Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

The Disability Royal Commission was established in April 2019 in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability. These incidents might have happened recently or a long time ago.

The NSW Government supports the establishment of the Disability Royal Commission, led by the Hon Ronald Sackville AO QC who is supported by six other Commissioners.

The Disability Royal Commission will investigate:

  • preventing and better protecting people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • achieving best practice in reporting, investigating and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability
  • promoting a more inclusive society that supports people with disability to be independent and live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Central to the Disability Royal Commission are people with disability and their families and carers coming forward and sharing their life experiences. What we are learning from them will be the foundation for the path governments, providers of services and the community need to take to ensure people with disability live in safety, with dignity and amongst us as valued members of our community.

If you would like further information about the Disability Royal Commission, including viewing videos of past hearings, the schedule of forward hearings and, reports, issue papers and submissions published to date, please visit the Disability Royal Commission website.

Hearings were paused due to COVID-19 then resumed in August 2020. The Disability Royal Commission has published the hearings schedule on their website.

The Disability Royal Commission (DRC) published an Interim Report on Friday, 30 October 2020. The Report sets out what the Royal Commission has done in its first 15 months, the cut-off point being 31 July 2020.

The NSW Government is committed to proactively engaging with the Disability Royal Commission. The Royal Commission encourages people with disability to share their experiences of violence, neglect, abuse or exploitation. This helps them learn more about the problem and how they can help prevent it in the future. You can share your experiences by making a submission or applying for a private session with a Commissioner.

There are also services available to support people through any difficult feelings they might be having because of the Disability Royal Commission. It can be a distressing time for people who have engaged with or, been affected by the Commission.

Free and independent counselling and advocacy support is available.

People can contact the National Counselling and Referral Service for counselling support, or to be referred to an independent advocate, legal service, or other support services.

The number to call is 1800 421 468 or (02) 6146 1468. The service is available 9am–6pm AEDT weekdays and 9am–5pm AEDT weekends.

Counselling support is for people with disability, their families and carers, and anyone affected by the Disability Royal Commission.

A counsellor can support people to:

  • discuss their feelings in a safe and confidential environment
  • work out a problem or issue
  • make choices about telling their story to the Disability Royal Commission
  • find other supports.
  • For more information, visit the Disability Royal Commission support services page.

If you have a question about DCJs role in responding to the Disability Royal Commission please email the Department’s Disability Royal Commission Team at

Last updated:

04 Aug 2022

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Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

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