Disability Royal Commission Update  

This month the Disability Royal Commission will continue its work with public hearings into the treatment of First Nations children with disability in out-of-home-care.  

It is accepted that First Nations people with disability are over represented in out-home-care, with First Nations children making up 38% of kids in care, despite only making up 6% of the population. The Commission will hear from people about their experiences in order to understand the systemic problems, and ultimately find a way to improve the system.  

The public hearing had been scheduled to take place in Alice Springs (Mparntwe) but owing to COVID-19 restrictions it will now be live streamed and can be viewed on the DRC website. The public hearings will run for a week from 17 September.  

The Disability Royal Commission was established in April 2019 in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability. The Commission is bound by its terms of reference to investigate the treatment of these at-risk members of the community.  

At the end of August the Commission provided its fourth progress report, which covers the first half of 2021. It highlighted the growing number of submissions and the ongoing private hearings. The Commission has also been given a 17-month extension, due to the complexity of its work and also to navigate ongoing COVID-19 disruptions.  

Flourish Australia supports the important work of the Royal Commission. The Commission is still taking submissions, which means you can share your story, if you want to.  

Recently the laws surrounding Royal Commissions were amended in Parliament. The Commission can now guarantee confidentiality of submissions and other sensitive information about a person's experiences during and beyond the term of the inquiry. People can have confidence what they say will remain private if they so wish.  

Sharing your experience with the Commission could help prevent others being hurt in the future. Sharing your story takes a lot of bravery and courage. The Commission understands this and will support you. Flourish Australia can also help support you, please get in touch with us today if you'd like to find out more.  

For those who want to keep up to date with the Commission's important work, they produce a regular newsletter which can be subscribed via https://disability.royalcomission.gov.au.