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​Public Guardian

The Public Guardian promotes the rights and interests of people with disabilities through the practice of guardianship, advocacy and education. The Public Guardian is a statutory official appointed by the Guardianship Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or the Supreme Court under the Guardianship Act 1987.

Mr Graeme Smith is the Public Guardian. The Public Guardian is part of the Department of Justice. More about us>>


Web_address_has_changed19 March 2015

We have reorganised our website....


12 November 2014

The Public Guardian is pleased to present the NSW Public Guardian's Advocacy Report for 2014. This report highlights some of the individual and systemic advocacy work we have done in 2013 - 2014. The report also shows our ongoing commitment in effecting positive change in the lives of people under our guardianship and people with disability more generally through our systemic advocacy. This report will help raise awareness of the major changes taking place in adult guardianship systems in Australia and around the world.


Find information on appointment of guardian to make decisions on behalf of another person who lacks decision-making capacity because of a disability:

What is a guardian

Who can be appointed as a guardian

When is there a need for a guardian

You have a guardian

Medical/dental practitioners

Managing money and assets

Planning ahead

Find information and support tools for planning ahead:

What could I plan for?

Enduring guardianship

Financial planning

Advanced care directives


Capacity is the ability to make decisions for oneself. If a person is unable to follow this process and make their own decisions, that person is said to lack capacity. Read more information on:

When would a person lack capacity?

Who decides if a person lacks capacity?

Capacity and guardianship

Capacity and the Public Guardian

Capacity and consent to treatment

​Public Guardian Advocacy Report 2014

Advocacy Rpt 2014 cover page 

​Information support

 The Public Guardian operates a free information service for the general community about guardianship.

Find information on community education and access to information support services offered by the Public Guardian.

​Private Guardian support

At the Private Guardian Support Unit (PGSU) we provide a free and confidential service to assist legally appointed guardians in their role.

If 'You are a Guardian', read more information on resources available to support you in performing your role:

Now You're the Guardian [PDF 941kb] - a comprehensive booklet on the role and functions of guardians in NSW

Onguard​ [PDF 461KB] - newsletter

Contact sheet [PDF 45kb] - list of useful agencies