The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (DRC) have begun the recommencement of their engagement sessions, after their long period of being on hold due to COVID-19. The first engagement session since COVID-19 was an online meeting with representatives from a range of First Nations organisations in Victoria on the Thursday 11 June 2020. This session closely followed the release of the First Nations People with Disability, released on Tuesday 9 June 2020.
The Royal Commission has also announced their first public hearing since COVID-19, to be held during the week commencing Monday 17 August 2020 in Sydney. This public hearing will focus on the experiences of people with disability during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This follows on from their Issues Paper focusing on Emergency Planning and Response released in April 2020.
So far the Royal Commission has received over 1,000 submissions. Some interesting facts about their submissions include 47% coming from people with a disability, 41% from family members, while 16% were from advocates or paid carers. In addition, 29% submissions were in relation to children/young people, 46% came from females, 24% came using the online form, while 65% came via email. The Eastern states (NSW, VIC & QLD) contributed to 74% of all submissions.
The Royal Commission is still actively encouraging submissions from individuals, families and carers, recently releasing their information brochures in a range of languages, in addition to their Easy Read and AUSLAN versions. In addition, they have released posters, flyers and postcards explaining how to make a submission. We will continue to provide regular updates on the Royal Commission; however, if you would like to access any of these resources, or would like more information about making a submission, please visit their website: https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/ or contact Chelsea Arnold on 8273 7100 (a return phone call will be arranged) or [email protected].