The Disability Royal Commission: Townsville Community Forum & Brisbane First Public Sitting

The first community forum of the Disability Royal Commission (full name Royal Commission into Violence Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability) was held in Townsville on the 9 September 2019. Some QDN members from Townsville were in attendance. Media presence was strong; and the Queensland Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors, Coralee O’Rourke, was present in the audience. Stories shared focused on exclusion in the education system, including discrimination, exclusion, violence and abuse of children with disability in schools. Stories of poor treatment of people with disability and lack of respect, and a lack of transportation options and inadequate transport funding available through the NDIS. Further issues regarding the NDIS concerned issues around access, planning, funding and support provision. People also raised issues of poor treatment within open employment and DES services.

The first Public Sitting of the Disability Royal Commission was held in Brisbane on Monday 16 September. This marked an historic moment in time after many years of advocacy to get a Royal Commission so the voices of people with disability could be heard in relation to their experiences of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.  Many people with disability were in attendance. This event officially opened the Royal Commission and provided an opportunity for the Commissioners to be formally introduced and allowed everyone to hear about how the Commission will operate and what it hopes to achieve.

The Commission will ensure that people with disability who require support to engage with the Disability Commission and to tell their stories will receive that support. The budget provided to the Commission includes funds that are to be used to support people with disability. In addition to giving evidence at public hearings there will be many ways for people with disability to engage with the Commission.

Important links:

  • Click here to view the webcast of the First Public Hearing of the Disability Royal Commission at the following website.
  • Legal supportNational 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 into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The legal advisory service will be an independent, trauma informed and culturally safe service that will be delivered nationally. You can contact NLA on 1800 771 800 between 8.30am-5pm AEST. An interim website will be available at legalaid.nsw.gov.au from Monday 16 September.
  • Support during the Disability Royal Commission – Advocacy services funded under the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) have been given additional funding to support people with disability during the Disability Royal Commission. 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.

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