ACT Advocacy Agencies

ACT Advocacy Agencies [PDF 229KB]

There are several Advocacy organisations who can offer you advice and support. If you feel you need help at any time during the complaints handling process you can contact one of the following agencies.

Aboriginal Legal Service NSW / ACT Ltd

The ALS provides legal services for Indigenous people in the South-East region of ACT, Queanbeyan, Goulburn, Cooma and Yass. Specialising in Criminal lawExternal Link , children’s Care and Protection lawExternal Link and Family lawExternal Link they assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children through representation in court, advice and information, and referral to further support services.

Phone: (02) 6120 8800
Care and Protection Law Practice: 1800 733 233

Address: Level 3, Colonial Mutual Building, 17-21 University Ave, Canberra ACT 2601
Postal Address: PO Box 434, Canberra ACT 2601

Website: Aboriginal Legal ServiceExternal Link

ACT Children and Young People Commissioner (CYPC)

The CYPC is an independent statutory office created under the Human Rights Commission Act 2005. This means that the CYPC is funded by the ACT Government but is independent from the Government.

The CYPC has a number of roles including consulting with children and young people and resolving complaints and concerns about services for children and young people.

Phone: 6205 2222
SMS: 0466 169 997

Address: Level 2, 11 Moore Street, Canberra City ACT 2601
Postal Address: ACT Human Rights Commission, GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601

Email: human.rights@act.gov.au or ACTkids@act.gov.au or victimsupport@act.gov.au
Website: Human Rights CommissionExternal Link

ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT)

The ACAT consolidates 16 jurisdictions and tribunals including Administrative Appeals Tribunal;Discrimination Tribunal;Guardianship and Management of Property Tribunal;Mental Health Tribunal; and Residential Tenancies Tribunal.
More information on ACT Civil and Adminstrative Tribunal External Link Contact (02) 6207 1740

ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS)

ADACAS is an independent, not-for-profit advocacy service for people with disabilities, older people and their carers. ADACAS provides free independent advocacy in the ACT.

Phone: 6242 5060

Address: Unit 14, Weston Community Hub, Cnr Gritten & Hilder Sts, Weston creek ACT 2611
Postal Address: PO Box 3167 Weston Creek ACT 2611

Email: adacas@adacas.org.au
Website: ADACASExternal Link

ACT Law Society – Legal Advice Bureau

The Law Society operates a Legal Advice Bureau at lunchtimes by appointment only. Members of the Society operate a roster at the Society’s Civic office to give initial advice to any member of the public free of charge. LAB solicitors are not available for the drafting of documents or for court appearances. After the consultation you may be referred to another solicitor or, if eligible, to Legal Aid. The Legal Advice Bureau operates between 12pm and 2.30pm on weekdays, with Wednesday’s reserved for family law matters.

Phone: 6274 0300

Address: Level 4, 1 Farrell Place, Canberra ACT 2601
Postal Address: GPO Box 1562, Canberra ACT 2601

Email: mail@actlawsociety.asn.au

ACT Mental Health Consumer Network Inc

A consumer-led organisation representing the interests of mental health consumers to service providers, community and government at all levels. The Network is committed to social justice and the inclusion of people with experience of mental illness.

Phone: 6230 5796

Address: Level 2 Room 11, Griffin Centre, 20 Genge Street, Canberra ACT 2601
Postal Address: PO Box 469, Civic Square ACT 2608

Email: actmhcn@actmhcn.org.au
Website:ACT Mention Health Consumer NetworkExternal Link

ACT Official Visitor Scheme

The Scheme provides a monitoring and complaints system for entitled persons in a visitable place, who are dependent on the service provider or accommodation manager supporting them. The ACT has Official Visitors for Children and Young People, ACT Health (Mental Health), Corrections, Disability and Housing (Homelessness) who visit places and make enquiries related to persons staying in institutions owned, operated or funded by the ACT Government known as a visitable place.

Phone: 1800 150 036 or 6207 9800

Address: Public Trustee and Guardian, Ground Floor, 221 London Circuit, Canberra ACT 2601
Postal Address: PO Box 221, Civic Square ACT 2608

Children and Young People Official Visitor: C/- OCYFS, Strategic Partnerships, GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601

Website: Public Trustee and GuardianExternal Link

ACT Ombudsman

Investigates complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by an ACT Government directorate or agency. The Ombudsman can also receive and investigate Public Interest Disclosures along with the Auditor General and Attorney General.

Phone: 6276 0111
Complaints Hotline: 1300 362 072

Address: Ground Floor, 1 Farrell Place, Canberra ACT 2601
Postal Address: Commonwealth Ombudsman, GPO Box 442, Canberra ACT 2601

Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.au
Website: ACT OmbundsmanExternal Link

ADEC (Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities)

ADEC External Linkprovides advocacy, information, referral, education, training and consultancy.

Advocacy for Inclusion

Provides individual, self and systemic advocacy for people with disabilities who live in the ACT and region to enable each individual to overcome discrimination and empower them to control their lives and participate in the community.

Phone: 6257 4005

Postal Address: Suite 2.02 Griffin Centre,20 Genge Street, Canberra ACT 2601

Email: info@advocacyforinclusion.org
Website: Advocacy for InclusionExternal Link

Australian Red Cross ACT – Support Services for Birth Families

Provision of support and advice to assist birth families to self advocate within the Child and Youth Protection system.

Phone: 6234 7600

Address: Level 1, 3 Dann Close, Garran ACT 2605
Postal Address: PO Box 610, Mawson ACT 2607

Website: Australian Red CrossExternal Link

Canberra Community Law

(formerly Welfare Rights & Legal Centre)

A community legal centre dedicated to providing legal services to people on low incomes or facing other disadvantage related to tenancy, public housing, homelessness, social security, social support, and disability discrimination law.

Social Security and Tenancy Advice: 6218 7977 (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9.30am-1pm)
Housing Law: 6218 7977 (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9.30am-1pm)
Disability and Discrimination Law: 6218 7918
Street Law (outreach legal service for the homeless): 6218 7995 or 1800 787 529
Night Time Legal Advice: 6218 7999 or drop in (Tue 6pm-8pm)
Administration: 6218 7900 Address: Level 1, 21 Barry Drive, Turner ACT 2612

Postal Address: PO Box 337, Civic Square ACT 2608

Email: info@canberracommunitylaw.org.au
Website: Canberra Community LawExternal Link

Carers ACT

Through this service advocacy staff can help carers negotiate complex bureaucracy, link into financial or legal service support and access services such as the Human Rights Commission and Ombudsman.

Information and Advice: 1800 242 636
Respite Services: 1800 052 222
Head Office: 6296 9900

Address: 2/80 Beaurepaire Crescent, Holt ACT 2615

Email: carers@carersact.org.au
Website: Carers ACTExternal Link

Children with Disability Australia

Children with Disability Australia (CDA) is the national peak body which represents children and young people (aged 0-25) with disability and their families.
More information on Children with Disability Australia External Link

Commonwealth Ombudsman

The Ombudsman can investigate complaints about the actions and decisions of Australian Government agencies to see if they are wrong, unjust, unlawful, discriminatory or just plain unfair. An independent, confidential and impartial body with recommendation powers if complaints are found to be justified.

Phone: 1300 362 072
Indigenous Line: 1800 060 789

Address: Level 5, Childers Square, 14 Childers Street, Canberra ACT 2601
Postal Address: GPO Box 442, Canberra ACT 2601

Website: Commonwealth OmbudsmanExternal Link

Create Foundation

CREATE Foundation is the national peak consumer body representing the voices of children and young people with an out-of-home care experience (including kinship care, foster care and residential care).

Phone: 6232 2409

Address: Cnr Cooyong Street and Scotts Crossing, Civic ACT 2601
Postal Address: PO Box 603, Civic Square ACT 2608

Email: act@create.org.au
Website: Create FoundationExternal Link

Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline

An Australia-wide telephone hotline for reporting abuse and neglect of people with disabilities using government funded services. Allegations are referred to the appropriate authority for investigation.
More information on Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline External Link

Elder Abuse

The Elder Abuse Information and Referral Phone Line provides support, information and referral to services that may assist older people in abusive situations.

Contact (02) 6205 3535

Family Inclusion Network (FIN) ACT

FIN ACT Network is a not-for-profit organisation which promotes the needs of parents, children and families involved in the child protection system. FIN ACT does not provide services but can offer you informal advice and/or referral to services which may assist you to understand what is required of you and work towards your goals.

Phone: Not available

Postal Address: PO Box 4093, Kingston ACT 2604

Email: finact@ymail.com
Website: Family Inclusion NetworkExternal Link

Human Rights Commission (ACT)

Encourages and assists in the resolution of complaints and promoting rights, assisting users and providers of disability services, health services, services for children and young people and services for older people to make improvements in the provision of services. Members of the commission include Children and Young People Commissioner, Disability and Community Services Commissioner, Discrimination Commissioner, Health Services Commissioner and Human Rights Commissioner.

Phone: 6205 2222
SMS: 0466 169 997

Address: Level 2, 11 Moore Street, Canberra ACT 2601
Postal Address: GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601

Email: human.rights@act.gov.au or ACTkids@act.gov.au or victimsupport@act.gov.au
Website: Human Rights CommissionExternal Link

Legal Aid ACT

Legal Aid ACT provides legal advice, information, assistance and representation, especially to people who are socially or economically disadvantaged. This service can assist with matters such as criminal law, family law and some civil law issues. Legal Aid also provides a free Helpline.

Phone: 6243 3411
Legal Aid ACT Helpline: 1300 654 314

Address: 2 Allsop Street, Canberra City ACT 2601
Postal Address: GPO Box 512, Canberra ACT 2601

Email: legalaid@legalaidact.org.au
Website: Legal Aid ACTExternal Link

Onelink

(formerly) Child, Youth and Family Gateway

OneLink brings together families, support services, and community resources to help promote the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and families. OneLink can also assist workers in other community organisations who are looking for information and support to help manage their client’s more complex issues.

Onelink is delivered in partnership between Woden Community Service and Belconnen Community Service with funding assistance from the ACT Government’s Community Services Directorate.

Phone: 1800 647 831

Email: info@onelink.org.au
Website: OnelinkExternal Link

People with Disabilities ACT

PWD ACT represents, promotes and supports the collective interests of people with disabilities.
Contact (02) 6286 4223

Public Advocate ACT

Promotes and individually represents the rights and interests of people with who are not able to represent or protect themselves including Children and young people, adults with a mental illness or impaired decision making ability who require protection from abuse, exploitation or neglect.

Phone: 6205 2222
SMS: 0466 169 997

Address: Level 2, 11 Moore Street, Canberra City ACT 2601
Postal Address: GPO Box 158 Canberra City ACT 2601

Email: pa@act.gov.au
Website: Public Advocate ACTExternal Link

Tenants’ Union

The Tenants’ Union ACT is a not for profit community legal centre offering free services for people renting their homes in the ACT. It provides free tenancy advice, advocacy and referrals as well as information, presentations and training.

Phone: 6247 1026

Address: 21 Barry Drive, Turner ACT 2612
Postal Address: PO Box 8, Civic Square ACT 2608

Website: Tenants UnionExternal Link

Women’s Legal Centre Inc

This service is a community legal centre for women in Canberra and the surrounding area and aims to improve women’s access to justice. The Centre provides free, confidential telephone advice to women on legal issues and can refer clients to appropriate lawyers and other support services. No drop-in service, by appointment only.

Phone Advice Line: 6257 4499 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 12pm)
Administration: 6257 4377

Email: admin@womenslegalact.org
Website: Women's Legal CentreExternal Link

Women with Disabilities ACT

Women With Disabilities ACT is a peer support and systemic advocacy group of women with disabilities who live in the ACT and region.
More information on Women with Disabilities ACT External Link

Contact (02) 6291 6842

Further Information

CONTACT Canberra provides the Community Information Services program and offers the general public information and referral to community services, organisations and support groups in the Canberra region. It includes a shopfront where low income earners can book time on public computers and are provided with free phone use to call government agencies and community organisations.

Phone: 6248 7988

Address: Room G02, Ground Floor, New Griffin Centre, 20 Genge Street, Canberra ACT 2601

Website: Contact CanberraExternal Link