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Royal Commission to visit Logan and Ipswich, Queensland

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is inviting people with disability and their families to community forums in the Queensland cities of Ipswich and Logan on 4-5 February, 2020.

The Chair of the Royal Commission Ronald Sackville AO QC said the community forums provide an opportunity for people to hear about the Royal Commission’s work to date, and about the focus areas of investigation for the next six months.

'Community forums also provide an opportunity for people with disability to share their personal stories with the Royal Commission and their experiences of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

'We are encouraging people with disability, their parents and families to come along to the community forums in Ipswich and Logan, as it’s critical to the success of the Royal Commission that we hear these important personal stories,’ said the Chair.

More than 600 people have attended the 6 community forums the Royal Commission has held so far, in Adelaide and Gawler in South Australia, Townsville, Queensland and in Hobart, Tasmania.

'We’ve chosen the locations for the community forums quite carefully and we acknowledge that it’s important to hear from people with disability living outside the major capital cities.

'The communities of Logan and Ipswich have a relatively high proportion of people with disability.

'They also have a relatively high proportion of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and a significant proportion of people from First Nations communities’, said the Chair.

The Royal Commission can provide supports to anyone wanting to share their story.

People unable to attend community forums can make a submission, by phone, in writing or by making an audio or video recording. More details can be found on the Royal Commission website.

Date: 4 February 2020
Time: 10:00am - 12 noon
Location: Logan Entertainment Centre, 170 Wembley Road, Logan Central.

Date: 5 February 2020
Time: 11:00am - 1pm
Location: Ipswich Civic Centre, 50 Nicholas Street, Ipswich.

Transcript of audio grabs from the Disability Royal Commission Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC about the community forums in the Queensland cities of Logan and Ipswich from Feb 4, 2020

Community forums serve a number of purposes. They provide an opportunity for people with disability, for their families, for those who care for them, to come along to the Commission and tell their stories. It also provides an opportunity for the Commission to get into areas that perhaps, would not ordinarily have sittings of a Royal Commission in a formal sense. So we’ve been quite deliberate about going to areas outside the major capital cities, although we’ve included Adelaide and Hobart, in order to give people an opportunity to see the Commission in operation. People who come to these meetings can interact with Commissioners, talk informally with them afterwards, and sometimes, the stories that we hear at these community forums, provide the basis for evidence at the formal public hearings. This happened for example, with some of the stories we heard in Townsville that formed part of our public hearings on education.

We are particularly interested of course, in hearing from people with disability themselves, but it may be their parents, it may be those who care for them one way or another, who come along and tell stories on their behalf. Others may wish to come along and just learn about what experiences people with disability and their families have in a variety of areas, whether we’re talking about education, whether we’re talking about accommodation, the operation of the criminal justice system, the effect of policies on First Nations people with disability and so on.

We’ve chosen the areas for the community forums quite carefully. In general, they are areas with a relatively high proportion of people with disability. We know that from the statistical information that is available. These two communities also have a relatively high proportion of people born outside Australia, and there is also, in each case, a significant proportion of people from First Nations communities.

We encourage engagement with the Commission. People may make submissions, there are formal and informal ways of doing that. All of that can be ascertained from the Commission’s website. People can of course view the proceedings of the Commission when we hold public hearings, so that there will be public hearings for example, over a period of about two weeks shortly, and that hearing will be taking place in Sydney. People if they wish, can follow the proceedings on the Commission’s live stream. So there are all sorts of opportunities to interact.​