Submissions

A submission is the main way people and organisations can provide information to the Royal Commission about their experiences of violence, neglect, abuse or exploitation of people with disability. Anybody can make a submission. A submission can be submitted in any way you feel comfortable – by telephone, email or through our website.

The Disability Royal Commission wants to hear from all Australians about their experiences of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.

We want to make it as easy as possible for people with disability to participate in this Royal Commission and share their stories, so we are now accepting submissions where you can share your experiences with us.

The Royal Commission cannot resolve individual cases. It cannot award compensation or force a person or organisation to take particular actions.

Confidentiality and protections for people engaging with the Royal Commission

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 intends to ask 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.

Private sessions

If you are worried about your identity or the information you have provided being disclosed after the Royal Commission has ended, you may be able to share your experience with a Commissioner in a private session.

Anything you tell us in connection with, or during, a private session can be kept confidential even after the Royal commission ends. It is protected from disclosure by law and cannot be subpoenaed or disclosed under Freedom of Information legislation. 

At this stage, the Royal Commission does not know how many people might want a private session, so we cannot promise that everyone wanting a private session will be able to get one. More information about private sessions will be available shortly.

Confidentiality clauses and defamation

You might be worried that any information that you give to the Royal Commission, including in a written, online or audio-visual submission, is in breach of a non-disclosure or confidentiality clause in an agreement you have signed, or is defamatory. If so, you can ask the Royal Commission to issue you with what is called a 'notice to produce' your submission.

If the Royal Commission has issued you with a notice to produce (or if you give evidence before the Royal Commission in a public hearing), 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.

Retribution and 'whistleblowers'

We understand that people with disability may be concerned about retribution, for example if they make a submission that is critical of an employer or an accommodation provider.

We take this concern very seriously because such retribution can be a criminal offence. If this happens to you because you have provided us with information in response to a notice to produce, or if you have given evidence in a public hearing, please tell us. The Royal Commission will then investigate your report and, if needed, refer it to the Police.

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 (9:15am-5:15pm AEDT Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays).

Other languages

We accept submissions in the first language of any person making a submission, including Indigenous languages.

Auslan

To assist in making your submission The Commission has translated the submission process into Auslan. These videos provide information such as an overview of the Submission process, making a Submission, and answers to frequently asked questions that may come up in the submission process.

Easy Read

To assist in understanding the steps and processes in making a submission The Commission has provided Easy Read documents available.

The Royal Commission is in the process of developing more streamlined and accessible versions of the Submission form. All subscribers will be notified when new versions of the form become available. If you need assistance with the current form, please phone 1800 517 199 or +61 7 3734 1900 (9:00am to 6:00pm AEDT Monday to Friday, excluding national public holidays).

Make a submission

You can make a submission using the submission form below. If you find it difficult to use the form, you can also make a submission by phoning us or sending us an email.  

The form indicates the information we require about people and organisations making submissions, and includes questions about areas the Royal Commission is focusing on. An Easy Read version of the form is also available below.

Note: The Royal Commission is in the process of developing more streamlined and accessible versions of the Submission form.

Please subscribe to our Mailing List to ensure you receive an email notification when new versions of the form become available.

If you need assistance with the current form, please phone 1800 517 199 or +61 7 3734 1900 (9:00am to 6:00pm AEDT Monday to Friday, excluding national public holidays).

Phone

If you find it difficult to use the form, you can provide your submission by phone on 1800 517 199 or +61 7 3734 1900 (9:00am to 6:00pm AEDT Monday to Friday, excluding national public holidays).

Email / Mail

You can also email or post a submission to us at DRCenquiries@royalcommission.gov.au or at GPO Box 1422, Brisbane Qld 4001.