Preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in disability services
The thirteenth public hearing of the Disability Royal Commission will examine the response of a particular disability service provider to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. The Royal Commission will also investigate how effectively the current systems of funding and oversight of disability services protect people with disability from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Public hearing 13 will be held at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush from 24-28 May. It will be the first hearing, following the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 upon the Royal Commission, where the media and the general public will be welcome to attend in person. This remains subject to change depending on COVID-19 health advice nearer the hearing date.
Counsel Assisting will present a case study relating to the recent experiences of people with disability residing in a house in Western Sydney, NSW, over a four year period.
The house is operated by a non-government disability service provider, Sunnyfield Disability Services.
The Royal Commission will explore how NDIS-funded services and supports were provided to these residents; how their accommodation agreements and support services from Sunnyfield operated; how Sunnyfield communicated with and provided information to the families of residents; and how Sunnyfield responded when incidents occurred or complaints were made.
In addition, the hearing will involve an examination of Sunnyfield’s organisational policies, systems and operations.
The external oversight of disability services provided by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and others to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation and to respond when complaints or allegations are made, will also be a consideration of this hearing.
It is anticipated that broader systemic issues which emerge as a result of the Royal Commission’s scrutiny of this case study will be explored further in subsequent public hearings.
Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC will preside over the hearing and will be joined by Commissioner Roslyn Atkinson AO and Commissioner Alastair McEwin AM at Sydney Olympic Park. Commissioner Galbally AC will attend the hearing remotely from Melbourne.
Senior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission for Public hearing 13 is Kate Eastman SC.
The hearing will be livestreamed on the Disability Royal Commission’s website and include live captioning and Auslan-English interpreters.
Please note a dedicated room will be available to media. Journalists wishing to cover the hearing should notify the DRC media team to ensure access to relevant information and material, including live transcripts.
Public Hearing 13 Announcement (Auslan)
Public hearing 13 – Preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in disability services (a case study)
Public hearing 13 will be held in Sydney from 24 – 28 May. It will be held at Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush.
The hearing will be open for people to come and watch in person.
The hearing will be live streamed on the Royal Commission website with captions and Auslan interpreters.
If there is a COVID-19 outbreak or other COVID-19 incidents, people will not be able to attend in person.
This hearing will look at Sunnyfield, an organisation that provides disability services.
We will look at how Sunnyfield operated, and its systems for preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Sunnyfield is a non government service provider that operates a home in Western Sydney.
The hearing will focus on the recent experiences of people with disability living in the home.
We will hear evidence about Sunnyfield’s policies, systems and operations.
We will hear about the experiences of people with disability living at the house over 4 years including:
- how Sunnyfield provided their NDIS-funded services and supports
- how Sunnyfield managed agreements for accommodation and support
- how Sunnyfield communicated with and provided information to their families
- how Sunnyfield responded when incidents occurred or complaints were made.
This hearing will also collect information about how the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and other agencies that oversee disability services prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, and how they respond to complaints.
More information is available on our website in the ‘Public hearings’ section.