Australian Disability Enterprises provides rewarding work for Synergy
July 27, 2017

Ian Turnbull, Executive Manager 


Synergy is experienced in working with small to medium disability enterprises in outer metropolitan and regional areas of Australia.

Recently, we teamed up with 40 Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) nationally to provide support in their transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“ADEs provide meaningful employment for people with significant disability who would otherwise not be able to work,” said Executive Manager Ian Turnbull. “They are businesses which make products or provide services within their local communities, and it’s been a pleasure working with them.”

“The implementation of the NDIS has led to the need for ADEs to reflect on current activities and how their services will continue to be provided or, in some cases, if the services should be provided in the future.”

ADEs face a variety of risks associated with the implementation of the NDIS and other environmental factors including:

  • Changes to administrative and funding arrangements.
  • Legal challenges on wage assessment tools used to calculated supported employee wages.
  • Limited capability and/or capacity to realign the organisation.
  • Increased reliance on IT systems and infrastructure.
  • Increased financial uncertainty.

To support ADEs during their transition to the NDIS, Synergy has provided a range of services.

“We have developed costing and pricing models designed to assist ADEs to better understand the true cost of the products or services being delivered, leading to more informed pricing decisions which is fantastic,” said Ian.

Additionally, Synergy has also:

  • Conducted feasibility/viability assessments across existing or possible new ADE business lines. The outputs from these assessments assisted organisations to decide how future operations should look and the products or services offered.
  • Organised strategic and operational planning workshops and subsequent development of strategic and operational plans that clearly articulate the intended future state of the organisation and the pathways to follow.
  • Developed marketing plans focused on the attraction and retention of supported employees and other NDIS clients. These plans assisted ADEs to focus on both internal and external markets for their products and services.
  • Completed IT readiness assessments designed to identify whether ADE systems were compatible with NDIS requirements and to identify new risks that ADEs would face (particularly in relation to the protection and availability of information).
  • Produced demographic and analysis reports on regional and local demographics, projected population change and projected NDIS usage.
  • Reviewed governance structures and arrangements to ensure effectiveness and alignment to organisational requirements.

“As a result of our work with the ADEs, we have assisted them to build internal capability and capacity that will help them in their transition to the NDIS,” said Ian.

If you would like to learn more about Synergy’s work with ADEs, contact Ian Turnbull by emailing