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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.


ndis rally 2012

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

Annual Report 2014

now available  



ALLtogether 2014

Would you like to be part of

ALLtogether 2014  

International Day of People with Disability  c

elebration event?

ALLtogether 2014 | Sunday 30 November 2014

State Library of Queensland | 10am – 4pm | Free

Be part of a unique day that unites everyone to celebrate and acknowledge the talent, experience and expertise of people with disability.


We are seeking expressions of interest for:

  • Performerssong, dance, spoken word - 20 minute performance spaces
  • Art and craft market place stall holdersthis will be a great opportunity for people to purchase unique gifts for Christmas
  • Advocacy and information stall holderswe would like to see as many groups and organisations involved

Please register your interest with the Event Coordinator by email or phone by 29th August 2014.

Lyn Thompson, Event Coordinator

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 07 3842 9058

ALLtogether 2014  sponsorship opportunities

Becoming a sponsor of ALLtogether 2014 is an ideal way for your company or organisation to show your support and help increase public awareness of the benefits of the integration of people with disability in every aspect of life. For more information about sponsorship opportunities please contact Lyn Thompson, Event Coordinator.

ALLTogether 2014 presented by State Library of Queensland and UnitingCare Community.


Federal Government Payment Scheme set to silence workers on slave pay rates


22 January 2014

Federal Government Payment Scheme set to silence workers on slave pay rates

QAI supports the action taken by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and AED Legal Centre to protect the interests of workers with intellectual impairment from further discrimination and disadvantage.

We at QAI have maintained that the BSWAT assessment tool is anathema to workers with intellectual impairment.  This tool enables discrimination against these workers to be paid at rates that would cause outrage in any other part of our community. “To pay a worker anything less than the going rate is slave labour.” said Michelle O’Flynn from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated.

Use of BSWAT has been deemed discrimination by the Federal Court. The Federal Government now seeks an exemption under the discrimination laws to allow the use of the BSWAT pending the implementation of a new wage setting approach.

Maurice Blackburn has lodged a class action to recover underpayments for 10,000 workers with disability. In response, the Government has offered eligible workers what may well be a one-off payment in return for relinquishing the right to take action.

Australian Disability Enterprises (sheltered workshops) are the employers who are most likely to use the BSWAT assessment tool in order to pay workers with intellectual impairment as little as possible.  It is time that all employers paid award rates to all workers with disability and did not rely on slave wages in order to remain viable.  “The action of the federal government is a sad indictment of their treatment of and lack of value for people with intellectual disability.  We hope that Ministers Andrews and Fifield will reconsider this plan and deliver equity for all workers.” said Ms. O’Flynn


Michelle O’Flynn

Acting Director




Emergency Evacuations - Radio Interview

22 January 2014

ABC Radio Interview

Rebecca McLaren from ABC Radio interviewed QAI's Acting Director Michelle O'Flynn about emergency warning and how they affect people with disabilities, and what they can do in the event of an emergency.  Here is a brief summary of that discussion:

Emergency warnings can affect different people in different ways.  They are usually high volume to attract attention, are strident and can send anyone into a panic.  This can frighten some people with disabilities, make others feel helpless, or set some people into action.

It is vital that people are known in their neighbourhoods so that if such a crisis should occur that they will be known, and people will think to offer assistance.  People with disability and their families or supporters should introduce themselves to the neighbours, and if possible invite them for a cuppa as  a neighbourly gesture.  Sometimes offering to water a neighbour’s plants or feed the cat while they are away will illustrate that people with disabilities are great neighbours, and this may prompt a reciprocal arrangement and the beginnings of a friendship or at least a good neighbourhood.  In times of emergencies, neighbours will remember the person who is deaf in their street, of the person who is blind and may need some help to guide them to safety, or to help someone who has an intellectual impairment and who may be very frightened and confused.

Emergency warnings should include reminders to people to help one another, the elderly neighbour, the young people home alone with working parents, the young mother with a baby and people with disability.  People with disability and their families or supporters should  practice exits, and ensure that they know what is important to take if they have to leave, and what to leave behind.  Such information should be included in the written and aural emergency warnings.




QAI seeks law student volunteers

Important dates:

  • Applications close: Friday 07/02/14, 5pm 
  • Notification of successful applicants: Friday 14/02/14
  • Induction session: Friday 28/02/14 at 9.30am. (Approximately 1.5 hours)
  • Volunteer program start: week commencing 03/03/14

Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) has 6 volunteer positions available for senior law students to support the solicitors and staff of the Human Rights Legal Service, Mental Health Legal Service and systemic advocacy programs. QAI is located in South Brisbane.

Students will be involved in tasks ranging from legal research and drafting, to preparation of counsel briefs, photocopying and other administrative tasks.

Due to the training involved, students are expected to commit to at least 1 day per week for 12 weeks. Volunteers should be available either Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Fridays (students will be given the option of whether they wish to volunteer through the mid-semester break and finish early).

Interested applicants should provide their CV and 1 page covering letter to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please indicate which day you will be available to volunteer.

Please ensure that your 1 page covering letter addresses the following selection criteria:

1. Commitment to social justice principles and interest in QAI's work

2. Penultimate or final year of study (priority is given to students in their final year of study);

3. What you hope to get out of volunteering with QAI.

Applications that do not address this selection criteria will not be considered.

For more information about QAI and its services, please see their website on

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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

Donate Now

Make a Donation

Disability Watch

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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NACLC Accreditation