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If you or anyone you know needs help

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • MensLine: 1300 789 978
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
  • 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732
  • National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1800 880 052
  • Aboriginal Family Domestic Violence Hotline: 1800 019 12

Zero Tolerance

Zero Tolerance (an NDS initiative) assists disability service providers to understand, implement and improve practices which safeguard the rights of people
they support.

Find out more about the Royal Commission

Royal Commission website

Make a submission to the Disability Royal Commission

Information Line: 1800 517 199
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm AEDT); or


How to get Legal Aid and Advocacy

Legal Assistance:
National Legal Aid (NLA) and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Serices (NATSILS) will provide a free, national legal advisory service for people engaging with the Royal Commission.  This advice will be independent, trauma informed and culturally safe.

Contact NLA on 1800 771 800 between 8.3am - 5pm AEDT
interim website

Information about legal financial assistance scheme is available

Advocacy Services:
National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) website; or
Disability Advocacy finder tool

Royal Commission into violence, abuse,neglect and exploitation of people with disability.

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September 2019

September saw a number of items of significance. The first public sitting of the Commission was held in Brisbane, a seventh Commissioner was appointed, letters were sent to providers to advise them of forthcoming request for information, domains of inquiry were outlined, and a series of guidance material was released.

Further hearings - where evidence will be heard - will be held before the end of the year. A likely focus will be education and learning, and homes and living.

Providers continue to prepare with the limited amount of solid information they have. For many, document management and production will now be a main focus.

One element highlighted in letters received by providers was how organisations are making improvements. The Commission expressed interest in understanding the changes organisations had made in response to instances of violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation and the measures the organisation has implemented to reduce their future incidence.

August 2019

The Royal Commission is now underway, with sittings beginning in September. NDS will be covering the proceedings, providing members with up-to-date summaries which will be posted on the NDS Royal Commission Hub.

Providers will soon receive formal invitations to submit information and we strongly encourage our members to respond regardless of whether any requests appear to be voluntary in nature.

As part of their strategy with regards to the Royal Commission, providers should have begun preparing information and documents that may be of interest to the Commission. Timeframes to produce information are often very short.

While we will work hard to help members be in the best possible position to respond, it is up to individual organisations to develop and implement their own strategies - including gathering information, responding to requests, engaging experts if required, and appearing to give evidence when called.

NDS will continue to support members in their preparation. Sessions by legal and risk experts on the Royal Commission at NDS's Essential Briefings were very well received and our suite of resources on the NDS Royal Commission Hub continues to grow.

To stay up to date, make sure you are signed up to receive NDS News Updates, and check the NDS Royal Commission Hub regularly.

July 2019 

National Disability Services (NDS) 

NDS supports the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. 

People with disability, like everyone else in our community, have the right to live free of abuse, neglect or exploitation. NDS promotes human rights and zero tolerance approaches to violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation in all disability service organisations. All Australians should have confidence in the quality and safety of supports that are provided to people with disability.

NDS will not defend the indefensible. We believe any behaviours or practices that abuse, neglect or exploit people with disability are unacceptable.

We will listen to what has gone wrong and what needs to be done to address these failings. We will actively contribute to discussions on how to ensure disability supports are of the highest quality possible. In this spirit, NDS will engage with the sector and Royal Commission to propose solutions and innovations to assist providers to deliver high-quality, equitable and sustainable supports into the future – a future that offers choice, control and independence for people with disability.

- David Moody, Acting CEO

June 2019

Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability was established on
4 April 2019 with the signing of the Letter Patent (which include the terms of reference) by the Governor-General.

The Royal Commission’s terms of reference cover what should be done to:

  • Prevent, and better protect, people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • Achieve best practice in reporting and investigating of, and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • Promote a more inclusive society that supports the independence of people with disability and their right to live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The inquiry will cover all forms of violence against, and abuse, neglect and exploitation of, people with disability, in all settings and contexts.

If you are currently experiencing any form of violence or abuse, or are concerned for your safety, call 000 or contact Police.

If you are an employee of a service provider and are distressed by any aspects of the Royal Commission please seek advice and assistance through your employer’s Employee Assistance Program or call LifeLine. (13 11 14) 


This information is provided as general information to members only. It does not take the place of formal legal advice and any member with concerns about any issue arising out of or related to the Royal Commission is encouraged to seek their own independent legal advice.