Disability Royal Commission support services

The Australian Government is funding free and independent counselling and advocacy support for people with disability that have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, as well as their families and carers, and anyone affected by the Disability Royal Commission.

About the Disability Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (Disability Royal Commission) will run for three years until 2022.

For information about the work of the Disability Royal Commission, including attending public hearings or making a submission call 1800 517 199 or visit disability.royalcommission.gov.au

About support services

Accessible resources

You can request a large print with Braille overlay version of the Disability Royal Comission Support Services fact sheet by emailing DRCsupports@dss.gov.au with your name and address.

Counselling support

Trauma-informed counselling support from Blue Knot Foundation is available for people with disability that have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, as well as their families and carers, and anyone affected by the Disability Royal Commission.

Call the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468 or (02) 6146 1468 to find:

  • support for your emotional wellbeing
  • support for making choices about telling your story to the Disability Royal Commission
  • information on other practical supports available to you.

Open 9am to 6pm weekdays or 9am to 5pm weekends AEDT.

The National Counselling and Referral Service can refer you to another counselling organisation in your state or territory for in-person counselling support. These counselling services are available in each state and territory to help if you have complex needs and require more in-depth support. They will provide short to medium-term, trauma-informed counselling, primarily in-person as well as over the phone or online support.

These services are available to a wide range of people needing emotional support including, but not limited to, women with disability, children with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

In addition, the Australian Government is also establishing culturally appropriate services specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples delivered by Aboriginal run organisations. Currently, this includes services in Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. The Australian Government is also exploring options for services in other jurisdictions.

Find Disability Royal Commission counselling support services in your area.

If you are currently experiencing any form of violence or abuse, or are concerned for your safety, call the police on 000.

Advocacy support

The Australian Government is funding Disability Royal Commission advocacy providers to provide individual advocacy support for people who need extra support to engage with the Disability Royal Commission.

Advocacy support is for people with disability (or family members or carers acting on their behalf) who may have difficulty in communicating or understanding how to engage with the Commission.

An advocate will be able to help people with disability to understand how to tell their story to the Disability Royal Commission, how to work out problems or avoid discriminatory issues, find communication supports such as interpreters, and access other supports such as legal or financial services.

Indigenous-specific advocacy supports have been established to deliver culturally appropriate advocacy and engagement for Indigenous Australians with disability in remote areas. First Peoples Disability Network are funded to:

  • provide Indigenous-specific advocacy to support Indigenous people with disability that require additional assistance to understand and participate in Royal Commission processes, and
  • ensure that Indigenous people with disability know how to access advocacy and other supports for the Disability Royal Commission.

Find Disability Royal Commission advocacy support services in your area.

Legal and financial support

A free legal advisory service from National Legal Aid and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services can help you to:

  • understand your legal rights and options for engaging with the Disability Royal Commission
  • assist you to prepare for submissions or private sessions
  • find out about financial assistance that may be available to you.

You can contact National Legal Advisory Service directly on 1800 771 800 (9:15 am-5:15 pm AEDT, Monday to Friday) to register your interest.

The Attorney-General’s Department can help you:

  • find out about financial assistance that is available if you have your own lawyer
  • explain how to apply

You can contact the Financial Assistance Section directly on 1800 117 995 (9am – 5pm) AEDT, Monday to Friday. If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service and give 02 6141 4770 as the number you would like to call.

More information

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