A lot of people planning to make a submission to the Aged Care Royal Commission in Australia are finding it hard to decide where to start, so I’ve put together this brief guide that will help you plan your submission and make things easier for you.
I recommend starting off by drawing up a rough plan. Only you will see this plan, so don’t worry about making it perfect. Put your records away for now and just start writing everything that you can think of that you want to include in your submission.
If you are finding it difficult to get started, check out the guide provided here: https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/submissions/Pages/Guidance-on-making-a-submission.aspx Not all of these areas will be relevant to you, but there is plenty there to start you off.
A lot of people prefer to use a pen and paper at this stage, but a word document is fine too. Spend as long as you need on this stage of the planning process. Don’t worry about going into too much detail here, just include enough information so you will know what you mean later on.
Once you feel that you have included all the information you want to include in your submission it’s time to plan your first draft. Firstly, have a look at your plan and decide how you are going to order your submission. You may want to go in chronological order, or perhaps you would prefer to group information in the same order of the guidelines provided above.
Next, go through your rough plan and add headings for all of your information following the order that you decided on earlier. Make notes beneath your headings regarding any supporting documentation you wish to include.
Now you are ready to begin your final draft. Underneath each of your headings write down exactly what happened, where it happened, who was involved, and why you think it is relevant to the Royal Commission. You may want to go back over these guidelines and your records to make sure you’ve included all relevant information.
Include a note to indicate whether you will also be including supporting documentation in regards to each incident if applicable.
Make sure you stick to the facts and incidents that happened to you or your family member/friend. These incidents can be emotionally charged, but your submission will be clearer and hold more power if you do your best to simply write about what happened.
For your first paragraph, I recommend including information regarding who you are, why you are making a submission to the Royal Commission, whether it is on behalf of another person, and the service this submission is about. If you are making an anonymous submission, make sure this information doesn’t reveal your identity.
Remember to make a separate submission for each service you have experience of.
Once you have finished your final draft, read over it again and check your plan to make sure you have included all of your information. Run your document through spell check and also read through carefully to make sure it is clear, concise, and free from obvious spelling and grammar errors.
Please don’t feel pressured to have a perfect document, as long as it is clear and readable. If you are still unsure, I am happy to confidentially proofread your submission. Email ACRCSH1@gmail.com
You can make an anonymous submission to the Royal Commission. Your submission will still be considered, although you won’t be notified of any outcomes.
The Royal Commission emphasised that it is unlawful for an employer to take punitive action against an employee or ex-employee who provides evidence or a submission to the Royal Commission. If you have any concerns about this or a related issue, please contact your ANMF branch for support immediately http://anmf.org.au/documents/ANMF_Royal_Commission_Update2.pdf
Submissions can be made online at https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/submissions/Pages/default.aspx (this is the preferred method). Prepare your submission on a word document first and you can then copy and paste it into the submission form.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to prepare your submission offline first, the submission form can be downloaded from Aged Care Royal Commission – online submissions form (PDF 467KB) and completed offline, either digitally or by printing and then scanning the document.
This form can then be submitted by beginning the online submission form and uploading your completed form when prompted, or emailing it to ACRCenquiries@royalcommission.gov.au
If you are unable to communicate via email please phone the Royal Commission on 1800 960 711 to make alternative arrangements.
If you have concerns that information that you are considering providing to the Commission may be defamatory, you should consider seeking independent legal advice.
Please note that preparing a submission for the Royal Commission can be an emotional experience and trigger distressing memories. If you or somebody you know is struggling, please seek help. Every submission is important, but please make sure you take care of yourself first.