The Public Guardian is a statutory official who can be appointed by the Guardianship Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or Supreme Court. The Public Guardian can be appointed to make important health and lifestyle decisions on behalf of another person.
People under guardianship; are 16 years and over have a disability that affects their ability to make their own decisions need a decision to be made. The Public Guardian is the 'guardian of last resort'. This means that the Guardianship Division of NCAT has decided no other person, such a family member or friend, can be appointed. This usually happens when no one is available, or when there is no one suitable, possibly because of conflict. The Public Guardian is the guardian for people who have a disability such as dementia, intellectual disability, brain injury, or mental illness and may live an at risk or itinerant lifestyle, and who have a decision making incapacity.
The Public Guardian is part of the Department of Justice and is accountable to the Director General of that department for the administration of the Public Guardian. The Public Guardian is different to the NSW Trustee and Guardian. The NSW Trustee and Guardian makes financial decisions for a person under the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009. The Guardianship Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (formerly the Guardianship Tribunal) can review the appointment of the Public Guardian as a person's guardian. The Administrative and Equal Opportunities Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (formerly the Administrative Decisions Tribunal) can review the decisions of the Public Guardian. The NSW Ombudsman can investigate complaints about service delivery.