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Townsville talks to Disability Royal Commission

Today the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability held its first community forum, in Townsville.

The Townsville community forum heard from 14 speakers during the day, including people with disability, family of people with disability and advocates, some of who had travelled from as far afield as Tully, Charters Towers and Mackay.

“Today we have heard troubling stories of abuse, violence and neglect spanning a range of issues, including access to safe care and support free from violence; the importance of social supports and networks, including family and friends; failures of complaints processes; non-inclusive education; transport issues; issues around the NDIS, including access, administrative practices and service delivery; and the devaluing of people with disability,” said Commissioner Mason.

Commissioner Mason explained the Disability Royal Commission has initiated community forums as a way to hear from the community in a less formal way than the usual Commission hearings, which are much more formal and legalistic.

“Your stories, knowledge and ideas will help inform and guide us in our task, and we thank you for your willingness to engage with the Royal Commission and participate in this critical and potentially transformative work,” the Commissioner told participants.

The Townsville event was the first of many community forums that will be held in regional towns and capital cities over the course of the Royal Commission.

People wanting information about future community forums can subscribe to the mailing list.

In addition to similar community forums and public hearings, the Royal Commission in now accepting submissions.

The first public sitting of the Disability Royal Commission will take place in Brisbane on Monday 16 September.