability reform for years, most recently as General Manager for Policy, Advice, and Research at the National Disability Insurance Agency. He previously held executive leadership positions in government in Australia and the UK.

Alastair is currently a Commissioner on the Disability Royal Commission. He is a former Disability Discrimination Commissioner and has worked in disability and human rights in Australia and overseas for more than 30 years. Alistair will start at Grattan in November, after the Royal Commission has finished.

Grattan Institute Board Chair, Lindsay Maxsted, said: ‘Grattan Institute is Australia’s foremost policy ideas factory, and disability is one of the most important policy issues for Australia.

‘I want to thank the Summer Foundation for providing support to enable Grattan to establish the Disability Program.

‘Grattan’s rigorous research, and the resultant practical policies we propose, will improve outcomes for all Australians, but especially for the millions of us who live with disability.’

Grattan Institute CEO, Danielle Wood, said: ‘Disability touches the lives of a huge number of Australians, and it’s an area where policy ambition has grown in the past decade, notably with the launch of Australia’s revamped Disability Strategy and the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We are now at a critical juncture where further reform is needed in these and other initiatives to fully realise that ambition.

‘I can’t wait to begin working with Sam, Alastair, and the new Disability team to help deliver greater value for government investment and to improve the lives of Australians living with disability.’

Fulbright Scholar Hannah Orban also joins Grattan today, as a researcher in the Disability Program.

Disability becomes the seventh policy program within Grattan Institute, alongside:

Budgets and Government (led by Danielle Wood)

Economic Policy (Brendan Coates)

Education (Jordana Hunter)

Energy and Climate Change (Tony Wood)

Health (Peter Breadon)

Transport and Cities (Marion Terrill)

/Public Release. View in full here.