Royal Commissions

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

On 12 November 2012 the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced that she would recommend to the Governor-General that a Royal Commission be appointed to inquire into institutional responses to child abuse.

Following this announcement, the Terms of Reference were established and six Commissioners were appointed on Friday, 11 January 2013 by Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM was the chair of the Royal Commission and worked with the five other Commissioners, Mr Bob Atkinson AO APM, Justice Jennifer Coate, Mr Robert Fitzgerald AM, Professor Helen Milroy and Mr Andrew Murray.

The Royal Commission investigated the widest possible range of institutions across cultural and social groups including – Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Uniting Church, Jewish Community, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Yoga Ashram, Australian Christian Churches, Salvation Army, Defence Force, Elite private schools, Orphanages, Youth detention, Special Schools, Disability providers, Child care, Health providers, and recreation and sport activities.

The inquiry was overwhelmed with submissions.

  • 8,013 private sessions
  • 42,041 calls and 25,964 letters and emails
  • 2,575 referrals to authorities
  • 57 case studies – 1,302 witnesses over 400 days, examining 134 institutions
  • 1,234,114 documents produced more than 4000 institutions reported

On 15 December 2017, after five years of detailed inquiry, the Royal Commission presented a final report to the Governor-General, detailing the culmination of a five year inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse and related matters.

There were four reports with 409 recommendations:

  1. Working with Children Checks – 36 recommendations
  2. Redress and Civil Litigation – 99 recommendations
  3. Criminal justice – 85 recommendations
  4. Final report in 17 volumes – 189 recommendations

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Final Report link:


Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is a landmark inquiry for Australian residential and in-home aged care.

Its establishment followed media investigations and more than 70 reviews by successive governments over the past 10 years. The Royal Commission is an opportunity to get to the heart of the problems facing the sector and to put in place real reforms to transform aged care services.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was established on 8 October 2018 by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).

The Commissioners are required to provide an interim report by 31 October 2019, and a final report by 12 November 2020.

Visit the website to learn more about the work of the Royal Commission, and how you can engage with the Commission: including how submissions can be made, and when and where hearings will be held.