Individual advocacy

QAI Services

QAI provides the following inidividual advocacy services

Human Rights Legal Service (HRLS) – provides specialist legal advice, referral and representation for vulnerable persons with disability in Queensland. The HRLS gives priority to assisting persons with impaired capacity who are subject to restrictive practices and involuntary treatment in Queensland.

Mental Health Legal Service (MHLS) –   is a specialist legal service dedicated to providing free legal assistance in relation to mental health law in Queensland.

Justice Support Program (JSP) –   supports people with disability to remain in the community and prevent any further entrenchment into the criminal justice system

NDIS Appeals Support –  provides non-legal advocacy, support and referral to people with disability and their families for NDIS Appeals.

Disability Royal Commission – Advocacy support for the Disability Royal Commission will be available from 18th November, 2019

Who does QAI help?

To be eligible for assistance, the client must have (or have been diagnosed with) a mental illness, intellectual disability, cognitive impairment, acquired brain injury or profound physical disability

QAI will want to speak directly with the person in need of assistance. QAI is respectful of and encourages the assistance of family, friends and other support people. However, unless exceptional circumstances exist, only a person with disability can be a client of QAI. 

QAI will only speak with family, friends and other support people with the informed and freely given consent of the client. 

Family or carers seeking their own advice and support can contact:

What areas of law can QAI help with?

We can only assist in matters relating to Queensland laws, or people in Queensland affected by Commonwealth laws.


Legal services are available for:

Abuse/neglect and/or serious injury

Decision making 
guardianship, Public Guardian, administration, Public Trustee, capacity to make decisions, substitute decision making 
Advice only for (not drafting these documents): enduring power of attorneys, power of attorneys, advance health directives, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) hearings 

Discrimination (advice only)

Life sustaining measures and end of life, information privacy, confidentiality

Intellectual or cognitive disability
forensic orders (disability), restrictive practices (seclusion, containment, mechanical, chemical or physical restraint, restricting access), lack of services resulting in possible admission to a hospital, prison or other facility

Mental health
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), treatment authorities (formerly known as Involuntary Treatment Orders ITOs), forensic orders, patient transfers, involuntary treatment, treatment support orders, confidentiality orders, Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) hearings, seclusion, physical, chemical or mechanical restraint, advance health directives – mental health


For legal advice and assistance in family law, criminal law, child protection, or Mental Health Court matters, please contact Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 651 188.

For other areas of law, please contact our office on 3844 4200 or visit Community Legal Centres Qld for other free legal services.

Non-legal services are available for:

Criminal law matters where the person, because of their disability, is having difficulty navigating the criminal justice system

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) where the participant is unhappy with a decision of the National Disability Insurance Agency and would like support to apply for an internal review or external review to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The matter must require legal assistance, and could not be resolved through negotiation or other non-legal process. For example, complaints about how health or disability services are provided should first be made in writing to the management of the service.

How can QAI help?

Legal assistance provided by our Human Rights Legal Service or our Mental Health Legal Service can include:

  • one of legal advice
  • preparation of submissions or other documents for use by the person in the conduct of his or her own matter;
  • referral for further legal advice, support or representation;
  • representation before a Court or Tribunal

The Justice Support Program, which provides non-legal support in criminal law matters, can:

  • give information and guidance to resolve the issue;
  • provide help to get legal advice or representation;
  • facilitate access to social services;
  • help a person to comply with court orders. 

NDIS Appeals Support, which provides non-legal support to people wishing to appeal a decision of the National Disability Insurance Agency, can help by:

  • explaining the review process, including what is involved pursuing an appeal to the AAT;
  • assisting with the preparation of the required documents;
  • providing advice and skills so the person who is lodging the appeal can better represent themselves, or
  • attending AAT conferences and hearings to help the person to put their case to the AAT.

The extent of assistance that will be provided is at the discretion of QAI, having regard to all relevant circumstances such as the needs of the person, the merits of the case, and the resources of the service. 

Can QAI help me?

If QAI can help you, or you are unsure, please contact QAI reception on 07 3844 4200. Our intake officer will conduct an intake and if appropriate, will book you in for our next available telephone or in person appointment with a lawyer or non-legal advocate.  

The lawyer or non-legal advocate will assess the level of assistance they are able to provide you with.

Appointments may be up to 2 weeks away, but please advise if the matter is urgent. 

If you are looking for representation at a Mental Health Review Tribunal hearing, see also:


Queensland Advocacy Incorporated

 (07) 3844 4200
 (07) 3844 4220
 1300 130 582