Artwork by Uncle Paul Constable-Calcott
Artwork Story
Shows a person with disability being protected by Elders (the law makers) who are facing out to be protective of individuals, community and family. The shield represents protection from services. both non-Indigenous and Indigenous that might want to do the wrong thing.


What is a Royal Commission?

A royal commission is the highest form of public enquiry that looks closely at a widely reported problem or issue impacting on vulnerable groups.

On Friday 5 April 2019 The Prime Minister announced that there will be a royal commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability (royal commission). It is supported by all state and territory governments in Australia and is funded by the federal government.

The government have already consulted with many disability advocacy organisations, including FPDN, and the wider community about what should be included in this royal commission and together have written guidelines known as the Terms of Reference (ToR). The Attorney General has signed a letters patent which includes the ToR and means the Royal Commission has officially started.

violence abuse neglect and exploitation

Who is it for?

The Royal Commission is for all people with:

  • physical disability – affects the way your body moves or works
  • sensory disability – affects your senses such as sight or hearing
  • intellectual disability – affects the way you think
  • psychosocial disability – mental health, anxiety

Regardless of age, sex, gender, ethnic origin or race and includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.

Who have experienced:

  • Violence
  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Exploitation

In all settings and contexts including, but not limited to, institutions, group homes, workplaces, respite care, home care, day programs, mental health facilities, prisons, schools, out of home care, transport, hospitals, aged care, family homes, mainstream services and in community.

Who is in charge of the Royal Commission?

The government have appointed 6 Commissioners to run the Royal Commission who

  • Are not a part of the government
  • Include an Aboriginal Commissioner Andrea Mason, OAM.

The Commissioners’ job is to gather stories and evidence from people with disability who are experiencing or have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation and their witnesses.

Read more about the Commissioners here

Royal Commission Framework


Need some help, advice or support to participate in the Disability Royal Commission? Find a free service below.


Legal Help

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services

Helpline 1800 771 800


Advocacy Support

Need advice or someone who can help?

Find an Advocate near you


Staying Safe

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

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

I feel scared and unsafe
If you are experiencing bad memories or feelings there is someone you can talk to:


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

Latest News

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How can I find out more information?

FPDN will update this page with new information on of the Royal Commission or you can visit the Disability Royal Commission website for more information.

Contact the Disability Royal Commission

Email [email protected]

Phone 1800 517 199 or 07 3734 1900.
Telephone hotline hours are 9:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, daylight savings time (excluding national public holidays.)


FPDN Media Timeline

NDIS support needed for people with disability in prison

| News, Royal Commission | No Comments
The next hearing of the Disability Royal Commission will look at criminal justice and the NDIS. This is a follow up from the hearing in February 2021, and will be…

Media Release: Urgent DRC extension needed to stop violence and abuse

| News, Royal Commission | No Comments
The crisis of violence and abuse of First Peoples with disability must be urgently addressed by an extension of the Disability Royal Commission. “I am very concerned that the full…

Advocates call for greater focus on Indigenous people with disability in detention

| News, Royal Commission | No Comments
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 14 times more likely to be imprisoned than the non-Indigenous population  The disability royal commission needs a dedicated First Nations hearing to investigate…

Media Release: The overrepresentation of First Nations People with cognitive disability in the criminal justice system warrants own Disability Royal Commission Hearing

| News, Royal Commission | No Comments
16 February 2021 Media Release The overrepresentation of First Nations People with cognitive disability in the criminal justice system warrants own Disability Royal Commission Hearing   People with cognitive disability…