Mackay Advocacy Inc
Mackay Advocacy Inc
Due to other submissions from other advocacy organisations in Queensland, we do not want to repeat all discussions but share our actual advocacy experience with you to assist in the new design of the NDAP. Mackay Advocacy Incorporated has existed since 1997 providing individual advocacy both in Mackay and over 200 kilometres north and west of Mackay which includes coastal and hinterland rural and remote communities. Mackay Advocacy Inc supports the submissions by Queensland Advocacy Inc, Amparo Advocacy Inc and Rights in Action Inc. The majority of issues presented to our organisation are not matters of service provision nor accommodation and supports. Currently we are having increased referrals from Child Safety and the legal sector due to the effective and collaborative support provided to people with disability who are experiencing serious and sensitive barriers in their lives. “Independent individual advocacy” in this area is consistently being redefined. Over some ten years ago, we primarily supported those with access to appropriate housing and subsequent modifications or service provision, contract disputes due to impairment with a small number of attendees experiencing both short-term and long-term crises. However, in the past few years we are faced with significantly increased issues of people with disability incarcerated at length without having being sentenced and removal of children of parents with disability, usually immediately after birth. Independent advocacy engagement is effective in supporting people to appropriate legal supports and representation. Independent advocacy is effective in providing support to attend investigation and subsequent Family Group Meetings and case management with Child Safety towards promoting the parent with disability as a significant parent if not reunification. These are specific and professional advocacy activities that, whilst aspiring to achieve a final outcome, achieves outcomes of self-determination, promotes exercised dignity and respect and hence outcomes are achieved in stages for the person with disability because validation is realised which leads to further progression in, if not always overcoming barriers, participating in making significant improvements to their quality of life. We have increased applications, reviews and Stay of Decision with Queensland Civil and Administration. Often in QCAT matters there are other stakeholders involved including family members and service provision, so it is imperative that and independent voice for both Adult and Administrative matters is forthwith both in preparation for the tribunal and at the tribunal hearing. The local CLC has not been able to provide such support. Mackay Advocacy Inc is not just reactive to the trend of adversities faced but also proactive in meeting with government, both local and state, in highlighting significant adversities in our rural and remote region and participating in making legislative changes, for example, the review of the Child Protection Act and having an advocate engaged prior to statutory action and re-examining what “willing and able” means. Mackay Advocacy Inc acts on behalf of a person with disability, not instead of.