News | 18 May 2020

Statement: Tragic death of Anne-Marie Smith: People with disability deserve answers

Every Australian Counts NDIS Make it Work logos over a collection of blurry newspaper clippings

Grassroots campaign Every Australian Counts has been swamped by messages over the weekend from people with disability and their families devasted by the shocking circumstances of both her life and death and demanding a complete investigation.

Campaign Director Kirsten Deane said Anne-Marie had been failed by every system and every person in her life.

“Anne-Marie deserves justice. We expect those responsible for Anne-Marie’s horrific death be held accountable to the full extent of the law. For that reason, we do not want to say anything that may jeopardise the current police investigation and any subsequent court proceedings.

“Anne-Marie should have been enjoying a full life. She should have had every opportunity. Instead she has been failed by every system and person in her life. She lived and died in the most unimaginable and appalling way.

“We need to get to the bottom of how this happened and what we need to do to prevent it ever happening again.

“Every single system and agency involved in her life needs to be investigated. The National Disability Insurance Agency, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and various state agencies as well as service providers all have questions that must be answered. There must be a complete and thorough investigation to determine how this happened – and what needs to change to prevent it happening again.

“And while this case will undoubtedly be investigated by the Royal Commission, we cannot wait for their final report in four years time. Steps must immediately be taken to prevent this happening again.

“We are a community of people with disability and their families. This story touches every one of us. We feel both deep grief and incredible anger at the way Anne-Marie lived and died. We want and expect justice for her.”



If you find yourself struggling after reading this story, please reach out for help. Here are some numbers you might find helpful:

National Counselling and Referral Service 1800 421 468 or 02 6146 1468

Lifeline 13 11 14

Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732

National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1800 880 052

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission 1800 035 544

Or if you think you could benefit from speaking to an advocate, find someone near you.


Join the conversation