In May 1995, the South Australian media carried reports that the 'secret women's business' had been fabricated. Five Ngarrindjeri women reportedly said that they did not believe in or had never heard of the 'secret women's business' until it had been raised by Doreen Kartinyeri. In June 1995 there were further allegations that two prominent members of the Ngarrindjeri community – Doug and Sarah Milera – had confirmed the allegations of fabrication.
In response, the South Australian Government established a Royal Commission on 16 June 1995. A former South Australian District Court judge, Mrs Iris Stevens, was appointed as Royal Commissioner. In brief, the Royal Commissioner was appointed to inquire into and report on whether any aspect of the 'women's business' was a fabrication and, if so, how the fabrication occurred, its extent and purpose.
Controversy plagued the work of the Royal Commission. The 'proponent women' refused to give evidence to the Commission; 'dissident' Ngarrindjeri women claimed threats and intimidation; Ngarrindjeri elder, Doug Milera reportedly withdrew his allegations that the 'secret women's business' had been fabricated; amateur historian, Betty Fisher, told the Commission she had first been told of the 'secret women's business' in 1960; and white male anthropologists from the South Australian Museum disputed the existence of the 'secret women's business'.
The Royal Commission's report was published in December 1995. Its major findings were:
"Not the Slightest Shred of Evidence": A Reply to Philip Clarke's "Response to 'Secret Women's Business.'" (Response to Article in Journal of Australian Studies, No. 50/ 51, 1996, P. 141)(fatal Shores)
Jun 01, 1997; That is a problem that I have within myself, in that, had there not been a question to do with this Hindmarsh Island business of...