Clarifying the guardianship issue

I know I was a bit vague in the last post about a couple of things and sometimes I just assume everyone knows what I am talking about...sorry!!

So here is a bit more information about the laws in Australia in regards to when a person with a disability turns 18.

Basically, when a person turns 18 in Australia, regardless of whether they have an intellectual disability or not, are legally an adult. Which means that legally, their parents cannot make their decisions for them, or be held responsible for their actions.

A person with a disability over the age of 18 needs to have a guardian appointed to them to help them make their decisions, particularly if they cannot make their decisions for themselves. In the eyes of the law, this doesn't automatically mean it will be one of their parents.

There is an application process and a hearing (with the relevant tribunal in your state-in Vic, it is VCAT) at which point it will be decided who the guardian will be.

You can read more about it here: Vic Law Reform Paper or here: Fachsia-People with a Disability

Every State in Australia will have a slightly different approach.

This is as much as I know at this stage. I do know of one of our WHS families who went through all of this with her daughter and had an awful time. It will stay in my mind forever I think and perhaps that is why it all scares me a bit.

I do need to do more research into it and hopefully the process isn't as awful as it sounds.


  1. Wow. I did not know that. Another unnecessary hassle.

  2. I know. I think I just try and block it out of my mind sometimes because it is way too hard to think about. Especially because it seems really bloody stupid.


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