Prime Minister Scott Morrison has officially announced the establishment of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. It follows approval from the Governor-General and support from states and territories.

The Royal Commission is expected to run for three years and will be based in Brisbane, chaired by former Federal Court judge Ronald Sackville who will be supported by five commissioners.

“We sought recommendations from the disability sector and state and territory governments on these appointments,” the Prime Minister said. The panel of six commissioners is representative of a diverse range of backgrounds, with lived experience of disability, judicial and policy and Indigenous leadership. They include Dr Rhonda Galbally, Andrea Mason, John Ryan, Barbara Bennett and Alastair McEwin.

The newly appointed commissioners will decide on the next steps in the coming months, as to when to hold hearings and how people can participate.

Over 3,700 people responded to the public consultation on the draft Terms of Reference, which closed on 28 March.

The Australian Government has committed $527.9 million for the Royal Commission, which includes funding to support people with disability to participate in the Royal Commission.

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*Photo courtesy: Sydney Morning Herald (