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Child Protection Systems Royal Commission

The Child Protection Systems Royal Commission was established in August 2014 to investigate the adequacy of the child protection system in South Australia.

Royal Commissioner Margaret Nyland and her team looked at the laws, policies, practices and structures currently in place for children at risk of harm, abuse or neglect including those who are under the guardianship of the minister.

Individuals and organisations were invited to make a submission and some were asked to give additional information, participate in a hearing, or provide sworn evidence.

During hearings the Commission heard from 381 witnesses including public servants, experts, non-government organisations and foster carers. This included a series of hearings in Mount Gambier and Port Augusta as well as five case studies.

The Commission received 374 submissions, examined 10,800 documents and conducted 74 stakeholder engagements.

Royal Commissioner Nyland made recommendations about improvements to the child protection system in her report which was delivered to the Governor on 5 August 2016.

Child Protection Systems Royal Commission report: 'The life they deserve'

There are no printed copies of the report available.

Download the full report: 'The life they deserve' (PDF 15.95MB)

Terms of reference (PDF 164KB)

Download the report in parts

Volume 1: summary and report

You can download volume 1 in parts:


In Chapter 22: Promoting System Transparency in Part VI: System-Wide Changes to Improve Safety, the third sentence of the fourth paragraph under the heading ‘Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee’ on page 584 reads:

“Private members receive a retention allowance of approximately $5,600 per year and are paid sitting fees.”

The correct information is as follows:

"Private members are offered sitting fees for attendance at committee meetings only. Some members opt to waive their entitlement to those fees. Government employees do not receive sitting fees as membership is considered part of their substantive employment. The Chair receives an annual retention allowance of $7200.”

Volume 2: case studies

Papers prepared for the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission: