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Welcome to QAI

Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) is an independent, community-based systems and legal advocacy organisation for people with disability in Queensland, Australia.

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Who is QAI?

Find out more about Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, its mission and people.


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What is systems advocacy?

Learn more about systems advocacy and QAI's systems advocacy projects, past and present.


Need legal help?

Find out more about QAI's legal and support services for people with intellectual disability, cognitive impairment, mental illness or profound physical disability.

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Upcoming Events

Come to QAI's next forum.


Want to get involved?

Help QAI by becoming a member, making a donation or becoming a law student or legal professional volunteer.


Friday 30 August 2013
Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland
Level 17, 53 Albert Street Brisbane CBD

Wanted: Administration Assistant

 We are seeking a part-time Receptionist and Administration Officer for 2 days per week (Monday and Tuesday), 30 hours per fortnight. The Administration Officer provides support to the Director, Office Manager and other staff and is the first point of contact for most clients of the organisation.

This position will commence is January 2015.

Selection Criteria

1. Commitment to social justice prinicples including the promotion and protection of the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

2. Ability to assess client needs and issues and make appropriate referrals to agencies.

3. Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.

4. Strong organisational skills.

5. Proficiency in Microsoft Work, Excel and Outlook.

6. Proficiency in general office administration, including filing and minute taking.

The successful applicant will have excellent communication and organisational skills. You will have the ability to assess the needs and issues of clients and the ability to learn the skills to make appropriate referrals to agencies. Experience in MYOB and CLSIS is also highly desirable.

You will work as part of a friendly team at an advocacy organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending the fundamental needs and rights and lives of the most vulnerable people with disability in Queensland.

Please email your Cover Letter and Selection Criteria (1-2 pages) to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If you have any enquiries, please call our office on 07 3844 4200 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For a copy of the full position description, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Applications close at 5pm on Friday 12 December 2014.


‘Let’s make an end to institutional living’

Tuesday 25 November 2014

 Media Release

 ‘The only appropriate response to the  4 Corners story last night is for the Commonwealth, states and territories to take decisive action to close down institutions built to warehouse people with disability’ said QAI’s Director Michelle O’Flynn.

‘Abuse and cover-up:  when will government and service providers make the changes that they know need to happen?  It is incredible that management appears to have turned a blind eye, but complaints should be heard and heeded.   It only requires a few people to do nothing for abuse to thrive.   This can’t have been overlooked.  Where was the supervision and monitoring? Vulnerable people should not have to be the ones to keep drawing attention to abuse’ said Ms O’Flynn.

‘This is not just a case of one or two bad apples.  Group homes and other institutions force people with disability to be passive consumers.  Abuse would be much less likely if people with disability were calling the shots’ she said.

‘People with disability are just too vulnerable when they have no choice but to accept congregate living arrangements that breed predatory behaviour’.

‘We have been calling for an end to shared care for decades.  People must have a choice about who they live with’ said Ms O’Flynn.

‘The participants in our ‘Renaissance’ forum in July this year attested that their quality of life improved drastically once they put institutional life behind them and they were able to live independently.  They became employees and business owners instead of inmates, people instead of patients’ said Ms O’Flynn.  ‘They are not beholden to their supports and services’.

‘It’s time to put an end to the idea that it is okay to lump people with disability together and keep them out of sight and with no say in their lives. Queensland has its own Yooralla -  the inquiry into the Challinor and Basil Stafford Centre near Ipswich exposed horrendous abuse.  But that was just the tip of the iceberg.   Challinor was closed more than a decade ago, but we still have a long way to go before all Queenslanders with disability are free of institutional living – be it a boarding house, group home or hostel or large residential facility.    It is time for a national inquiry’ said Ms O’Flynn.



Queensland Advocacy Incorporated stands up for disability rights before the UN

Media Release

13 November 2014

Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) formed part of the Australian NGO Delegation reporting to the 53rd session of the United Nation’s Committee Against Torture in Geneva this week, calling upon the Australian Government to take immediate steps to halt ongoing human rights abuses in Australia.  At issue was the treatment of some of Australia’s most vulnerable and marginalised people, including people with disabilities, asylum seekers, women, children and Indigenous peoples.

“Of particular concern to us is the use of Restrictive Practices on people with disabilities, which include mechanical, physical and chemical restraint, seclusion, containment and restricting access to objects,” David Manwaring, Human Rights lawyer at QAI, informed the Committee. 

“In spite of previous recommendations and findings of this Committee and the Special Rapporteur, many people with disabilities continue to be routinely subjected to Restrictive Practices as a means of coercion, discipline and punishment.”

“Discrimination plays a large part in this.  Restrictive Practices constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and are often tantamount to torture within the meaning of the Convention”, Mr Manwaring submitted.

QAI also informed the Committee of concerns that the detention of people with disabilities who refuse treatment under mental health laws and sanctioning of the use of invasive and irreversible treatments such as psychosurgery, ECT and sterilisation constitute human rights violations.

Michelle O’Flynn, Director of QAI, expressed her satisfaction with the significant interest the Committee expressed in learning of Australia’s response to our obligations under the Convention since the last reporting in 2008. 

“QAI has a strong commitment to improving the lives of people with disabilities and to this end, we are dedicated to promoting the principles set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” Ms O’Flynn said.

“Many people with disability are not in a position to advocate for themselves.  Queensland Advocacy Incorporated calls upon the Federal Government to take decisive action to stamp out these practices, which in our view amount to torture, as an urgent priority,” she said.

“Under the present state government we have recently seen a further erosion of the safeguards for people with disabilities.  Queensland is presently an outlier as regards its regulation of the use of Restrictive Practices, and people with disabilities are at the pointy end of this sword,” Ms O’Flynn said.

Recommendations made by QAI to the UN Committee include immediate ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (which Australia signed in May 2009 but has yet to ratify); drafting a human rights act; developing a national plan of positive behavioural support strategies; and developing effective mechanisms to identify and eliminate the use of Restrictive Practices.

The Australian Delegation was led by Ngila Bevan, Human Rights Advisor from People with Disability Australia (PWDA), and included representatives from QAI, Amnesty International Australia, Human Rights Law Centre, First Peoples Disability Network, Women With Disabilities Australia, Care Leavers Australia Network, Survivors Network of Abuse by Priests, Remedy Australia and the Association for the Prevention of Torture.


Australian Delegation at the United Nations Convention Against Torture in Geneva, Switzerland.


United Nations Convention Against Torture

Our Director Michelle O'Flynn and Human Rights Lawyer David Manwaring were fortunate enough to receive a grant of funding from the Australian Human Rights Commission to appear before the Committee at the United Nations Convention Against Torture in Geneva Switzerland. David's statement can be found here.



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Upcoming Events


Joe Hockey: HANDS OFF the NDIS!!! Leave the NDIA in place and Don't move it to Medibank

Please sign QAI'S petition to show Joe Hockey that you support people with disability and recognise the importance of keeping the NDIA out of the medical model.

SAVE THE DATE!Friday 30 August 2013
Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland
Level 17, 53 Albert Street Brisbane CBD

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Contact Us

Our street address is:
2nd Floor, South Central
43 Peel Street (Cnr Merivale Street)

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 3302

Ph: (07) 3844 4200
Within Qld:   1300 130 582
Fax:  (07) 3844 4220

Feedback & complaints

Help us to improve the way we provide assistance by completing our client feedback survey online.

Alternatively, a hard copy of the survey is available here.

If you wish to make a complaint about QAI, please see our complaints policy.

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