Our Consultant lawyer was recently involved in representing a gentleman in his 50’s who had been placed in an aged care facility by his guardian (from the Office of the Public Advocate). Damian (not his real name, of course) applied for help from Law Access after trying to represent himself before the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) without success but had in the meantime successfully applied for an appeal on the decision. Damian initially was placed under a limited guardianship and a full administration order some 3 years ago when he went through some serious emotional and physical health issues and ended up in hospital. Damian recently appeared with our Consultant before a full 3 member panel at the SAT with a Judge presiding and Avon Legal successfully argued that the Guardianship Order and an Administrative Order should be revoked.
This case represents the reality of what might happen when people in Damian’s position, (no next of kin and estranged from his only family), do not have an enduring power of attorney or an enduring power of guardianship prepared for them when they are in good health and in a good state of mind. Damian’s story is not unique and we are hearing more and more often of ‘young’ people, even in their 30’s, being placed in an aged care facility and having all their rights and decision making capabilities taken away from them when the office of the Public Advocate and the Public Trustee are appointed to make decisions for them.