Acting Director, Legal Services and Investigations: Michelle Emeleus

Michelle Emeleus is the acting Official Solicitor and Director of Legal Services and Investigations at the Office of the Public Guardian. Michelle leads and manages four teams of legal officers and investigators:

  • Corporate and Legal Practice Team — provides legal advice and assistance to the Public Guardian and her delegate officers on the performance of statutory functions and exercise of statutory powers.
  • Children and Young People Team — perform individual child advocacy functions for children and young people in the child protection system, including in courts and tribunals.
  • Adult Team — legally trained guardians who advocate and make decisions for adults with impaired decision-making capacity in areas of law such as criminal, mental health, child protection and domestic violence.
  • Investigations Team — investigate the decision-making arrangements for adults with impairments to ensure they are lawful, appropriate and that the adult is protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Social Work. She was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia in 2003. Michelle has practised as a criminal defence lawyer in private practice and at Legal Aid Queensland. She also worked as a civilian senior prosecutor at Queensland Police Service and as a principal solicitor managing legal service provision across branch offices.

Michelle has a particular interest in alternative justice approaches and improving access to justice for vulnerable and disadvantaged people. She worked in Drug Court and Murri Court for nine years, and in child protection for six years. Michelle lectured and tutored first year law at James Cook University for four years. Michelle joined the Office of the Public Guardian in 2015.