The Public Advocate has an important role in systemic advocacy. Our advocacy efforts are directed towards fulfilling the functions outlined in the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993.
For example, in recent years the Public Advocate has lobbied for the establishment of the Community Visitors Schemes, improvements in Forensic Services and Disability Services, new approaches to restrictive practices and amendments to the Mental Health Act 2009 and the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993.
The OPA has also participated in project work to support reforms in Advance Care Directives, the promotion and protection of the rights of vulnerable adults, identification of the needs of family who are appointed as guardians and trialling supported decision making to assist vulnerable individuals to make their own decisions.
There are some situations when the OPA will assist an individual through advocacy. This may include assisting carers or family guardians to negotiate with service providers or representing the interests of an individual who has a mental incapacity and is experiencing discrimination, abuse or neglect.