The Disability Royal Commission (DRC) was established in April 2019 in response to persistent community calls for an investigation of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability. Incidents of this nature have been occurring for a long time and continue today.The DRC will investigate:

  • How to prevent and better protect people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • What is best practice in reporting, investigating and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability
  • How to create a more inclusive society that supports people with disability to be independent and live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

What has the DRC done so far?

The DRC has held a number of Public Hearings around Australia on various settings in which people with disability may have been subjected to mistreatment. Details about future public hearings and the arrangements in place for people who want to attend and/or provide evidence can be found on the DRC schedule website page.

The DRC also collects evidence through responses to Issues Papers that it publishes periodically. So far there are Issues Papers on:

  • The experiences of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) People with Disability
  • Promoting Inclusion
  • Violence and Abuse of People with Disability at Home
  • Safeguards and Quality
  • First Nations People with Disability
  • Restrictive Practices
  • Employment
  • Rights and Attitudes
  • Emergency Planning and Response
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Healthcare for People with Cognitive Disability
  • Group Homes
  • Education and Learning

Links to copies of these documents and all the responses to them can be found on the DRC Issues Papers website page.

All the Issues Papers have technical ‘deadlines’ for responses to them, but if you want to make a late response, these are accepted too. Details of how to do this (and how to make general submissions) are on the DRC Make Your Submission website page.

What Reports Have Been Made?

Th Commission has produced a range of progress reports. Some are general and others to state government departments. You can find links to them and a lot of other resources on the DRC Document Library website page.

How Can I Tell My Story?

There are 2 main ways you can tell your story about Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation. You can make a submission in writing, by phone, or with a recording or you can request and attend a private session.

In a submission you should provide details about:

  • What happened?
  • Did you tell anybody what happened?
  • Did they do anything about it?
  • Did you get any support?
  • What would you like to change about the systems that let this happen to you?
  • Is there anything else you would like the Commission know?
  • Is there a message you have for the rest of Australia?

There is more information about this on the DRC Make Your Submission website page.

Private Sessions allow you to tell your story directly to one of the Commissioners in a confidential setting. Your identity, and anything you tell the Commissioner in the lead-up to and during a private session is protected from disclosure by law. Even after the DRC has ended, your information is protected except in very specific circumstances related to offences against an Australian law and the DRC considers it appropriate to communicate it to a law enforcement agency.

If you want a private session, you will need to book on using the button on the DRC Private Sessions website page.