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

What are the next steps?

The Royal Commission will take time to be fully established. The new commissioners will now decide on the next steps which will include how people with disability can participate and ensure that the inquiry is accessible for people with disability.

Do you have questions?

(*your identity will remain private)


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

Latest News

Staying Safe – Help & Support

The announcement of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of people with disability can be a trigger for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people with disability, their families 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:

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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 following government websites:

Department of Social Services
Attorney-General’s Department

For enquiries: You can contact the Royal Commission temporary hotline number

1800 880 052

Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm AEST.

FPDN Media Timeline

ABC News: Disability royal commission begins today, a long overdue reckoning into the violence against us

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Opinion: By El Gibbs Today is the first public sitting of the disability royal commission, or to give it its full name, the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and…

“Change can’t happen for our people with disability without recognising the systemic barriers, such as poverty, for Aboriginal people with disability”. FPDN CEO Damian Griffis speaks to ABC RN Breakfast

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Calls for disability royal commission to look into Indigenous prisoners View more: ABC RN Breakfast


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We are calling for Prime Minister the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Attorney General the Hon. Christian Porter, MP, and Minister for Families and Social Services the Hon. Paul Fletcher, MP, to…

People With Disability Welcome Our Royal Commission

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Media Release 5 April 2019 Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia) welcomes Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement on the formation of our Royal Commission and its Letters Patent into violence,…