Our role with adults - Office of the Public Guardian

Our role with adults

Our charter is to:

  • Make personal and health decisions for adults with impaired decision-making capacity if we are their guardian or attorney
  • Investigate allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation of adults with impaired decision-making capacity
  • Advocate and mediate for people with impaired decision-making capacity, and educate the public on the guardianship system.

We also support the important protective role that community visitors have in Queensland by administering the Community Visitor Program.

The Public Guardian Act 2014 sets out our legislative functions and powers. The Powers of Attorney Act 1998 regulates the authority for adults to appoint substitute decision-makers.

We have offices in Brisbane, Ipswich, Townsville and Cairns while regional staff operate from local court houses up and down the state.

Impaired decision-making capacity

The law presumes everyone has capacity to make their own decisions. You cannot assume someone has impaired decision-making capacity without sufficient evidence.

‘Capacity’ is the ability to:

  • understand the nature and effect of decisions about a matter
  • freely and voluntarily make decisions about the matter, and
  • communicate the decisions in some way.

Just because someone has impaired decision-making capacity doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t make any decisions. Many people with impaired decision-making capacity can be supported to make decisions for themselves. The law states that people with impaired decision-making capacity have a right to adequate and appropriate support in decision-making.

Community education

We are committed to educating and advising the community about the operations of Queensland’s guardianship legislation. This includes educating service providers and the general public by conducting education sessions for government and non-government agencies, attending disability and aged care expos, and making presentations at educational institutions, hospitals and accommodation facilities.

If you would like an information session or would like us to attend an event please complete our Community Education Request form.