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NDIS Champions

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Mary O'Connell

Vaucluse, NSW

AFDO NDIS Champion Mary O'Connell

Mary O’Connell is the youngest of five children born in Dubbo NSW, and she currently lives in Sydney.

At the age of six months and again at two years Mary had the measles, and at the age of eight years old she was diagnosed with Motor Dyspraxia. To this very day there has never been a medical reason to how Mary came to have Motor Dyspraxia.

Mary recently finished her Certificate IV in Business Administration through OTEN TAFE, and is now in the process of re-enrolling another course through OTEN TAFE Diploma in Business.

She currently works in the NSW Department of Family & Community Services, in Ageing, Disability and Home Care.

For three years Mary was seconded to the Minister’s office as Admin Officer/Receptionist. During her time working with Minister Constance and then Minister Ajaka she began to learn about how NDIS is going to be beneficial to people with disabilities. 

"I was very fortunate working Minister’s office when the NSW Government and Federal Government signed a contract to have NSW as the first state to agree to the rollout of NDIS."

"I am so excited to be an NDIS Champion, as hope I get out to talk about how wonderful NDIS will be for people with disabilities", said Mary.

In Mary's spare time she is a sports fanatic. She loves watching her Swanies, Wallabies also the Waratahs and the Aussie Cricketers. She thoroughly enjoys either watching the games live or on TV. Mary also loves cooking, walking, reading, and listening to music.

About the NDIS Champions program

Would your business, organisation or community group benefit from a free information session on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), delivered by a person with disability in your local area?

Do you want to know more about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)? Do you want to understand what it will mean for people with disability?

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) has recently employed and trained 30 people with disabilities from all over Australia to become NDIS Champions - to deliver reliable, fact-checked information about the NDIS in their local communities.

NDIS Champions presentations have answers to the most frequently asked questions, including:

  • What is the NDIS?
  • Who can access it?
  • Why do we need it?
  • How does it work?
  • What do I need to do?
  • NDIS Plans
  • And more

If your business, organisation, or community group would benefit from a free information session on the NDIS, you can fill out an Expression of interest form (online or PDF), or contact your local Champion directly using the contact details on the Champions' page. 

Note: NDIS Champions presentations were free during late 2016, but the project funding for this has ended. The Champions we trained are now working independently as presenters, and are charging modest fees to cover their time, expenses and expertise. Contact your local NDIS Champion to find out more. 

Contact details

If you would like Mary to make a presentation about the NDIS to your organisation, business or group, you can email her to make arrangements at or

Download Mary's NDIS Champions flyer (PDF, 1 page, 160kb)