• Commissioner Andrea Mason listens to the concerns of community member at a Disability Royal Commission community forum, Logan Entertainment Centre, 4 FEB, 2020. (NITV News )Source: NITV News
Lack of support services and funding are major concerns for First Nations peoples addressing the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
By
Douglas Smith

Source:
NITV News
6 Feb 2020 - 12:22 AM  UPDATED 6 Feb 2020 - 12:24 AM

In a series of community forums, the Disability Royal Commission has heard from families and individuals living with disabilities that a lack of funding and barriers to easily accessing relevant support services are an overarching theme. 

The forums, which are currently being held across the country, provide people who live with disability an opportunity to raise their issues and concerns directly with commissioners. 

On Tuesday, Speaking outside a community forum held at the Logan Entertainment Centre in Brisbane’s south on Tuesday, Commissioner Andrea Mason said she had heard the "urgency" of people wanting systemic change.

“What I took away from today’s forum was an urgency through the Royal Commission to really look at systems here in Australia, that are really hurting and harming Australians with disability,” said Ms Mason. 

“We’ve heard it in sitting with child protection, with police, within housing, within education, health, a whole range of sittings. 

“The violence, the abuse, the neglect and the exploitation is real and it needs to change,” she said. 

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Chair for the Logan District Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Corporation for Elders, ‘Aunty’ Gwen Taylor also attended and later  told NITV News she was “concerned” with what she heard on the day.  

“It’s terrible to think that people who can't defend themselves, vulnerable people, are placed in this position and I think it's the responsibility of all of Australian society to stand up and say, 'this is unacceptable',” said Ms Taylor. 

Ms Taylor said there was a lack of advocacy groups to help disabled people gain the appropriate support in order to live a more supported life. 

More than 600 people have attended the six community forums the Royal Commission has held in Adelaide and Gawler in South Australia, Townsville in Queensland and in Hobart, Tasmania.

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