On 11 February 2015, the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report:

Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings, including the gender and age related dimensions, and the particular situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability.

The terms of reference are:

  1. the experiences of people directly or indirectly affected by violence, abuse and neglect perpetrated against people with disability in institutional and residential contexts;
  2. the impact of violence, abuse and neglect on people with disability, their families, advocates, support persons, current and former staff and Australian society as a whole;
  3. the incidence and prevalence of all forms of violence, abuse and neglect perpetrated against people with disability in institutional and residential settings;
  4. the responses to violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability, as well as to whistleblowers, by every organisational level of institutions and residential settings, including governance, risk management and reporting practices;
  5. the different legal, regulatory, policy, governance and data collection frameworks and practices across the Commonwealth, states and territories to address and prevent violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability;
  6. Australia’s compliance with its international obligations as they apply to the rights of people with disability;
  7. role and challenges of formal and informal disability advocacy in preventing and responding to violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability;
  8. what should be done to eliminate barriers for responding to violence, abuse and neglect perpetrated against people with disability in institutional and residential settings, including addressing failures in, and barriers to, reporting, investigating and responding to allegations and incidents of violence and abuse;
  9. what needs to be done to protect people with disability from violence, abuse and neglect in institutional and residential settings in the future, including best practice in regards to prevention, effective reporting and responses;
  10. identifying the systemic workforce issues contributing to the violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability and how these can be addressed;
  11. the role of the Commonwealth, states and territories in preventing violence and abuse against people with disability;
  12. the challenges that arise from moving towards an individualised funding arrangement, like the National Disability Insurance Scheme, including the capacity of service providers to identify, respond to and prevent instances of violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability; and
  13. what elements are required in a national quality framework that can safeguard people with disability from violence, abuse and neglect in institutional and residential settings.

2. That for this inquiry:

  1. ‘institutional and residential settings’ is broadly defined to include the types of institutions that people with disability often experience, including, but not restricted to: residential institutions; boarding houses; group homes; workplaces; respite care services; day centres; recreation programs; mental health facilities; hostels; supported accommodation; prisons; schools; out-of-home care; special schools; boarding schools; school buses; hospitals; juvenile justice facilities; disability services; and aged care facilities; and
  2. ‘violence, abuse and neglect’ is broadly understood to include, but is not limited to: domestic, family and interpersonal violence; physical and sexual violence and abuse; psychological or emotional harm and abuse; constraints and restrictive practices; forced treatments and interventions; humiliation and harassment; financial abuse; violations of privacy; systemic abuse; physical and emotional neglect; passive neglect; and wilful deprivation.

Submissions were sought by 29 June 2015. The reporting date is 24 June 2015. On 25 March 2015, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 16 September 2015. On 9 September 2015, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 11 November 2015.  On 11 November 2015, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 25 November 2015.

Easy English guide to this inquiry (PDF 813KB)

Easy English guide to making a submission (PDF 751KB)



Past Public Hearings

16 Oct 2015: Brisbane, QLD
28 Aug 2015: Adelaide, SA
27 Aug 2015: Sydney Airport, NSW

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Inquiry Status

Report tabled

Accessibility

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Submissions

Submissions received by the Committee

Submissions may be re-ordered by clicking on a column header. They may also be grouped by Organisation/Individual, State/Territory.

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1Lifestyle in Supported Accommodation (LISA) Inc (PDF 3862 KB) 
2Confidential
3Families Australia (PDF 375 KB) 
4Ms Joan Broughan (PDF 115 KB) 
5Mrs Stella Ha (PDF 202 KB)  Attachment 1 (PDF 681 KB)  Attachment 2 (PDF 116 KB) 
6Mr Milton Keynes (PDF 1192 KB) 
7Professor Richard Bruggemann (PDF 41 KB) 
8Mr Bill Kinnaird (PDF 84 KB) 
9Ms Julie Pianto (PDF 160 KB) 
Response from E.W. Tipping Foundation (PDF 3475 KB) 
10Confidential
11Confidential
12JFA Purple Orange (PDF 615 KB) 
13Office of the Public Advocate South Australia (PDF 154 KB)  Attachment 1 (PDF 3079 KB) 
14Disability Justice Advocacy Inc (PDF 177 KB) 
15Confidential
16South Australian Community Visitor Scheme (PDF 320 KB) 
17United Voice (PDF 536 KB) 
18Office of the Public Guardian Queensland (PDF 283 KB) 
19Optia Inc (PDF 493 KB) 
20Confidential

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