Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Royal Commission?
A Royal Commission is a public inquiry. In Australia, Royal Commissions are the highest form of inquiry on matters of public importance.
Why is a Royal Commission different from other inquiries?
A Royal Commission has broad powers to gather information to assist with its inquiry. The Royal Commission has the power to summons witnesses to appear before it and the power to request individuals or organisations produce documents as evidence.
How does the Royal Commission decide what it investigates?
The terms of reference sets out the key areas of investigation for the Royal Commission as well as the timeline by which the inquiry must be completed.
What is a submission?
A submission is a statement to the Royal Commission which assists the Commission in its collection of information that is relevant to the inquiry as set out in the terms of reference.
What if English isn't my first language?
The Royal Commission accepted submissions in languages other than English. We also have information in other languages available on our website.
The Royal Commission can provide an interpreter service for calls on the inquiry line: 1800 960 711.
When will submissions close?
Submissions closed on Friday 31 July 2020.
Can I publish my own submission on my website or elsewhere?
Yes, you are free to publish and share your own submission once you have sent it to the Royal Commission.
What support is available to witnesses?
We have an onsite counsellor who is available at all hearings for witnesses to talk to if required. Information about counselling and support services can be found on our website.
What degree of anonymity do witnesses have?
If necessary, a witness' identity will be protected. They will not be shown on the webcast and their name will be suppressed and redacted from all transcripts. A non-publication direction will also be issued.
What other options are there for people who want to appear as witnesses but can't come to the main court location due to limited mobility or other ability issues?
We will endeavour to provide a video link appearance somewhere close to your home (where possible) for those who cannot make it to a hearing. There is more information for witnesses available on our website.
What happens at a hearing?
If you want to attend a hearing it is very similar to attending court. Please check the website for hearing details including starting times.
Why is the Royal Commission holding workshops?
The Royal Commission is holding hearings in the form of workshops to gather evidence in a less formal setting than the public hearings held in 2019.
Workshops will be used to test propositions and ideas with panels of witnesses focussed on a specific issue or topic.
To learn more about Royal Commission workshops, visit our workshops page.
Why is the Royal Commission holding community forums?
The community forums give members of the public a chance to hear firsthand about the work of the Commission and to offer their ideas on the challenges and strengths of aged care services and the opportunities to improve those services. The forums allow people to engage with the Royal Commission in a less formal way than in public hearings and submissions.
Where will the community forums be held?
The community forums will be held in all capital cities and selected regional locations which will be progressively announced throughout the year.
Does is cost anything to attend a community forum?
No, attendance at community forums is free. If you want to attend then register through our website or call our phone line.
Have the Royal Commission made provisions for someone who is visually impaired or hearing impaired?
Individuals who are visually impaired can call our inquiry line 1800 960 711 for assistance with a question or in making a submission. We can provide an Auslan interpreter at hearings and community forums on request.
There is more information about accessibility on our website.
Will all venues for public hearings and community forums be wheelchair accessible?
Yes, the Commission intends to ensure all venues are wheelchair accessible.
What do I do if I have a complaint about aged care or an issue with a specific provider that needs attention now, can I take this to the Royal Commission?
The Royal Commission cannot resolve individual disputes or complaints. It cannot order a care provider or person to take particular action or pay compensation. However, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission may be able to assist in this situation as it is the complaints agency for aged care services that are subsidised by the Australian Government.
If you want to make a complaint about the quality of aged care services being delivered to a person right now, you can contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on 1800 951 822 (9:00am-5:00pm AEDT Monday-Friday – interpreter services are available) or visit the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website.