Newcastle’s own Kurt Fearnley has been appointed the chair of the agency in charge of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The announcement was made at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday afternoon that the former Paralympics champion would lead the Board of the National Disability Insurance Agency.
Mr Fearnley has a congenital disorder and was born without the lower half of his spine. He lived and worked as a teacher in Newcastle and has an athletics field named after him in Newcastle West.
The appointment was made by NDIS Minister Bill Shorten, which comes after calls from within the disability community to appoint more disabled people into the top jobs of the Agency.
Speaking in Canberra this afternoon Mr Fearnley said he was honoured to be taking up the job.
“The single greatest role that I have ever even considered is the one right here today.
“To potentially see people with disabilities look on the scheme and see themselves, as chair, as a chunk of the board, I think that is a really exciting time,” Mr Fearnley said.