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Oct 05, 2023

Disability Royal Commission Update


The Disability Royal Commission’s final report into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability has been released with 222 recommendations made to improve the lives of people with disability in Australia.

Why was the Disability Royal Commission called?

The Disability Royal Commission was established in April 2019.

People with disability, their support networks, disability service providers and the broader community shared their stories and experiences to assist the Royal Commission in understanding the full extent and impact of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation against people with disability.

What did they do?

Over the past four and a half years, they held many public and private hearings to gather evidence and testimonials from over 9,000 disability community representatives.

People with disability were at the heart of the Royal Commission. Their voices and experiences guided all aspects of the process by sharing their experiences, aspirations and ideas.

Northcott’s role

As a disability service provider, Northcott provided information to the Royal Commission about how we keep our customers safe by preventing abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.

What did the Royal Commission find?

People with disability experience much higher rates of violence, sexual abuse and financial exploitation than people without disability.

  • The neglect of people with disability occurs in many forms and at all stages of people’s lives.
  • There are failures to provide people with disability with opportunities to develop personal relationships, friendships and actively participate in the community and build life skills.
  • They face considerable barriers to access and inclusion and can be denied the freedom to make decisions and exercise choice and control over their lives.

What are the recommendations to improve the lives of people with disability?

  • Reforms to respect, protect and fulfill human rights.
  • Achieving inclusion in education, employment and housing settings.
  • Reforms to increase access to culturally safe and quality services and supports for First Nations people.
  • Improve independent oversight and complaint mechanisms.
  • National reform to disability governance, strategy and policy.

What does this mean for disability service providers?

The Royal Commission’s recommendations included measures for disability service providers to  effectively prevent and respond to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in the delivery of disability support services, and to improve the quality and safety of supports and services funded by the NDIS.

What is Northcott doing about this?

We’ve got programs, policies and procedures to ensure quality and safety:

  • Quality and risk processes for customer support.
  • Mandatory screening and checks for all staff.
  • Thorough onboarding and training for staff on safe customer support.
  • A Speak Up About Abuse campaign, encouraging staff to report concerns if they see, feel, or hear something that isn’t right concerning our customers.

We welcome the recommendations as an opportunity for continuous improvement to our services, to the disability sector and to the Australian community.

What’s the vision for the future?

The vision for an inclusive Australia in the Royal Commission’s final report is of a future where people with disability:

  • Live, learn, work, and play, together with people without disability in safe and diverse communities
  • Have the power of choice, independence and the dignity to take risks
  • Make contributions to communities that value their presence and treat them with respect
  • Are culturally safe and belong in families, communities and peer networks.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.

Read more about our commitment to reconciliation

Montrose is now part of Northcott!

Welcome to our new website.

If you have any questions, please speak to your Service Manager, Service Coordinator or call us on 1800 818 286.