Hearings

At hearings the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability will hear from people identified by Counsel Assisting to appear as a witness and give evidence. People who are expected to appear as witnesses will be contacted by the Royal Commission in advance of the relevant hearing.

The Royal Commission will conduct hearings in capital cities and regional locations. The Commission will announce the timing and locations of future hearings as arrangements are finalised. Commission hearings will be open to the public, although seating will be limited.

The Disability Royal Commission will publish details of hearings to assist parties, witnesses and members of the public. Hearings will also be live streamed on this site.​​​​

Note: Witnesses who have been issued a notice to appear at a Royal Commission hearing will have the cost of their travel and if required, accommodation covered. 

Sydney hearing into health: From 17 February 2020

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park Hotel, commencing 17 February 2020, for a period of up to two weeks. The hearing will be the start of the Royal Commission’s examination of issues relating to the provision of health care to people with disability.

This hearing will be looking more specifically at the provision of health care or services for people with cognitive disability, including people with intellectual disability, autism and acquired brain injuries.

While this hearing is not limited to any particular State or Territory, it will examine, in particular, at the health system in New South Wales and ‘promising practices’ in the provision of health care or services to people with cognitive disability.

The issues that the hearing will explore include: 

  1. barriers faced by people with cognitive disability when accessing and receiving health care and services, including barriers to communication and health professionals’ attitudes, values and assumptions
  2. training and education of health professionals with respect to patients with cognitive disability
  3. delayed diagnoses and misdiagnoses of people with cognitive disability
  4. life expectancy of people with cognitive disability (particularly people with intellectual disability and people with autism)
  5. specific issues for First Nations people with cognitive disability with respect to health care and services.

Anyone wishing to provide information to the Royal Commission relating to the subject of the hearing or any other matter within the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference can make a submission, as set out on our website.

The Royal Commission has also released an issues paper on health care for people with cognitive disability, which is available on our website. Individuals and organisations who wish to respond to that issues paper are encouraged to do so.

Leave to appear with respect to the hearing at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush

In some circumstances, people or organisations may have a special interest in a public hearing, including when they might be subject to evidence given by witnesses at the hearing. In such cases, the Royal Commission may allow a person(s) or organisation(s) to participate in a public hearing by granting them leave to appear.

To apply for leave to appear at the public hearing:

If you are unable or do not wish to apply in writing, or if you need assistance with your application to appear, please contact us on 1800 517 199 or +61 7 3734 1900 (between 9:00am-5:00pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time [AEDT], Monday-Friday (excluding national public holidays).

To use the National Relay Service to contact us, phone 133 677.

Any application for leave to appear will be determined in accordance with Practice Guideline 4 – Conduct of Hearings, published by the Royal Commission.

Melbourne hearing on homes and living

Opportunity to respond

People and organisations who were contacted by the Royal Commission about the Melbourne public hearing on homes and living (2-6 December 2019) can make a submission in response to evidence provided at that hearing. The invitation to provide a submission is limited to people and organisations who were contacted by the Royal Commission regarding the Melbourne public hearing. This invitation does not affect general submissions, which are open to everyone.

Submissions are invited on or before 4:00pm 28 February 2020.

The following persons and organisations can provide submissions:

  • those granted leave to appear before the Royal Commission at the Public Hearing; and
  • those notified that the Royal Commission proposed to call evidence in the Public Hearing that may be interpreted as adverse to their interests.

Opportunity to respond [DOCX 29KB]
Opportunity to respond [PDF 211KB]

Support

The Royal Commission is committed to being accessible to all. It will adopt the principles of trauma-informed engagement to assist in recognising and understanding the effects of all types of trauma and to avoid re-traumatisation.

There are a number of Australian Government-funded services available to assist those requiring support during the Royal Commission. These services are provided through agencies external to the Royal Commission.

Further information

Future hearings

The Royal Commission will conduct hearings in capital cities and regional locations. The Commission will announce the timing and locations of future hearings as arrangements are finalised. Commission hearings will be open to the public, although seating will be limited. Hearings will also be streamed live on this site.​​​​ ​

Upcoming hearings

Previous hearings

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