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 8:30am-5:00pm AEDT. An interim National Legal Aid website is available.
The full range of legal advice services will be rolled out over the coming months and will be 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
Thank you for your patience while additional counselling services are being contracted and support services developed. As previously advised, counselling services will be rolled out this month. We are still to be notified by the Department of Social Services as to the exact date in October that these will become available, and we will contact you immediately once a date is confirmed. In the interim, please 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.