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First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


NPY Women's Council submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Aboriginal community controlled organisations National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Disability First Peoples health Neglect (People) Exploitation (People) Northern Territory

The NPY Women’s Council’s Tjungu team has presented a submission to the Royal Commission that identifies the experience of people living with a disability on the NPY lands.

Anangu (Aboriginal people from the NPY Lands) society in remote communities has its own traditional culture, lifestyle and language. Rates of disability are at least twice those of mainstream Australia, and poverty is endemic in these remote communities.

Key points:

  • Services are basic on community, with medical and allied health specialists visiting for “fly in fly out” visits or not at all. Both ongoing therapeutic support programs and day-to-day support workers are limited or not available in most communities. Prescription and provision of assistive technology is subject to long delays as are maintenance and repairs. Equipment that people with disabilities have is not always the most appropriate for the challenges of the remote environment, and buildings and public transport vehicles are often not disability accessible.
  • Anangu with disability have clearly stated that they want to continue living on their traditional country with family and culture despite the lack of services in remote areas.
  • Endemic poverty in remote communities leave Anangu with a disability and their carers focused on their immediate survival needs, therapeutic services can be seen as a secondary priority. Anangu people with a disability are then vulnerable to neglect and abuse due to day to day with limited access to basic resources such as food.
  • There is a lack of understanding from entities such as NDIS about the support Anangu want and need due to cultural and language barriers.

Funding is needed for people with disability who are not eligible for an NDIS Plan. There needs to be funding available to support people with disability who are unable to meet the threshold for NDIS eligibility or those who choose not to engage with NDIS. In order to support Anangu to continue living on country and to ensure carer well-being, it is imperative that there are sources of funding available to support people with disability who don’t have an NDIS Plan but want to continue living on country with their families. The ability to access regular respite and other practical support can be critical for maintaining people in the caring role.

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