As you’ve probably heard through the media, there is a Royal Commission into the disability sector underway. This is good news. Here we have created some information for you to read so that you have a good understanding of why it’s important to the sector and what it means for Unisson.

Read through detailed information about the Royal Commission into Disability Public Hearings or find more information about the Issues Papers that have been released and their due dates for submissions.

The Disability Royal Commission is also providing free counselling and support to anyone who may be experiencing difficulties sharing their experiences. Visit the Royal Commission Counselling and Support resources to find out more information.

Latest News

September 21, 2020

Australia allowing human rights violations of people with disability: DRC Report

Australia’s interpretation of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was preventing reform and allowing human rights violations such as “arbitrary and indefinite detention” and “forced treatments and medical interventions” a new research paper has found.

Australia has not made adequate progress in achieving rights for people with disability since the onset of demands within its community 60 years ago, the paper by the University of NSW Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) says.

Instead, a new focus should be pursued, recognising impairment as a “valued part of human diversity and human dignity” and accepting people with disability as “critical to all aspects of life”.

 “When Australia ratified the CRPD, it made interpretative declarations on articles 12 and 17 that set out how Australia interprets these articles. This does not reflect the current interpretation by the CRPD Committee,” the SPRC says in a paper for the Disability Royal Commission released on 21 September 2020.

Read the full media release on the Royal Commission Website.

September 18, 2020

Royal Commission hearing into use of psychotropic medications and behaviours of concern

This public hearing will examine use of psychotropic medication as a chemical restraint.  A chemical restraint occurs when medication is not used to treat a diagnosed mental disorder, a physical illness or a physical condition but used for the purpose of influencing a person’s behaviour.

The Royal Commission will hear the concerns of witnesses with lived-experience, health professionals and advocates, including:

  • the need to understand behaviour as a form of communication
  • over-reliance on chemical restraint as a first response to a person’s behaviours of concern
  • when psychotropic medications should be used to treat person’s health needs
  • the misuse or overdosing of psychotropic medication for the purposes of behavioural control
  • the side-effects of psychotropic medications
  • strategies such as positive behaviour support and better communication to support persons with a disability who may experience behaviours of concern.

Read the full media release on the Royal Commission Website.


A Royal Commission is a major and formal public enquiry into a specific issue of public interest and of great importance. Royal Commissions operate from “Terms of Reference” which define the purpose and structure of the Royal Commission.

The most recent Royal Commissions have included:

- 2018-present: Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

- 2017-2019: Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry

- 2016-2017: Royal Commission into the Child Protection and Youth Detention Systems of the Government of the Northern Territory

- 2013-2017: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

View the list of all Royal Commissions in Australia.


The Royal Commission into the Disability Sector is officially called the "Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of People with Disability". Details of the Royal Commission will be updated as the Royal Commission progresses. 

The core purpose of this enquiry is to ensure people with disability are not subjected to violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation. The terms of the Royal Commission are intentionally broad, including all types of disability, all settings and not including any time restrictions. Following their investigation, the Royal Commission is instructed to make recommendations for future improvements.

We believe that this Royal Commission will be an important way to drive positive change for people with disability, so we'll be supporting it with everything we've got.

Read through the below easy read documents to understand exactly what the Royal Commission into the Disability Sector is.

- The Australian Governments Department of Social Services - Do You Need Support?

- Council for Intellectual Disability - What is the Disability Royal Commission?


A Royal Commission shines a light on a sector and specifically the policies, processes, and practices of organisations within the sector.

The core purpose of this enquiry is to ensure people with disability are not subjected to violence, abuse, neglect, or exploitation. We support this enquiry wholeheartedly, knowing that it will bring about positive changes for people with disability in our country.

We will continue to update this page regularly with information from the Royal Commission. You can also sign up to the Royal Commission's Media Mailing List to receive direct updates.

We will be sending regular updates to our clients and their families. To ensure you are signed up to our newsletter please subscribe at the bottom of the page in the footer menu.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact our CEO, David Kneeshaw, directly by completing the below form.

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