Friday, 05 April 2019

Disability Royal Commission

The President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Dr Deidre Palmer, has welcomed today’s announcement of a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

“For too long, people with disabilities have been subject to discrimination and abuse,” said Dr Palmer.

“I welcome this Royal Commission and hope that, like previous Royal Commissions, it will shine a light on situations where people with disabilities have not been respected, so that these issues can be urgently addressed.”

The Royal Commission will be based in Brisbane and former Federal Court judge Ronald Sackville AO QC will serve as chief commissioner.

Dr Palmer also reminded Uniting Church members of the Statement of Access and Welcome (Resolution 18.18) adopted by the 15th Assembly in Melbourne last year.

“We have affirmed as a Church that all people are created in the image of God; and that the faith, gifts, hopes and dreams of all people are to be valued and honoured,” said Dr Palmer.

“We also acknowledge that for many people with disability, the life and faith of our Church has not always borne witness to this vision.

“We have promised to advocate for justice and equality for people with disability in the wider community.

“Let us consider carefully how each of us can create accessible and welcoming communities where everyone can flourish.”

UnitingCare Australia has also welcomed the Royal Commission.

National Director Claerwen Little said: “We are called to consider the fact that people with disability have for too long confronted violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.”

“This long-awaited Royal Commission is an opportunity for us to work together to create a society that is inclusive, respectful of difference and for everyone to have the life they aspire to.”

Ms Little’s full statement is available on the Uniting Care Australia website.