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Submissions & private sessions

Over the course of the Royal Commission, almost 10,000 people shared their experience of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation by making a submission or participating in a private session

Submissions were made in writing, over the phone, by videos and audio recordings. They were made in a number of different languages – including Indigenous languages and Auslan

Private sessions were a confidential way for people to share their experiences directly with a Commissioner. Private sessions were held in person and via videoconference and teleconference.

Submissions and private sessions helped us to:

  • understand the extent of the problem

  • learn more about the contexts in which abuse is more likely to occur

  • understand the impacts on people with disability, their families, support people and our community

  • gather information relevant to our investigations and research program.

At the request of the Chair of the Disability Royal Commission, the Hon Ronald Sackville AO KC, Australian Parliament amended the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth) to remove a significant barrier that prevented people with disability, or people on their behalf, engaging with the Royal Commission. The passage of this amendment enabled the Royal Commission to guarantee the confidentiality of submissions and other sensitive information both during and beyond the term of our inquiry.

Hearing from people with disability, families, support people, organisations and the broader community helped the Royal Commission understand the extent and the impact of violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation against people with disability. It also helped us to make recommendations to prevent it from happening again.

Private sessions fact sheet