Villamanta recognised with 2023 Public Advocate's Award

The Public Advocate, Colleen Pearce, presented Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service with the 2023 Public Advocate's Award at Parliament House on 20 November 2023.

The annual Public Advocate's Award recognises an organisation that goes above and beyond in their dedication to enhancing the lives of people with disability.

Dr Pearce described Villamanta as "steadfast allies, fighting tirelessly for the rights of people facing disability-related justice issues".

"In the realm of disability accommodation in particular, Villamanta has been at the forefront, fighting to protect tenancy rights and ensure that people with disability have a secure and supportive living environment."

Dr Pearce spoke about a situation where OPA became aware of a person with disability being held in limbo in hospital unable to be discharged because their Supported Disability Accommodation Provider would not engage in discharge support planning, allow the person to return home or provide suitable alternative accommodation, as they were required to do under the Residential Tenancies Act. 

Rent continued to be charged and paid for over a year while the person remained in hospital.

"Villamanta picked up the matter, providing invaluable assistance that ultimately led to the individual being discharge from hospital to a new home and provider."

Dr Pearce noted that Villamanta's reach extends beyond individual cases.

"Their advocacy encompasses the NDIS, where they tirelessly fight for access to and support during appeals made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, ensuring individuals receive the assistance they deserve.

"Additionally, Villamanta has made substantial contributions to various initiatives, including addressing "gag laws," responding to the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework Independent Review, participating in the Disability Royal Commission and responding to the Public Consultation Draft: Psychotropic Medicines in Cognitive Disability or Impairment Clinical Care Standard

"The work of Villamanta exemplifies the spirit of advocacy and dedication to promoting the rights, fairness, and safety of individuals with disability. Today, we celebrate their remarkable achievements and express our gratitude for the positive impact they continue to make in the lives of people experiencing significant vulnerabilities."

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