Guardianship and Administration Orders and Your Rights

The Guardianship and Administration Act 1993 includes a set of principles which guide the application of decision making by the South Australian Civil & Administrative Tribunal ("the Tribunal"), guardians and financial administrators who are applying this law. 

These principles mean that decisions about you and for you should

  • be matched to how you have lived your life, your beliefs and your interests
  • reflect your wishes wherever possible
  • keep the good supports and contacts in your life without interference
  • keep interference in your life to a minimum provided always that your health and wellbeing is adequately protected

If you do not think that these principles are being followed then you have a right to say so.  Others can also raise these issues on your behalf with the Tribunal, the guardian or the administrator.

Your rights and the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA)

You can obtain information and advice on your rights from the OPA Information Service.

If you are a client of the OPA, then you should expect that workers will apply the above principles to decision making on your behalf.  If you are able to make some of your own decisions then you should expect that you will be allowed to do this.

The Office of the Public Advocate has a Complaints and Feedback system to deal with any concerns that you might have about how it applies these principles.  See Office of the Public Advocate Complaints Policy

Appealing orders made by the Guardianship Board (decision made prior to 30/03/2015)

An appeal is a challenge to a decision or order.  It involves taking the matter to a higher body to see if this body believes the correct decision or order was made.  Decisions of the Guardianship Board can be appealed to a higher court known as the District Court.

Appeal forms to appeal a decison made prior to 30 March 2015 can be obtained from the OPA or the District Court.

Appealing orders made by the South Australian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal)

If a person disagrees with an order made by the Tribunal they can apply for an 'internal review' by senior members of the Tribunal. The review is a fresh look at the decision, taking into account the information provided when the order or decision was made and any new information accepted by the Tribunal. An application for internal review must be made within one month of the date of the order or decision, though the Tribunal may grant an extension of time if it is just and reasonable to do so.

To access the online appeal form visit www.sacat.sa.gov.au

For more information on Appeals see information sheet Reviews & Appeals (Guardianship and Administration Act 1993).

Legal Assistance for an Appeal

A legal representation scheme is available free of charge to the person the order under review is about, regardless of who applied for review. The person is entitled to be represented by a lawyer and can be provided with a lawyer through the scheme. Other parties to a review will need to make their own arrangements and payment for legal representation.

Changed circumstances and Board orders

The circumstances which led to the Board making an order may change over time.   The Tribunal sets a review date to reconsider the orders but it is possible to approach the Tribunal for an earlier review if desired.   Reasons might be - improvement in mental incapacity, concerns about the actions of a guardian or administrator, the need for more orders.

Dealing with other services

All government and community services have systems of dealing with concerns that clients and their families might wish to raise.  You may find this in writing on websites, in brochures or by making a phone call.