The following Australian Government-funded services are available to assist those requiring support during the Royal Commission. These services are provided through agencies external to the Royal Commission.
Free legal advisory service
People interested in accessing free legal advisory services as part of their interactions with the Disability Royal Commission can now register their interest with National Legal Aid (NLA) and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS).
To register your interest, as well as access basic information, assistance and referrals, free call 1800 771 800 between 9:15am to 5:15pm AEDT, Mon – Fri, excluding public holidays. An interim Legal Aid website is available.
The full range of legal advice services will soon be rolled out and available prior to the commencement of public hearings. We will continue to provide updates on all support services as they become available.
Emotional Support Service
The Department of Social Services, on behalf of the Disability Royal Commission, has launched a national, free counselling and referral service delivered by the Blue Knot Foundation.
The counselling and referral service is available for people with disability, their families and carers, and anyone affected by the Disability Royal Commission.
Call the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468 or 02 6146 1468 to obtain:
- support for your emotional wellbeing
- support for making choices about telling your story
- information on other practical supports available to you.
The Service operates 9:00am to 6:00pm weekdays and 9:00am to 5:00pm weekends (AEDT).
If you are deaf, hard of hearing and/or speech impaired, please contact Blue Knot Foundation through the National Relay Service (NRS) on 133 677.
If you require support in another language please use the free of charge Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National), by:
- calling the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468 and asking for an interpreter. The counsellor will make the arrangements, or
- calling TIS National on 131 450 and asking to be connected to the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468.
Visit the Department of Social Services website for more information about the available supports.
Please feel free to also contact:
Beyond Blue Support Service – phone 1300 224 636 (24 hours/7 days) – provides free, immediate, short-term counselling, advice and referral to anyone in Australia via telephone, webchat or email 24/7.
Lifeline Crisis Support – phone 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days) or chat to a crisis supporter online (7pm – midnight/7 nights). This is a confidential service providing support to anyone in Australia who is feeling overwhelmed, having difficulty coping, or thinking about suicide. This service also provides advice to anyone caring for that person.
Legal financial assistance scheme
The legal financial assistance scheme will help individuals and entities to assist with meeting the costs of legal representation and disbursements associated with formal engagement with the Royal Commission.
The Scheme is administered by the Attorney-General's Department (AGD). The AGD website includes information on scheme eligibility, how to apply and assessment timeframes.
Commonwealth-funded advocacy support services are available under the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP). NDAP advocates will be able to:
- Protect your rights
- Help you say what you want to say
- Provide advice in your best interest
- Act on your behalf to get the supports you need.
Discover program information at National Disability Advocacy Program or locate a service provider near you with the Disability Advocacy Finder.
Alternatively, you can contact us so we may assist you in finding your nearest advocacy service.