Make your submission
Anybody can make a submission. A submission can be submitted in any way you feel comfortable – by telephone, email, video or through our website.
Tell us about your experiences in your own words – it doesn’t matter if you don’t remember everything. If you have a support person, advocate or trusted person, they can also help you to prepare your submission.
You can tell us about your experiences in your own language. We will provide interpreters and translators.
If you need information in your own language about making a submission, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450. Ask to be connected to 07 3734 1900.
If you are having trouble getting started, here are some questions that may be a useful starting point. These questions are only a guide, and you don’t have to answer all of them. You only have to provide the information you are comfortable sharing.
You can share your experience using the form below. The form is only a guide and it is your choice if you use it.
If you have previously provided a written statement to another government agency, a complaints body, or to the police, you may like to provide us with a copy.
How do I make a submission over the phone?
If you prefer to make your submission over the phone, you can contact us to make an appointment to do so. Call us on 1800 517 199 and we will set up a time to take your submission over the phone. You might like to think about some of these questions or talk things over with a counsellor first.
How do I make an audio or video submission?
Anyone can share their experiences through sending us an audio or video submission. Please upload your file(s) by clicking the "Attach Files" button within the submission form. A maximum of 10 files of up to 4GB in total can be uploaded.
If you would like assistance to upload your files, please contact the Royal Commission by calling 1800 517 199 or emailing DRCEnquiries@royalcommission.gov.au.
How to make a submission to the Disability Royal Commission (with Auslan)
Sharing your story with us
Are you a person with disability who has experienced violence, where someone has hurt you physically?
Abuse, where someone has treated you badly?
Neglect, where someone has not helped you the way they are supposed to help you?
Or exploitation, where someone is taking advantage of you?
If the answer is yes, and you wish to share your story with us, there are many ways to do so.
You can do it online, in writing, by email or over the phone.
You can make an audio recording.
Or you can make a video recording. You might want to do this if you are deaf and use Auslan.
You can tell us your story in any format, even in a different language.
Making a submission
You can share your story by making a submission. You can find the submission form on our website. Go to disability.royalcommission.gov.au and search for ‘make your submission’.
If you would prefer to make a video or audio recording, you can attach this to the submission form by following the instructions.
Don’t be afraid to tell us anything you want about your experience of violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every detail.
You might want to tell us what happened, whether it happened to you or someone else, when it happened.
If you told anyone, and if so, how they responded.
You might also want to tell us how things could be done better to keep people safe.
Making a video
If you wish to make a video, you can film yourself using a camera or phone. You might want someone to help you.
When you finish filming, upload the file to a computer.
Then attach the file to the submission form, by clicking on the ‘attach files’ button.
You can upload a maximum of 10 files of up to 4GB in total.
You can make and upload an audio recording the same way.
What happens next?
When we receive your submission, we will get in touch with you.
The information in your story will help us in our work.
Your information will help us understand how violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation affects people with disability and help us make recommendations to stop it from happening again.
If you need help further with your submission, call us on 1800 517 199 or email us at DRCEnquiries@royalcommission.gov.au
For more information, go to our website disability.royalcommission.gov.au and click on ‘Share your story’.
What happens after I make my submission?
Once the Royal Commission has received your written, audio or video account, we will contact you to confirm we have received it. You will be sent a letter of acknowledgement.
If you share your story with the Royal Commission it may be made public. If you do not want your story to be shared, please let us know.
All videos submitted to the Royal Commission will be transcribed and assessed and analysed in the same way as written submissions. Transcriptions are for internal use only.
We encourage people with disability, family, friends and the people who support them to share their experiences with us in their first language including Indigenous languages and Auslan. We can provide interpreters and translators.
Protecting your confidentiality
If you share your story with the Royal Commission in writing, online or in audio-visual format, we will not publish your information unless you want us to. If you do want us to publish your account of your experience, we can publish it without naming or identifying you.
If you do not want your information or your identity to be shared with anyone outside of the Royal Commission, we can protect your identity and the information you share with us until the Royal Commission ends in April 2022 (when its Final Report is due).
This is because under the current law, the Royal Commission can only guarantee confidentiality while the Royal Commission exists. However, the Royal Commission has asked the Government to amend the law so that your information is protected indefinitely, even after the Royal Commission ends. This, however, is a matter for the Australian Parliament to decide.
Confidentiality clauses and defamation
If you are worried that information you give in a submission is in breach of a non-disclosure or confidentiality clause in an agreement you have signed, or is defamatory, you can ask the Royal Commission to issue you with a 'notice to produce' your submission. If you think you require a notice to produce, you should contact the Royal Commission to discuss this before providing your submission.
If the Royal Commission has issued you with a notice to produce, it is a criminal offence for any person to injure you, cause you disadvantage, or for your employer to take action against you because you have given information to the Royal Commission.
It is therefore against the law for a person to sue you for breach of a confidentiality clause because you gave your information to the Royal Commission in response to a notice. The law also says that any information you provide to the Royal Commission in response to a notice issued by the Royal Commission cannot be used as evidence against you in any civil or criminal proceedings in Australia.
You can get free legal advice to help you understand your options in sharing your experience with the Royal Commission. Please call 1800 771 800 (Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays).
Protection from retribution, including for ‘whistle-blowers’
We understand that people may be concerned about retribution, for example if they make a public submission that is critical of an employer or accommodation provider. We take this concern very seriously and encourage people to get legal advice about the protections the Royal Commission is able to offer.