Media Release: Call to work with disability groups to design the solutions from the Disability Royal Commission

The Disability Royal Commission will soon hand down its final report and recommendations to the Australian Government.

People with disability, and their representative organisations, fought hard for a Royal Commission and the chance to be heard and to achieve long-lasting change so we can live our lives free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

A group of disability rights organisations today are calling on the Australian Government to work with us to design and enact the solutions needed to address the recommendations put forward by the Royal Commission.

People with disability must lead and design the solutions to the Royal Commission recommendations.  This is an opportunity to not only work with disability rights organisations at the heart of this work, run by and for people with disability, but also proactively recruit people with disability to the government organisations that will deliver the solutions within our communities.

Disability Advocacy Network Australia CEO, Jeff Smith, said “The evidence is very clear, when governments listen to and genuinely co-design the responses with people with disability, we get much better outcomes for everyone.”

First Peoples Disability Network CEO, Damian Griffis, said “The DRC heard mob / First Nations people with disability experience multiple layers of discrimination across all the systems, because of both racism and ableism. I call on the government to be working with us and our community on solutions to address not only institutional racism as per their responsibilities under Closing the Gap, but also to be addressing institutional ableism, as per their responsibilities under Australia’s Disability Strategy.”

Inclusion Australia CEO, Catherine McAlpine, said “The Royal Commission amplified our voice and gave us a chance to tell our stories. – Together, we want to build a better future that is more accessible and inclusive, where we feel heard and safe. The solutions will be stronger if we get a real say and input into the initiatives to deliver them.”

Disability rights organisations are calling for the following solutions:

  1. Reform systems to ensure accessible, responsive and accountable protocols and procedures to investigate, respond to and act on instances of violence, harassment and abuse.
  2. Fund frontline support to make sure people with disability are aware of their rights and supported to take action and report violence, harassment and abuse when it happens to them.
  3. Establish programs to tackle the sources of violence and address the practices that allow this systematic violence to occur.

President of People with Disability Australia, Nicole Lee, said “There is a real opportunity for the Australian Government to create spaces for people with disability to lead the design and delivery of solutions and not just be consulted. People with disability are experts in our own experience, and creative problem-solvers because we exist in a world that’s not designed for us, and our expert skills will be vital to ending the violence and abuse so many of us experience.”

Children and Young People with Disability CEO, Skye Kakoschke-Moore, said “We look forward to tackling the recommendations from the Royal Commission together and to get down to business on how, together, we can end the violence.”


Organisations are:

  • Children and Young People with Disability Australia
  • Disability Advocacy Network Australia
  • First Peoples Disability Network Australia
  • Inclusion Australia
  • National Ethnic Disability Alliance
  • People with Disability Australia