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The Intellectual Disability Network works to improve the experience and delivery of healthcare for people with intellectual disability by providing clinical leadership, research and education.

Network structure

The network is led by a manager and supported by three co-chairs and an executive committee. Network members are involved at different levels, including:

  • advisory roles
  • subcommittees
  • working groups
  • broader membership of interested individuals.
Maria Heaton
Maria Heaton
Elizabeth Thompson
Dr Elizabeth Thompson
Vince Ponzio
Vince Ponzio

The network draws on the expertise of its members, including consumers and carers, medical, nursing and allied health professionals. It also includes representatives from other government and non-government agencies.

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Network executive group

The network executive group includes people with intellectual disability and carers, as well as experts and leaders in the field.

Advisory groups

Two advisory groups give expert advice and guidance to the executive group. The membership of the groups is made up of young people with intellectual disability and carers of people with intellectual disability.


The executive group oversees four subcommittees:

  • access and equity
  • models of care
  • research and evidence
  • workforce and capacity.

These subcommittees take into account and consider:

  • rural, remote and regional areas
  • consumer and carer engagement
  • disadvantaged groups such as Indigenous, CALD and refugees
  • social, emotional and behavioural aspects of care
  • collaboration, intergration and partnerships, beyond health and rights
  • advocacy and promotion in a broader context.

Aims and responsibilities

  • To provide a coordinated statewide approach in clinical leadership to improve healthcare for children, young people and adults with intellectual disability.
  • To focus on those with chronic, complex health needs and mental health co-morbidities.
  • To develop specific initiatives to implement change such as standardised treatment protocols, models of care and service benchmarks.
  • To provide a forum for clinicians, relevant government and non-government groups and consumers to determine the future directions for healthcare for people with intellectual disabilities across their life span.
  • To improve education, research and safety and quality service provision, underpinned by evidence, through liaison with ACI partners and other organisations.

Join the Intellectual Disability Network