Office of the Public Advocate VIC

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

The powers and duties of the Public Advocate are set out in section 16 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 and include:

  • advocating for the human rights and interests of a person with a disability

  • providing information and advice about the Guardianship and Administration Act and the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016

  • investigating allegations of exploitation or abuse of people with disability

  • investigating, reporting and making recommendations to VCAT regarding the need for guardianship or administration

  • being a guardian, if appointed by VCAT.

As part of this role, OPA runs an advice and information service for:

  • people with disability

  • their family, carers and friends

  • professionals from the health, human services, legal, community services and government sectors.

OPA staff can provide information and advice on a diverse range of matters affecting people with disability, including:

  • guardianship and administration

  • enduring powers of attorney

  • medical treatment decision-making

  • matters affecting people with disability

  • referral to OPA's Community Visitors Program.