ADA Australia

Guardianship Case Studies


Julie is a 29-year-old mother with dyslexia. An early abusive relationship led Julie’s family to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) where Julie’s sister was appointed as her administrator and guardian.

Over time, Julie found a more positive partner and began focusing on self-improvement, education, employment and learning to drive.  After 5 years living with her new partner and successfully budgeting and paying for all of her own expenses, Julie decided she wanted to regain control over her finances. Julies’ family was not supportive of this as they did not trust Julie’s partner.

Julie made contact with ADA Australia’s guardianship team who informed Julie on the QCAT process and assisted her to gather medical reports, references and evidence of her financial literacy. ADA Australia supported Julie at three QCAT hearings where her sister was gradually removed as a decision maker.


Louis a 50-year-old man with intellectual disabilities who made contact with ADA Australia’s guardianship team when a new service provider took over the management of his supported accommodation service.

Following disputes from Louis’ foster parents about the quality of the accommodation, the new service provider made an application to QCAT to have the Public Guardian appointed and contact between Louis and his foster parents restricted.

The QCAT tribunal member recognised that mediation may be the best approach in this scenario and referred the matter to a Compulsory Conference. ADA Australia supported Louis through this process by ensuring his wishes were heard, mediating between the parties, and assisting the tribunal by gathering further information.

Through mediation process it was agreed that Louis’ foster parents would be recognised as family and included in all decision making and information sharing. This agreement was later formalized with the appointment of Louis’ foster mother as Guardian.


Phillip, a single man with an intellectual disability, had lived with his mother for more than 50 years. Following the death of his mother, Phillip’s sister Susan encouraged Philip to complete an EPOA appointing her as his attorney for all areas. Susan immediately relocated Philip to a retirement village in Cairns, deliberately isolating him from other relatives and friends. Susan did not discuss any decisions with him and had all of his mail redirected.

Philip’s friend attended an ADA Australia information session at a respite centre and learnt that Susan was acting inappropriately. The friend acted as intermediary between ADA Australia and Philip, as Susan would monitor his phone calls. ADA Australia assisted Philip to liaise with his doctor and then remove Susan as the EPOA. ADA Australia helped Phillip to complete a new EPOA, and supported him to re-connect with other family members.

Philip has now regained control of his finances and all personal decisions, has reconnected with his relatives, and is working on returning home to Toowoomba.


Jackie, a 77-year-old widow who lives alone, was admitted to hospital following a fall. The hospital transferred Jackie into an aged care facility for rehabilitation and later worked with Jackie’s children to have her permanently placed, against her wishes, in the secure dementia unit of the facility.

Jackie’s friend contacted ADA Australia and sought assistance for Jackie. ADA Australia educated Jackie on the QCAT process, assisted her to obtain further medical evidence and advocated for Jackie at two QCAT hearings where the Public Trustee of Queensland and the Office of the Public Guardian were appointed as her decision makers.

Since the QCAT hearing, ADA Australia has connected Jackie with aged care home support services. Jackie now lives in the community with her friend.

If you think we may be able to assist you, please contact us. For more information on our Guardianship Team advocacy services, go to Guardianship Advocacy.

To access our Guardianship Resources, including downloadable forms, go to our Guardianship Resources page.