Royal Commission in Darwin for First Nations talks

​​Today, Disability Royal Commissioner Andrea Mason OAM facilitated the seventh workshop for the Royal Commission, and the second to be held with First Nations peoples, in Darwin.

Chair of the Disability Royal Commission, the Hon Ronald Sackville AO QC, opened the workshop, which was attended by First Nations leaders.


The first workshop with First Nations people in Sydney focused on hearing directly from First Nations people with disability. The Darwin workshop, was attended by First Nations leaders with disability, carers and advocates of First Nations People with disability and service providers from the Aboriginal Community Control Sector. Addressing participants, the Chair explained:

‘Everybody here is a leader because you are all leading work, whether it is in a family setting, in a community role, at an executive or board level or a combination of these. Your participation today is assisting the Commission to gain understanding of the violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation being experienced by First Nations People with disability.’

The workshop discussed issues that should receive early attention from the Commission, and frameworks and systems that should form the basis for engagement with stakeholders.

The workshop was attended by participants from the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory, the First Peoples Disability Network, North Australia Aboriginal Family Legal Service, Danila Dilba Health Service, Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation, Larrakia Nation, Purple House, Darwin Aboriginal and Islander Women’s Shelter and Aboriginal Pilbara Aboriginal Voice, and others.

Commissioner Mason thanked workshop participants for their significant and consistent truth telling during the day.


‘Ninti (clever) First Nations leaders from those who work and support our First Nations people with disability behind closed doors, right through to services in communities, regional centres and cities are needed to add their voice to advocate for change. You are crucial to consolidating better services and governance systems in our communities today, and I am hoping to help to co-design new services in the future.”

The Chair’s opening remarks are available, and a summary of the workshop findings will be published on the Disability Royal Commission website shortly.

The Disability Royal Commission is conducting preliminary consultations with different areas of the disability community in a series of workshops around Australia. Subscribe to the mail alert for updates.