Australian guardianship law is the regulatory mechanism for protecting the health of young persons, adults with disabilities, and the elderly.

Australia has eight different guardianship regimes, which vary widely in their forms of regulation.

As many of AASGAA members have experienced, it is a system that is often complex, and inconsistent and many complain of abuse of power, kidnapping, fraud, and outright theft.

Victims have witnessed their or their loved one’s decision-making (personal & financial) taken away from them and often to a stranger and more often to institutions who profit from handling their loved one’s affairs via fees.

AASGAA is NOT against guardianship & administration. Guardianship & administration is essential when a loved one cannot make reasoned decisions about their personal and financial care. We understand that sometimes the person needs care and lacks insight into their illness or is a victim of undue influence.

In some cases, an independent person must step in BUT this action should only be acceptable as a LAST resort and when all viable less restrictive options have been exhausted and no trusted family member or carer is available.

This is not what is occurring in practice. Family and/or support people are being removed as carers. Trivial matters and, in many cases, we have sighted, untested allegations are being accepted as fact. Verifiable evidence submitted was ignored. Long-term core wishes and powers of attorney are often revoked.

More concerning is the new trend of accepting the wishes of a person who has already been legally deemed to lack decision-making capacity (under the guise of 'Rights').

This is a dangerous new situation as it is well known vulnerable and impaired people can easily be groomed or manipulated into decisions that are not in their best interests. Many victims of elder abuse do NOT even realise they are victims, often turning on concerned family and friends.

The worst situations involve conflicts between siblings due to one of the siblings or family members exploiting their loved one and the other family members attempting to stop the abuse.

In such cases, often ALL FAMILY are removed and a public guardian is appointed and public trustee, even though there still exists a trusted family member who can step in and look after the vulnerable person.

Allegations often unfounded and untested are being used against innocent victims and their families and many have witnessed collusive behaviours between various professional organisations such as social workers, trustees, guardians, aged care facilities, and some law firms.

What we are witnessing more than often is how vulnerable adults in vulnerable settings are being signed to 'NEW' powers of attorneys and wills, even after a victim has been deemed to have lost capacity or reasoning.

AASGAA is a growing formal organisation that intends to break the dangerous guardianship model that is not, we feel, in the interest of our loved ones and one day, ourselves.

No trustworthy family member or support person willing to look after a loved one should be denied the right to care for a loved one on personal and financial matters.

Many cases involve serious breaches of one's human rights and/or the Right to be protected from abuse, exploitation, and neglect when vulnerable and in urgent need of protection.

Other examples show suspicious and, what we believe, actions of obtaining financial and property by deception. The evidence we have at hand indicates many of such actions have been ignored during tribunal hearings.

Our most vulnerable and their families deserve better.