Support to change Victoria Legislation
Yooralla supports the Office of the Public Advocate Position Statement and the position of advocates and disability representative organisations who are lobbying for change to the Victoria legislation which limits the rights of people with disability to share their experiences publicly.
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 currently prevents people with disability under guardianship or administration orders from sharing their experiences in the public domain and with media. This is at odds with the decision principles in the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 which state that the person’s will and preference should only be overridden to prevent serious harm.
While safety and privacy are a factor, the Act conflicts with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disability, which provides the rights of people with disability to freedom of expression and opinion (article 21) and the participation in political and public life (article 29).
Yooralla supports the Disability Royal Commissions (DRC) call for changes to legislation and widespread use of supported decision making which starts with the understanding that all people with disability have decision making capacity – like many of us, some will need supporters to help them make decisions about our lives. Specifically, the DRC’s final report calls for the following reforms to guardianship and administration legislation:
- Recommendation 6.5: to recognise and promote the rights of people with disability in line with the UNCRPD, with reference to article 12, equal recognition before the law.
- Recommendation 6.12: to repeal provisions prohibiting publication as the default position and empowering the tribunal to make an order prohibiting publication where the circumstances justify such an order (considering the will and preferences of the person).
These recommendations support greater accountability and transparency by supporting people with disability, who have experienced guardianship and administration, to share their experiences in their own words.
Even where under guardianship or administration, their dignity and human rights and choices must be respected. We believe that the voice of people with disability is critical to the reform required across the disability sector. Without amplifying the voices of those with disability, violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation can continue. Yooralla believes that a key to ensuring people with disability are safe is to ensure it is safe for them to raise their voice – and for the public to listen and act.
Support Uli Cartwright's campaign
Uli Cartwright’s campaign is calling for changes to Schedule 1 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Clause 37). The Act currently prevents people under guardianship or administration from sharing their experiences.