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Disability royal commission welcomed

February 21, 2019

Federation welcomes the vote in the Australian Parliament to establish a royal commission into the violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.

The vote comes after a decades-long battle to shed light on the distressing reality lived by too many people with disability, particularly women; a battle escalated in 2015 when a Senate inquiry found violence and abuse to be widespread and recommended a royal commission.

In the Shut Out consultation report, which underpins the National Disability Strategy, people with disability referred to education as the “wasted years”.

The education sector has a long way to go to fully uphold the rights of people with disability and enabling the capacity of all students to be successful learners.

Teachers have long been calling for additional support and professional learning to reach and support students with disability in all classroom settings.

With 74 per cent of children with disability attending public schools, public education is well placed to enact and model cultural and structural change. Such change relies heavily on addressing current inequities and intersectional disadvantage.

It is a stain on our nation that such a royal commission is even necessary and our responsibility is to be part of the change.

Active participation in the Fair Funding Now! campaign pleads the case for proper education resourcing, seeking to have every public school’s funding raised to 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS).

Additional investment by way of the abandoned students with disability loading is crucial to deliver effective whole-of-system reforms for improved outcomes, practice and inclusive education.

The Federal Government has failed at every turn to acknowledge the scale of unmet need.

It has for years withheld the students with disability loading recommended by the Review of Schools Funding.

It has cut disability funding in five states and territories and watered down the disability components of the National Plan for School Improvement detailed in the previous National Education Reform Agreement. The Morrison Government remains complicit in its neglect of children with disability.

Federation applauds the disability community’s tireless push for a royal commission to expose the truth and demand justice. As with schools funding, Scott Morrison’s actions continue to show this government’s disdain for people with disability.

Shameful avoidance tactics, delaying the royal commission vote, were exacerbated in the Prime Minister’s failure to call the royal commission immediately.

Federation joins the call for a timeline and implementation.

The vote would simply not have happened in the absence of the disability community, highlighting the importance of representation and advocacy. At the same time as this vote took place, NSW disability organisations are ramping up their Stand By Me campaign to secure long-term funding for disability advocacy, information and peak representation services.

Members are urged to rally with the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance this Sunday, 24 February, from 11am to 12pm at Martin Place, between Castlereagh and Pitt streets.

For further information on the royal commission, read People with Disability Australia’s media release here.


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Authorised by John Dixon, General Secretary, NSW Teachers Federation, 23-33 Mary St. Surry Hills NSW 2010

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© New South Wales Teachers Federation. All Rights Reserved.

Authorised by John Dixon, General Secretary, NSW Teachers Federation, 23-33 Mary St. Surry Hills NSW 2010

Privacy Policy