E-Blast: Royal Commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability (Disability Royal Commission)
After many years of lobbying, it is a historic period now that the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (referred to as the Disability Royal Commission) is happening and that unheard voices will have the opportunity to be heard. The commission has now started, with a focus on education, with the first hearing commencing in Townsville this week. You can click here for the live broadcast. Please be aware that this broadcast contains people’s individual stories and experiences and material in the broadcast may be confronting for some people. There is information below about Counselling Services available for the Disability Royal Commission.
As many of you would be aware there have been some calls for the roll out of the Disability Royal Commission to slow down until adequate support services are in place. There has also been calls for two of the Commissioners to stand down due to conflicts of interest relating to their previous roles in managing services for people with disability, and the Commission have spoken to this issue at the opening of the Commission and advised that they have put measures in place to manage conflicts of interest.
QDN fully supports the Royal Commission and sees it as an opportunity for people with disability to have a voice and speak out against violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect and we will continue to raise this issue alongside our allies.
QDN believes that it is crucial for people to receive the support they need to participate in the Royal Commission, to prepare and give evidence, and have access to any counselling services they need post participating in the Royal Commission. We have already and will continue to provide links and contact information of services that can assist you during the Royal Commission.
QDN encourages people with disability to make submissions, give evidence and seek out the support they need to do so. You can get involved by calling the Royal Commission on 1800 771 800 or click here to sign up to the Commission’s website for updates.
The Royal Commission will be an important part of QDN’s work over the next five years. QDN will be giving regular updates to members about the Royal Commission and we will continue to work to ensure people with disability have a voice and are supported to speak out against violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.
Legal support National Legal Aid (NLA) together with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) will provide a free, national legal advisory service for people engaging with the Royal Commission. You can contact NLA on 1800 771 800.
Financial Assistance Section can be contacted directly on 1800 117 995. If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service and give 02 6141 4770 as the number you would like to call.
Advocacy services funded under the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) have been given additional funding to support people with disability. Information about the program can be found at National Disability Advocacy Program, along with a Disability Advocacy Finder tool to help you locate a service provider near you. Alternatively, you can contact the Disability Royal Commission Hotline on 1800 517 199 or at the following email DRCEnquiries@royalcommission.gov.au to assist you to find your nearest advocacy service.
Counselling support during the Disability Royal Commission is available from Blue Knot Foundation: Call 1800 421 468