About us

We are an independent, collective voice committed to full inclusion and active citizenship. We are the first user-led organisation established to prepare people for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and we are forging new directions!


We strive…

  • For an inclusive and just society where people with disability have active citizenship through social, economic, cultural and political participation.

  • To be an independent, peer support organisation committed to the rights and best interests of people with disability.

  • For people with disability and their families to get the support they need to live the lives they choose.

  • To be a collective voice of and for people with disability which promotes full inclusion and active citizenship.



  • To increase the knowledge, skills and capacity of people with disability and their families through information, advice, mentoring, peer support, training and development.

  • To assist people to get the most out of their NDIS budget and their lives through peer support.

  • To build the capacity of the community to welcome all people.

  • To uphold and be guided by the principles and articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


Annual Report


“It has been another incredible year for CDAH, as we continue to build the peer movement in the Hunter region and to be a strong national voice in increasing choice and control for people with disability. Our members are at the heart of all we do at CDAH and we really look forward to all members actively contributing to and shaping our work in the coming year.”

Dave Belcher (Acting Executive Officer)


Our history

CDAH was originally known as the Hunter Disability Support Organisation and was formally launched at a public event in Newcastle in November 2012. The event,  called "NDIS in the Hunter: Getting in Control", was  attended by 180 people with disability and family members.

At the event participants heard about user led disability support organisations in the United Kingdom and the important and unique role such organisations have in ensuring people with disability have genuine opportunities to exercise control and choice, direct their supports and lead the lives they choose.  Such was the enthusiasm, the decision was made to establish a user led disability support organisation in the Hunter. 


CDAH's establishment and ongoing development was supported by a dedicated working party of twenty people who met fortnightly until we became an incorporated association with our own Board and constitution.

The establishment of the organisation was supported by funding from the Federal Government’s Practical Design Fund and hosted by the Physical Disability Council NSW, In Control Australia and Resourcing Families.  With this funding we were able to create a resource documenting the process of establishing a user led organisation. CDAH is building bridges and an identity in the Hunter. Partnerships developed since our launch include Ethnic Communities Council of Newcastle and the Hunter, The Place, Charlestown Community Centre, Newcastle City Council, Maitland Neighbourhood Centre and the Family Action Centre at the University of Newcastle. In addition, CDAH retains strong ties to Family Advocacy, Physical Disability Council of NSW and In Control Australia.