The different agencies in Queensland's guardianship and administration system

With the word ‘public’ appearing in the name of three independent agencies involved Queensland’s guardianship and administration system, it can sometimes be difficult to know what the difference is, and what each agency does.

The Office of the Public Guardian, the Public Trustee and the Office of the Public Advocate are all independent statutory agencies who work together to protect and promote the rights of Queensland adults with impaired decision-making capacity.

Office of the Public Guardian

The Public Guardian can act as a substitute decision maker of last resort for Queensland adults with impaired decision-making capacity. The Public Guardian can make decisions about accommodation, health care, legal (not related to finance or property) and other personal matters.

The Public Guardian must be appointed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to act as a guardian for a person.

The Public Guardian can also be appointed as a person’s attorney to make decisions on their behalf. A person can appoint the Public Guardian to be their attorney under an enduring power of attorney document.

The Public Guardian can also investigate allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults with impaired decision-making capacity.

For more information, you can call the Office of the Public Guardian on 1300 653 187 or visit their website at www.publicguardian.qld.gov.au

The Public Trustee

The Public Trustee can act as an administrator (a substitute decision-maker for financial matters) for adults with impaired decision-making capacity. The Public Trustee can make decisions about financial matters, but cannot make decisions about accommodation, health care, legal or other personal matters.

The Public Trustee must be appointed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to act a person’s administrator.

The Public Trustee can also be appointed as a person’s attorney to make financial decisions on their behalf. A person can appoint The Public Trustee to be their attorney under an enduring power of attorney document.

The Public Trustee also provides other services to Queenslanders. These include will making, enduring powers of attorney, deceased estate administration and other financial management services. For more information, you can call The Public Trustee on 1300 360 044 or visit their website at www.pt.qld.gov.au.

Office of the Public Advocate

The Public Advocate protects and promotes the rights, autonomy and participation of Queenslanders with impaired decision-making capacity through systemic advocacy. We focus on influencing and changing the systems that impact on people with impaired decision-making capacity, including the legislative, policy and service aspects of those systems.

Unlike the Public Guardian or Public Trustee, the Public Advocate does not investigate individual complaints or allegations. We are, however, interested in the experiences of people with impaired decision-making capacity to inform our work.

The work of the Public Advocate is not limited to people who are subject to guardianship or administration. It involves advocating for the inclusion of all people with impaired decision-making capacity in all aspects of community life. For more information about us or our systems advocacy, you can call us on 07 3738 9513 or visit our website at www.publicadvocate.qld.gov.au.

To view this information in a PDF format please click here.