Substitute Decision-Maker Toolkit Project

The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) and Office for Ageing Well, SA Health (OAW) have joined together to develop and deliver the ‘Substitute Decision-Maker Toolkit Project’.

The project will develop a toolkit of resources. The resources will provide clear, consistent and accessible information and education for Substitute Decision-Makers (SDMs) who are appointed under an Advance Care Directive (ACD) about their important role. It will also help individuals appointing an SDM feel more confident that their wishes will be honoured.

A person with decision-making capacity can plan for a time, when they may not have capacity to make decisions, by appointing someone to be their SDM under an Advance Care Directive (ACD). An ACD is a document that records a person’s wishes, preferences and instructions for their future health care, living arrangements and personal matters if for a time, they are not able to communicate their wishes or make their own decisions. 

As an SDM, you may be required to make decisions about someone’s lifestyle, living arrangements and healthcare. These decisions should reflect the preferences, values and beliefs of the person that the decision is being made about.

A consultation process that includes focus groups and an online survey, will assist us to determine the types of resources we should develop and what information to include in the SDM toolkit. We would appreciate hearing from stakeholders including individuals with lived experience of developing an ACD or being an SDM. Your opportunity to participate in an online survey is now underway and will conclude at the end of March 2022. Please see the link here below to our survey that should take approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  

SDM Toolkit Project SURVEY


Following this consultation process, the toolkit of resources will be developed in mid-2022. The project will promote the finalised toolkit and resources throughout South Australia, including through education workshops in late 2022 and early 2023.


For more information on the project, please review our information flyer below.

SDM Toolkit Project FLYER


Alternatively, you can contact for more information or to enquire about other participation opportunities.

We will update the OPA website as the project develops.


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For more information on Advance Care Directives, please see -  

Advance Care Directive | Office of the Public Advocate (

For more information on being a Substitute Decision-Maker, please see - 

Substitute Decision Making | Office of the Public Advocate (