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Self-advocacy toolkit

What you need to know for better aged care

Self-advocacy or speaking up means having the right information to get the care and support you need. Explore the topics below to start.

Home Self-advocacy toolkit Help with decision making Guardians and other substitute decision makers

Guardians and other substitute decision makers

You can choose to give someone you know and trust the power to make decisions for you in the event you are unable to communicate your preferences or can no longer make decisions.

Depending on the state or territory, they may be called

  • an enduring guardian
  • an attorney
  • a person responsible
  • a decision-maker

The authority you give them may include

  • the power to make decisions about your financial and legal affairs
  • decisions about your lifestyle (including where you live) and medical treatment.

A guardian/substitute decision-maker still need to act in line with your wishes and preferences.

If you lose your decision-making ability and you have not already formally appointed someone to manage your affairs, a guardianship board or tribunal can appoint a guardian and/or administrator on your behalf.

The laws are different in each state and territory (see below).

State and territory laws on substitute-decision makers

Visit the relevant website to view the laws in your state or territory.

ACT - Public Trustee and Guardian

Learn more about permanent and secure Trustee, Guardianship and Administration services for the Australian Capital Territory.

NSW - Trustee and Guardian

Information on trustee, financial management and guardianship services in New South Wales.

NT - Advance Personal Plan

Advance Personal Planning replaces enduring power of attorney in the Northern Territory. An Advance Personal Plan is a legal document that will set out your future health, financial and life choices should you be unable to make decisions for yourself.

QLD - Civil and Administrative Tribunal

QCAT decides applications about adults who may have impaired decision-making capacity in Queensland.

SA - Civil and Administrative Tribunal

SACAT can resolve issues with guardianship and advanced care directives in South Australia.

VIC - Office of the Public Advocate

The Public Advocate is an independent statutory officer, with considerable legislative power to promote and safeguard the rights and interests of people in Victoria.

WA - Office of the Public Advocate

The Office of the Public Advocate in Western Australia provides access to advocacy, guardianship and administration services which protect and promote the financial interests and welfare of adults who require support with decision-making.

Need more support?
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