13 October 2020
For immediate release

#MakeItSafeToSpeak: QAI calls for legislation to protect confidentiality at the Disability Royal Commission

QAI stands with Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPOA) and urges the government to pass legislation to protect the confidentiality of submissions made to the Disability Royal Commission.

This week, QAI gave evidence at the Disability Royal Commission’s public hearing into education. It was a timely reminder that for many people with disability, sharing stories of abuse, neglect, violence and/or exploitation can be deeply distressing and carry significant risk.

“People are afraid of reprisals”, QAI Director Michelle O’Flynn said today. “If people cannot tell their stories safely and without fear of retribution, how will the Commission truly understand the experiences of people with disability and achieve its purpose of creating meaningful change?”

Obtaining support to give evidence through a private hearing is not an option for everyone. The Disability Royal Commission must provide the same protections that were afforded to those who courageously gave evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

QAI therefore calls upon the Federal government to amend the Royal Commission Act to ensure that submissions made to the Commission are confidential not just now, but beyond the life of the Commission.

Add your support to DPOA’s open letter to the Minister here

See our letter to the Attorney-General, the Hon. Christian Porter MP at the links below:

PDF version of letter

Word version of letter

Media contact: Michelle O’Flynn, Director, QAI
Phone: 0481 381 528