‘Mother with Children’ Artwork by Leila Constable @hunnyant

The Disability Royal Commission (DRC) will be holding their first hearing specific to First Nations people to inquire, gather evidence, and respond to key concerns on the experiences of First Nations people with disability and their families in contact with child protection systems.

The hearing will be held from Monday, 23 November 2020 to Friday, 27 November 2020 from 9.30am (Queensland/AES Time) 10.30am (NSW/AED Time). The hearing is being held in Brisbane and is not open to the public.

Find out more and watch the livestream here

Join the conversation @FPDNAus

FPDN made a video submission to the Royal Commission for this hearing. You can view the video submission below.

Respectful listening is an animated journey of the artwork developed by FPDN’s National Training and Resource Development Manager Paul Calcott for the Disability Royal Commission which explains what the Royal Commission is about. Respectful Listening is created for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to engage with the work of the Disability Royal Commission using traditional art symbols and storytelling.

What is a Royal Commission?

A Royal Commission is the highest form of public enquiry, independent of government, that looks closely at a widely reported problem or issue impacting on vulnerable groups.

The job of the Royal Commission is to gather stories and evidence from people with disability who are experiencing or have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation and their witnesses. Royal Commissions make recommendations to government about what should change. The Royal Commission is for all people with disability.

violence abuse neglect and exploitation

 What does Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation mean?

  • Violence  If someone is hurting your body
  • Abuse  If someone is treating you badly
  • Neglect  If someone is not helping you the way they are supposed to help you
  • Exploitation  If someone is taking advantage of you

Who is in charge and makes decisions?

Six Commissioners have been appointed to run the Royal Commission to listen to stories and gather evidence. The Royal Commissioners are not part of the government. Our First Nations Commissioner is Andrea Mason, OAM, a Ngaanyatjarra and Kronie woman from Western Australia.

Sharing your story

Staying safe: The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of people with disability can trigger bad memories or feelings for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people with disability, their families, carers and communities.

If you tell your story to the Royal Commission your identity and story is confidential and can’t be shared with anyone without your permission.

If you feel scared, unsafe or just need someone to talk to there are free services that can support you with your Royal Commission journey. Your privacy and identity will be protected by these services. Click to find the right service for you below. 

Trauma and Counselling support services

Blue Knot Foundation Counselling and Referral Support phone 1800 421 468

Beyond Blue Support Service – phone 1300 224 636, webchat or email (24 hours/7 days) for free, immediate, short-term counselling, advice and referral services.

Beyond Blue immediate support

Lifeline Crisis Support – phone 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days) or chat to a crisis supporter online (7pm – midnight/7 nights). This is a confidential service providing you with support for when you feel overwhelmed, for when you have difficulty coping, or are thinking about suicide.

1800Respect – phone 1800 737 732 Open 24 hours to support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse

Relationships Australia

Disability Royal Commission Counselling Services

To access a Relationships Australia service near you, please find details below:

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Relationships Australia Canberra and Region provides services in ACT and surrounding region.
Website: CLICK HERE
Phone: 02 6122 7100
Email: [email protected]

New South Wales (NSW)
Relationships Australia New South Wales provides services in NSW.
Website: CLICK HERE
Phone: (02)  9418 8800
Email: [email protected]

Victoria (VIC)
Relationships Australia Victoria provides services in VIC.
Website: CLICK HERE
Phone: 1 800 317 387
Email: [email protected]

Tasmania (TAS)
Relationships Australia Tasmania provides services in TAS.
Website: CLICK HERE
Phone: 1300 364 277

South Australia (SA)
Relationships Australia South Australia provides services in SA.
Website: CLICK HERE
Phone: 1 800 577 571
Email: [email protected]

Western Australia (WA)
Relationships Australia Western Australia provides services in WA.
Website: CLICK HERE
Phone: 08 6164 0180
Email: [email protected]

Northern Territory (NT)
Relationships Australia Northern Territory provides services in NT.
Website: CLICK HERE
Phone:
Darwin: (08) 8923 4999
Alice Springs: (08) 8950 4100
Email: [email protected]

If you have difficulty hearing or speaking

If you find it difficult to hear or speak you can contact us through the National Relay Service (NRS). Please phone 133 677.

Other Languages

If you require support in another language, including Indigenous languages, call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) free of charge on 131 450 and ask to be connected to the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468.

Find an advocate to help you

If you think you might want to tell your story to the Royal Commission but need advice or support, you have the right to talk to someone about it first and decide if you want to participate. These services can help you to tell your story. Find an advocate to help near you.

find an advocate

I want to tell my story to the Royal Commission

There are a few different ways you can tell your story to the Royal Commission. You have the right to be supported by a family member, friend or someone you trust.

A Royal Commission Counselling and Support team are available to help you with counselling and support at all community forums, public hearings or private sessions,

You can share your story in your first language, including Indigenous languages and Auslan.

Find more information below.

Sharing your story

If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) person with a disability, and you have experienced violence, abuse neglect or exploitation, the Royal Commission would like to hear from you. We also want to hear from families, friends, and support people of First Nations people with disability.

Information for First Nations People

Make your submission

You can make a submission in writing, over the phone, in a video or audio recording.

Make your submission now

Private Session

You can tell your story in a private session with a Commissioner. You can ask to speak privately with our First Nations Commissioner Andrea Mason.

Factsheet
Apply for a private session

Get help with your submission

If you think you might want to tell your story to the Royal Commission but need advice or support, you have the right to talk to someone about it first and decide if you want to participate. These services can help you to tell your story. Find an advocate to help near you.

Find an advocate
I’m in an unsafe situation and I need help: If you are currently experiencing any form of violence or abuse, or are concerned for your safety call Emergency Services on 000

Your rights and who can help

If you think you might want to tell your story to the Royal Commission but need advice or support, you have the right to talk to someone about it first and decide if you want to participate. These services can help you to tell your story. Find an advocate to help near you.

FIND an advocate

Free Legal Help

Your Story Disability Legal Support
Helpline: 1800 771 800
Website: yourstorydisabilitylegal.org.au

The community-controlled Aboriginal Legal Services and Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service are all delivering Your Story Disability Legal Support as part of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services. They are run by, and for, Aboriginal communities.

Find out more

News

Keep up to date on the latest news from the Disability Royal Commission

Latest News

Hearings & Events

Find out when the public hearings and other events will take place.

find out more

Forums

Do you have questions? Share your thoughts and views with the community in our live forums
(*your identity will remain private)

VISIT THE FORUMS

Subscribe to our Royal Commission news updates

* indicates required

NEWS from the Royal Commission

Disability Royal Commission calls for urgent action

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is calling on all Australian governments to ensure that responses to COVID-19 include dedicated strategies and take all necessary measures to protect and support people with disability. Read More>

Statement of concern The response to the COVID-19 pandemic for people with disability 

The Royal Commission is deeply concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disability. The pandemic is an unprecedented public health, social and economic emergency that requires swift and effective action by governments, businesses and the community. Governments should ensure they take all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities. Read More >

News from the Royal Commission

June Riemer joins 3CR radio to discuss the Disability Royal Commission from a First Nations perspective

| News, Royal Commission | No Comments
FPDN Deputy CEO June Riemer joined 3CR Community Radio this morning to discuss the Disability Royal Commission from a First Nations perspective, focusing on the intersection between disability and child…

First Nations people with disability raise injustice, discrimination at Disability Royal Commission

| News, Royal Commission | No Comments
23 November 2020 Media Release First Nations people with disability will tell the Disability Royal Commission this week about the structural violence they experience in the child-protection system around Australia.…

MEDIA RELEASE: #MakeItSafeToSpeak to the Disability Royal Commission

| News, Royal Commission | No Comments
8 October 2020 People with disability and our representative organisations are campaigning for legislation to protect the confidentiality of people telling their stories to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect…

Indigenous people with disability vulnerable during pandemic, Royal Commission hears

| Coronavirus, News, Royal Commission | No Comments
The First Peoples Disability Network has told the Disability Royal Commission that COVID-19 exacerbated already existing issues of food insecurity, poverty and lack of access to services. By Keira Jenkins…