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The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (DRC or Royal Commission) was established in mid-2019 by the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments.

Scope welcomes the establishment of the Royal Commission because we regard it as another development that helps to advance the rights of people with disability. It is consistent with our own mission to enable each person we support to live as an empowered and equal citizen.

Our approach to the Royal Commission will be consistent with our Values: We celebrate people, We excel together and We act bravely. We will be open, honest, cooperative and assist our customers and their families, staff, donors and members to access support throughout this process.

Here is some information about the Royal Commission

The Terms of Reference

The scope of this Royal Commission is set out in the Terms of Reference signed on 4 April 2019.

The Terms of Reference is a list of things the Commissioners will look at during the Royal Commission.

The Commissioners have been directed to inquire into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference cover what should be done to:

  • prevent, and better protect, people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation;
  • achieve best practice in reporting and investigating of, and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation;
  • promote a more inclusive society that supports the independence of people with disability and their right to live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The inquiry will cover all forms of violence against, and abuse, neglect and exploitation of, people with disability, in all settings and contexts. The Royal Commission has defined these terms as follows:

  • violence and abuse include assault, sexual assault, constraints, restrictive practices (both physical and chemical), forced treatments, forced interventions, humiliation and harassment, financial and economic abuse and significant violations of privacy and dignity on a systemic or individual basis.
  • neglect includes physical and emotional neglect, passive neglect and willful deprivation. Neglect can be a single significant incident or a systemic issue that involves depriving a person with disability of the basic necessities of life such as food, drink, shelter, access, mobility, clothing, education, medical care and treatment.
  • exploitation means the improper use of another person or the improper use of or withholding of another person’s assets, labour, employment or resources including taking physical, sexual, financial or economic advantage.

Who are the commissioners?

The Hon Ronald Sackville AO QC has been appointed as Chair of the Royal Commission.

Mr Sackville will be supported by six other Commissioners:

  • The Hon Roslyn Atkinson AO
  • Ms Barbara Bennett PSM
  • Dr Rhonda Galbally AC
  • Ms Andrea Mason OAM
  • Mr Alastair McEwin AM
  • The Hon John Ryan AM

More information about each of the Commissioners is available on the Royal Commission website.

How long will this Royal Commission run for?

The Royal Commissioners are required to provide an interim report to the Governor-General by no later than 30 October 2020, and a final report by September 2023.

What has Scope done in response to the establishment of the Royal Commission?

Scope takes the DRC seriously and has prepared itself to engage professionally with the Royal Commission.

Scope’s leadership is coordinating and managing Scope’s response to the Commission and to ensure that our staff, are kept up to date and supported over the duration of the Commission.

The voice and experience of the customer is central to Scope’s approach to the Royal Commission. Scope has received many questions from customers and staff seeking to understand how people will be supported to make a submission. Scope is supportive of customers who need the opportunity to tell their story, however, it’s important that submissions are made independently of Scope.

The Royal Commission has established support processes for people seeking help to make a submission or other forms of support, including independent advocacy.

Information in Plain and Easy English is available on the Royal Commission website.

Disability Royal Commission

Scope responds to the Disability Royal Commission final report

We welcome the release of the final report for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

The release of the report is a defining moment for the human rights of people with disability in Australia.

As a leading organisation, Scope has a role to play in shaping the future of disability services and supports.

Royal Commission