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The Royal Commission was established on 5 April 2019 and The Honourable Ronald Sackville AO QC has been appointed as Chair of the Royal Commission. Its purpose is to examine the reasons people with a disability are experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation and finding ways to prevent and protect people from having these experiences in the future.

What is a Royal Commission?

A Royal Commission is the highest form of enquiry on matters of public importance.

Recent inquiries and reports show that people with disability are more likely to experience violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation than people without disability.

What we may learn from this Royal Commission will help to inform Australian governments, institutions and the wider community on how to prevent, and better protect, people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in the future.

What will the Royal Commission look at?

  • How to prevent and better protect people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • What may be best practice in reporting and investigating violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • The best ways to promote a more inclusive society that supports people with a disability.

These matters are described as the Commission’s ‘Terms of Reference’. They will focus on the perspectives and stories of disabled people to inform the Terms of Reference.

How will people with a disability be supported to take part?

In the 2019-20 Federal Budget, the Government allocated funding to enable the Royal Commission to provide accessible and appropriate arrangements for people with disability to engage with the inquiry. Further information regarding accessibility arrangements for people with disability will be provided in the coming months.

The Government has also stated that it intends to provide individual advocacy supports and counselling support services for people engaging with the Royal Commission.

Next steps

The Commission is still in the process of being established and is currently holding workshops in order to consult with the relevant stakeholders so that a better understanding may be gained of the problems and circumstances that exist.