This factsheet is about ways to share your story with the Disability Royal Commission when you are worried about the consequences of sharing the story.
You might know about a person with disability who has been hurt, treated badly, refused help or taken advantage of. If you are afraid you or another person might be punished for what you share, contact Your Story Disability Legal Support before you share your story with the Disability Royal Commission.
I want to tell the Disability Royal Commission about what I have seen
The Disability Royal Commission wants to hear your story if you have seen or know of a person with a disability who has been hurt, treated badly, refused help or taken advantage of.
You might have a story to share about what you have seen at the place:
- you live
- your friend or family member lives
- you work
- you volunteer
You might be worried about sharing your story with the Disability Royal Commission because:
- you think the person in authority (for example, your boss or staff at a care facility) may not want you to share your story with the Disability Royal Commission
- you think you or another person might be unsafe/treated badly if you share your story
- you have signed legal documents that say you can't tell outsiders about your work or what you have seen.
There are different options if you want to protect yourself or protect someone else. This section of the factsheet will help you understand what you can do.
Contact Your Story Disability Legal Support for personalised advice to understand the best option for you.
I want to protect myself
If you are worried you might get into trouble or be punished, you should get legal advice before giving information to the Disability Royal Commission.
There are special ways to engage with the Disability Royal Commission that will protect your safety and avoid breaking a legal agreement that you may have signed.
When you use the special ways to give information to the Disability Royal Commission, it is a criminal offence:
- to injure you
- to cause you disadvantage
- for your employer to take legal action against you
There are 3 ways that you can share your story.
- The first way is to ask to share your story in a private session with a Commissioner. This is the most private way to share your story. Only the people who work at the Disability Royal Commission, and anyone you ask to come, will know you shared your story.
- The second way is to make your submission and mark it ‘confidential’ or ‘restricted’. Your submission will remain private for 99 years.
- The second way is to ask to the Disability Royal Commission to give you a 'notice to produce'. A notice to produce means that the Disability Royal Commission will require you to give certain information or documents. It is an offence not to comply with a notice to produce, and you should get legal advice about this option.
Your Story Disability Legal Support can give you legal advice and support. We can contact the Royal Commission about a notice to produce or a private session.
If your story relates to what you have seen at work, you may also have ethical and professional obligations that will impact the information you provide to the Disability Royal Commission. You should contact your profession's governing regulatory body for advice on these obligations before you provide any information to the Disability Royal Commission.
I want to protect another person
If you are sharing a story that relates to another person and you have concerns about their safety, there are special ways you can share the story and protect their identity. You should get legal advice before you share the story with the Disability Royal Commission.
Your Story Disability Legal Support can give you legal advice and support on how you can share a story if you are concerned about another person's safety or privacy.
I have more questions
Call us on 1800 771 800 for legal advice.
Your Story Disability Legal Support is free, independent and separate from the Disability Royal Commission. We will not pass your information to the Disability Royal Commission unless you agree. We won't tell anybody what you tell us, unless you want us to.
Disclaimer: This information is intended as a general guide. It should not be relied on as legal advice and we recommend that you talk to a lawyer about your particular situation.
We aim to provide information in an accessible format. Please let us know if we can provide information in a way that's more accessible for you by contacting us.
Publication date: 30/06/2021
Publication type: factsheet