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Public hearing 30: Guardianship, substituted and supported decision-making

The Royal Commission’s thirtieth public hearing was held in Sydney Olympic Park from 21 to 25 November 2022 at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park, 11A Olympic Blvd, Sydney Olympic Park.

Public hearing 30 of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation examined Australian guardianship and administration laws and policies with a particular focus on how substituted decision-making impacts on the rights of people with disability.  

The Royal Commission heard from witnesses with lived and direct experience from Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, and from advocates and Public Guardians and Public Trustees.

The scope and purpose of Public hearing 30 was to:

  • listen to the experiences of people with disability who have been subject to guardianship or financial administration orders

  • examine the assumptions about capacity and decision-making, including fluctuating capacity at different times of a person’s life

  • explore the barriers for people with disability participating in guardianship and administration proceedings and the impact of the decisions on their lives

  • consider why substituted decision-making (such as guardianship and financial administration) appears not to be used as a last resort and why models of supported decision-making are not more widely used as an alternative to substituted decision-making

  • examine supported decision-making models for people with disability

  • consider what safeguards may be appropriate to reduce violence, neglect and exploitation of people with disability in the context of both substituted and supported decision-making.

Anyone who believes they have a direct and substantial interest in the subject matter of this hearing, as outlined in Practice Guideline 6, is able to make an application for leave to appear by 5pm on Monday 14 November 2022.

Read our Glossary containing abbreviations and words specific to Public hearing 30.