From citizen to charity case: has contracted welfare breached the Sovereign's duty to Her subjects?

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Have you ever stopped to think about the true nature of citizenship? If you have an elderly, disabled or chronically ill relative how is their citizenship different from yours? Is it different, or inferior, because of the effects free market economic policies have had on social policies over the past 30 years? Progressively, governments at State and Commonwealth level have shifted social service delivery to churches and charities, alongside the billions of UN tax dollars they already receive. What level of choice did service recipients have in this process? The National Disability Insurance Scheme, the focus of my research, claims to be about choice for people with disabilities. It is a central government funding body which is dependent on charity ‘partners’ to deliver every good or service it provides. Should citizens who were meant to receive ground-breaking social reform spend their lives dependent on charity? Does this fulfil the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability? Given that the welfare state emerged in response to public demands for better living and working standards, how can the government now retreat and call it reform? Equally, what should disabled, elderly or chronically ill citizens expect of a decent life and whom should they expect it from?
Adam Johnston is a PhD candidate at the Macquarie University Law School. He is a solicitor and holds a Master of Laws from the University of New England. He is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has worked in complaint handling roles for the NSW Ombudsman and the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW. He serves on several advisory and governance committees of the Local Health District and Primary Health Network. Adam is a current, if reluctant participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme. He would prefer funds went to scientists, like those he meets at the NSW Stem Cell Network, whose work will ultimately cure many.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2017
EventNewMac 2017: Making a Mark - Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 17 Jul 201717 Jul 2017


ConferenceNewMac 2017


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