20 Jan
Royal Commission part 1: what is it?

Royal Commission part 1: what is it?

You may have heard news about a Disability Royal Commission last year and wondered where it came from and what’s it for. This is a large national investigation that will have a large impact on government policy and the disability community in general.  

We start this series with a close look at the Commission, the scope, and what the results will be used for. 

What’s the scope? 

Established on the 5th April 2019, this commission provides the highest form of inquiry into all forms of abuse, violence, neglect, and exploitation of people with disability in Australia. It runs over a three year period with an interim report due by 30th October this year. By 29th April 2022 the final report should be submitted. 

As stated in the Terms of Reference, the inquiry aims to establish results to: 

  • Prevent and protect people with disability from experiencing these incidents 
  • Promote a more inclusive society to support their independence and rights to live free from abuse and neglect 
  • Establish best practices in responding, reporting, and investigating to incidents of violence, neglect, abuse, and exploitation 

These are our commissioners who will investigate these issues: 

  • Chair of the Royal Commission: Hon Ronald Sackville AO QC 
  • Barbara Bennett PSM 
  • Dr Rhonda Galbally AC 
  • Andrea Mason OAM 
  • Alastair McEwin AM 
  • Hon John Ryan AM 

Here’s a handy fact sheet with more details. 

What’s the purpose? 

As a significant investigation of instances of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation, the results have potential to revolutionise the disability sector forever. It will provide policy recommendations for the government to act upon. There may also be recommendations for legal action and compensation. 

For many people with disability who’ve experienced violence and abuse, the Commission may resurface difficult memories. However it can also be an outlet to voice their traumas and share their experiences with others. 


Next week we discuss findings from the First Progress Report and how to get involved. Find more disability news and resources, or contact us today if you have any questions. Call 1800 610 665 or email us. 

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