Review into services provided by Irabina Autism Services

On 27 September 2023, the NDIS Quality and Safety Commissioner determined that an independent review should be conducted in relation to Irabina Autism Services (Irabina) and the handling of matters relating to reportable incidents, complaints, restrictive and prohibited practices that have come to the attention of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) since 1 July 2019[1].

The independent review was conducted by former judge, the Hon Jennifer Boland AM (Boland Review). The NDIS Commission has publicly released an appropriately redacted version of the Overview Report of the Boland Review. The full Boland Report is not being publicly released as it contains protected information, the disclosure of which is a criminal offence under provisions of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act).

The NDIS Commission accepts the findings of the Independent Report and acknowledges that its handling of matters has not always met community expectations. Its immature system, processes and under-resourcing during its establishment years led to a fragmented approach to regulating providers that adversely impacted people with disability, their families and their carers who accessed NDIS funded services through Irabina from 2019-2022. The practices at Irabina, particularly within the Severe Behaviour Support Program, constituted breaches of the NDIS Act and associated Rules.

The NDIS Commission recognises the harm experienced as a result of Irabina’s use of prohibited restrictive practices and restrictive practices. We apologise to people with disability, their families and their carers who accessed Irabina’s behaviour support services during this period for the systemic factors that – despite the best efforts of individual NDIS Commission staff at the time – let people with disability down.

The NDIS Commission is actively investigating Irabina, with a view to determining what further regulatory action should be taken against the provider and its former key personnel.

Since 2022, the NDIS Commission has worked hard to improve its operations despite its fiscal constraints limiting its resources. This has included restructuring its operations, additional training for staff, updating policies and procedures, changing delegations to reduce bottlenecks, systems and process improvements. This work has been accelerated since the Government invested $142m NDIS Commission doubling the size of the workforce.

The NDIS Commission is committed to holding to account all providers who cause harm to people with disability. We also believe that the Boland Review provides further strong support for action on the findings of both the Disability Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability and the NDIS Review.


[1] On 1 July 2019, quality and safeguarding arrangements relating to NDIS services in Victoria transitioned to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.


Overview Report of the Boland Review

Easy Read: A report on how we handled Irabina Autism Services