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Protecting your story when you share it with the Disability Royal Commission HTML version

Protecting your story when you share it with the Disability Royal Commission

Do you want to share your story with the Disability Royal Commission?

This factsheet is about what the law says about sharing your story and naming an organisation or other people.

If I share my story with the Disability Royal Commission who will know what I say?

This table may help you decide the best and safest way to share your story. You need to think about:

  • How you want to share your story
  • If you want your story to be private
  • If you want to use the name of an organisation or another person
If I share my story with the Disability Royal Commission who will know what I say?
Ways to share my story What do I do? How public will my story be? Am I protected if I name names?
Make a submission (a record of your story)

Write, record or draw your story and send it to the Disability Royal Commission

Complete the Disability Royal Commission submission form from their website www.disability.royalcommission.gov.au.

Tell your story on the phone to a person who works at the Disability Royal Commission - 1800 517 199 or +61 7 3734 1900

You can tell the Disability Royal Commission how public you want your story to be. You can ask for it to be:

  1. Public - it may be on the Disability Royal Commission website and other public reports with your name but not your contact details
  2. Public without your name - it may appear on the Disability Royal Commission website and other public reports without your name
  3. Partly private -  parts may be quoted in reports without your name, but it won't be on the Disability Royal Commission website
  4. Totally private - it won't be quoted in any public documents
    If you ask for your submission, or parts of it, to be kept private (options 2 to 4 above), it will stay private until the Disability Royal Commission ends (April 2022).

If you don't ask your story to be kept private, other people can see it. Think about whether you will be safe if your story is public.

You do not have to use the name of an organisation or a person in your submission. If you use the name of an organisation or another person in your submission you need to protect yourself. We suggest:

  • Do not share the story to hurt the other person or organisation
  • Only share your story with the Disability Royal Commission, be careful about sharing it with your family or friends
  • Do not put your submission anywhere else on the internet, like on social media

An organisation can only get you in trouble if they can show that you were not truthful. It is important that your submission is accurate.

Speak at a community forum
  1. Let the Disability Royal Commission know you want to speak at a community forum.
  2. The Disability Royal Commission will let you know if you will be given time to share your story at a community forum.
  3. If you are given time at a community forum, prepare your story and share it at the community forum.

The public will know your story.

Community forums are public. Everyone who is there will know your story, and they might share it with other people.

The community forum is public. A lot of people could be there. You can’t control who will know your story and what might happen with it.

The Disability Royal Commission cannot protect or control what happens to your story when you share it at a community forum.

Participate in a Private Session with a Commissioner
  1. Let the Disability Royal Commission know you want a Private Session.
  2. The Disability Royal Commission will decide if you get a Private Session and will let you know.
  3. If you are given a Private Session, prepare your story and share it at your Private Session.

This is the most private way to share your story.

Only the people who work at the Royal Commission, and anyone you ask to come, will know you shared your story.

In a Private Session you can use the name of an organisation or a person. The Disability Royal Commission will keep your story private and has powers to protect you. It is a crime for someone to injure you, cause you disadvantage, or for your employer to take legal action against you because you told your story at a Private Session.

If you name other people or an organisation in your Private Session and want to protect yourself, we suggest:

  • Only share your story with the Disability Royal Commission, be careful about sharing it with your family or friends
  • Do not put your story anywhere else on the internet, like social media

If you repeat your story outside the Private Session your story won’t remain private and the Disability Royal Commission’s protections won’t apply.

Share your story as a witness in a Public Hearing
  1. The Disability Royal Commission will invite some people to share their story at a Public Hearing. If you are asked, and agree, prepare your story with a lawyer. Your Story Disability Legal Support can help you find a lawyer. (Lawyers at the Disability Royal Commission may also help you prepare your story).
  2. Share your story at the Public Hearing.

Public hearings are public and played on the internet. Everyone who is there, or watching online, will know your story. Your story will be written down.

You can keep your identity private. To do this, ask that your name is not used, and your face will not be put on the internet.

You can use the names of other people and organisations because the Disability Royal Commission has powers to protect you. It is a crime for someone to hurt you because you told your story at a Public Hearing.

These protections do not apply to things you share with family, friends or on the internet.

I have more questions

There are lots of things you might be thinking about when deciding how you want to share your story.

Your Story Disability Legal Support can give you legal advice about safe ways you can share your story with the Royal Commission.

Call us on 1800 771 800, or use the Contact Us form of our website http: www.yourstorydisabilitylegal.org.au for legal advice.

Your Story Disability Legal Support is free, independent and separate from the Disability Royal Commission. We won’t pass on your information to the Disability Royal Commission unless you agree. We won’t tell anybody what you tell us, unless you want us to.

Disclaimer: This information is intended as a general guide. It should not be relied on as legal advice and we recommend that you talk to a lawyer about your particular situation.