Workshops bring Disability Royal Commission a step closer

Now is the time for providers to start preparing for the prospect of appearing before the commission.

Cannings Purple 3 Jul 2019
2 mins
The Disability Royal Commission is a step closer after the announcement of workshops to be held across Australia.

With confirmation the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability will soon be inviting submissions, now is the time for providers to start preparing for the prospect of appearing before the commission.

On June 18, Commissioners welcomed disability advocates from across Australia to the Commission’s first workshop in Melbourne.

The Chair of the Commission, The Honourable Ronald Sackville AO QC, made opening remarks and confirmed:

  • further workshops and public forums will be held in regional centres and remote locations.
  • the Commission will soon be inviting submissions; and
  • public hearings will be held in each state and territory.

The advocates workshop, facilitated by Commissioner Professor Rhonda Galbally AC, was the first of many to be held across Australia over coming months, as the Commission works to consult with those who have a deep knowledge and understanding of the problems that exist for people with disability.

During the advocates’ workshop, Commissioner Galbally welcomed a key group of leaders with disabilities and family advocates from around Australia, acknowledging that the Disability Royal Commission was their proud achievement, as a result of many decades of advocacy.

Participants clarified that fundamental to the Commission’s deliberations is the understanding that freedom from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation should not require the lives of people with disabilities to be restricted or curtailed.

A framework was put to participants that would analyse the settings, practices, policies and systems contributing to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation across a range of areas, from housing, to recreation, school and work, as well as health, justice and education.

Participants emphasised the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities from rural and remote communities and from diverse backgrounds could access and be included in both public and private Commission activities and safely outline their stories, experiences and recommendations.

Cannings Purple National Director Karen Brown says there are simple steps businesses can take to address possible concerns from clients, staff and other stakeholders and prepare for commission hearings.

“With the Commission about to invite submissions, it’s time to act and get your house in order,” she said.

“Do a clear-eyed review of the risks you confront. Review your complaints register, audit your compliance measures and ensure you are implementing best practice responses to any concerns.

“The ability to acknowledge wrongdoing is one thing – the ability to demonstrate that you have taken action to address and resolve the problem is another.

“And even if your organisation is not called to give evidence, be alive to the critical need to communicate clearly and constantly with your staff and stakeholders – it should be your number one priority.”

Cannings Purple has had significant experience supporting clients through Royal Commissions and is currently providing advice and assistance to a number of aged care providers for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Contact National Director Karen Brown.

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