The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has resigned from his role, effective immediately.
Robert De Luca, who has been the CEO of the NDIA since August 2017 will become the CEO of community health organisation, Zenitas Healthcare.
“It has been a privilege to serve participants and to progress this important Scheme of huge national significance,” Mr De Luca says.
“I have great confidence in the future of the Scheme.”
“It is with regret that we have accepted Mr De Luca’s resignation,” the NDIA Board says.
“Rob has been an inspiring leader who has attracted and built a highly capable executive team, which has underpinned a tripling of the number of participants as the Scheme has rolled out.”
Disability advocates are eagerly waiting to see who will be put in charge of the agency.
The Deputy CEO of Government, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Vicki Rundle has been appointed as Acting CEO of NDIA until the role is filled.
Co-CEO of People with Disability Australia Matthew Bowden says the resignation provides an opportunity for people with disability to be put in charge of the NDIA and ensure the NDIS isn’t led by economic rationalism.
“We’re really concerned that there isn’t a disability led Scheme that we’ve always wanted and been calling for,” Mr Bowden says.
“This is our Scheme.
“We need it to be governed and led by people with disability.
“It’s only people with disability who have a deep understanding of our lives, the issues we are facing so this gives the Government the opportunity to reset the culture of the agency and bring the agency back to what the Scheme was set out to deliver.
“It’s time for PWD to be put in charge of the NDIA.”
A number of people with disability have shared their thoughts on the latest development on various social media channels.
Paralympian Kurt Fearnley says lived experience with disability needs to be a requirement for the next CEO.
Nicole Lee says it's time to give people with disability a voice in who leads the NDIS.
“Time to give the disability community self determination. Hire a CEO with a disability, that people with disabilities chose,” she says on Twitter.
Jessica Walton is also calling for the next NDIA CEO to be a person with disability.
“I’d love to see a whole lot of questions from disabled people about the NDIS and the Royal Commission. I’ve just submitted one about appointing a disabled NDIA CEO if elected.”
Jane Wardlaw also took to Twitter to share her thoughts.
“Now is the time for someone with true lived experience to head the agency. This could be a dual role.”
The NDIA Board will immediately begin its search to find its next CEO.