Royal Commission

What is a Royal Commission?

A royal commission is the highest form of public enquiry that looks closely at a widely reported problem or issue impacting on vulnerable groups.


On Friday 5 April 2019 The Prime Minister announced that there will be a royal commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability (royal commission). It is supported by all state and territory governments in Australia and is funded by the federal government.


The government have already consulted with many disability advocacy organisations, including CRANES, and the wider community about what should be included in this royal commission and together have written guidelines known as the Terms of Reference (ToR). The Attorney General has signed a letters patent which includes the ToR and means the Royal Commission has officially started.

Who is it for?

The Royal Commission is for all people with:

  • physical disability – affects the way your body moves or works

  • sensory disability – affects your senses such as sight or hearing

  • intellectual disability – affects the way you think

  • psychosocial disability – mental health, anxiety


Regardless of age, sex, gender, ethnic origin or race and includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.


Who have experienced:

  • Violence

  • Abuse

  • Neglect

  • Exploitation


In all settings and contexts including, but not limited to, institutions, group homes, workplaces, respite care, home care, day programs, mental health facilities, prisons, schools, out of home care, transport, hospitals, aged care, family homes, mainstream services and in community.

Who is in charge of the Royal Commission?

The government have appointed 6 Commissioners to run the Royal Commission who:

  • Are not a part of the government

  • Include an Aboriginal Commissioner Andrea Mason, OAM.


The Commissioners’ job is to gather stories and evidence from people with disability who are experiencing or have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation and their witnesses.

Read more about the Commissioners here

What are the next steps?

The Royal Commission will take time to be fully established. The new commissioners will now decide on the next steps which will include how people with disability can participate and ensure that the inquiry is accessible for people with disability.