21 Oct
Issue Paper summary: First Nations people pt 1

Issue Paper summary: First Nations people pt 1

The First Nations people Issue Paper was released in June and looks at the different experiences from First Nations people with disability. 

Like our previous Issues, we give a summary of the current ideas and terms we use when talking about First Nations people. Part 2 looks at what the Royal Commission will focus on and some questions for you to think about if you’re interested in making a submission. 

Download all versions here. 


As mentioned in the previous article, we are protected by a set of rights that control the way we’re treated and treat others.  

Under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) First Nations people with disability have the right to: 

  • Make their own decisions 
  • Be safe and treated fairly and equally 
  • Have their First Nations culture protected and respected 

Experiences of First Nations people 

First Nations people with disability are more likely to: 

  • Experience physical violence, harm, or high levels of psychological distress 
  • Have had family members removed or been removed from family 
  • Rely on government allowance and less likely to work or study 
  • Experience bad health and lack access to health services 

Some First Nations people have been in the child welfare system. This is when the Government steps in to remove a child from their parents when they aren’t able to care for them or because of a court decision.  

Being in the criminal justice system and living in a detention centre also has a big effect on First Nations people with disability. 

First Nations people with disability often face ‘double discrimination’. They are treated unfairly because they are a First Nations person and also have a disability. 

A disability sector for First Nations people 

An advocacy group called the First People’s Disability Network of Australia has asked for a dedicated First Nations disability sector. The Royal Commission will look at how this might work and what First Nations people with disability think about it. 

Part 2 talks about the main focus areas of the inquiry and some questions to help you make a submission. While the deadline has passed you can still share your story with the Royal Commission at any time. 

For more information, contact the Commission at 1800 517 199 or on email.