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Legal support to engage with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

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

Do you need legal support?

This factsheet is about how you can share your story and where you can get free, independent legal advice and support.

What is the Disability Royal Commission?

The Disability Royal Commission has been asked by the government to look into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. This means there will be an opportunity for people to share their stories and ideas.

A final report will be written by 29 September 2023. This report will make recommendations to the government.

If you would like more information about the Disability Royal Commission, visit the website disability.royalcommission.gov.au

What if I want to share my story?

Your story can include your experiences and your ideas about making our society more inclusive. You can share your story with the Disability Royal Commission.

How do I share my story?

You can choose to share your story in 4 ways:

  1. Make a submission—This means you write or record your story and send it to the Disability Royal Commission.
  2. Register to speak at a community forum— This means you ask to share your story at a public meeting organised by the Disability Royal Commission. The Disability Royal Commission will tell you if you can speak at the forum.
  3. Ask for a private session—This means you ask to share your story in person to one or more Commissioners. The Disability Royal Commission cannot promise that everyone who asks for a private session will get one. It depends on how many people want private sessions.
  4. Ask to be a witness in a public hearing— This means you ask to share your story in person to the Disability Royal Commission and others in a public hearing. You may be asked questions about your story. The Disability Royal Commission needs to invite you to be a witness. Not everyone who asks to be a witness will be invited by the Disability Royal Commission.

If you need help to share your story, a friend, family member, carer or disability advocate can help you.

Contact the Disability Royal Commission to share your story. Call 1800 517 199, Monday to Friday for more information or to make a submission over the phone.

What will happen to my story?

You can let the Disability Royal Commission know if you want your story to be public.

You can also ask for your story to be kept private (if you make a submission or have a private session).

If the Disability Royal Commission asks you to share your story in public, call Your Story Disability Legal Support for legal support on 1800 771 800. We can give you specific advice.

The Disability Royal Commission will think about your story when writing their report to the government.

Do I need legal advice?

A lawyer can give you information and advice so you can decide the best way to share your story with the Disability Royal Commission. Contacting a lawyer does not mean you are in trouble. You can get legal support to protect your rights and share your story. Not everyone will need legal advice before sharing their story.

Your Story Disability Legal Support is free, independent and separate from the Disability Royal Commission. We will not pass your information to the Disability Royal Commission unless you agree.

We won't tell anybody what you tell us, unless you want us to.

Your Story Disability Legal Support is provided by:

  • lawyers from Legal Aid Commissions
  • lawyers from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.

I have more questions

You can call Your Story on 1800 77 1800, Monday to Friday.

You can ask for advice about:

  • using the name of an organisation or person in your story
  • how to keep your story private
  • what to do if you have a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement that stops you from sharing your story
  • what to do if you are concerned about payback if you share your story
  • what to do if you are worried about sharing your story because you or someone else, will be unsafe, lose access to services or employment or your rights will be affected

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.