When the Public Advocate is appointed as guardian
When Victoria’s Public Advocate is appointed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to be guardian for a person, she may delegate this role to one of her staff from the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA).
The VCAT order will specify the types of personal and lifestyle decisions the OPA guardian may make for the person. These could be decisions about:
- access to services
- access to the person
- medical treatment.
Decisions about accommodation
This means the guardian may decide where the person lives, or does not live, and with whom the person lives.
Decisions about access to services
This means the guardian may make decisions about what services the person receives. For example, home care services, an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) assessment or a day placement. It may also include accessing services funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Decisions about access to the person
This means the guardian may consent, or withhold consent, to proposals about whom the person should see, visit, be visited by, or otherwise have contact with (for example, telephone contact, or contact in writing). It may also involve a guardian deciding where, when and how the contact can or should occur.
Decisions about medical treatment
This means the guardian can consent to, or refuse, medical treatment for the person. The guardian must make the decision that they reasonably believe the person would have made if they were able to make the decision.
How the OPA guardian makes decisions
Under the Guardianship and Administrative Act 1986, the guardian must act in the best interests of the person, and make decisions that are least restrictive of the person’s freedom of decision and action, as is possible.
The guardian must:
- act as an advocate for the person
- act in the best interests of the person
- take the person’s wishes into account when making decisions
- encourage the person, as far as possible, to make decisions and act for themselves
- encourage the person to participate as much as possible in the life of the community
- protect the person from neglect, abuse or exploitation.
For further information, contact OPA on 1300 309 337.