In 2020, Matthew suffered multiple strokes that resulted in severe disability. When Synapse’s Advocacy Team connected with him, he had been engaged with the Public Guardian and the NDIA and was living in a supported accommodation with 24/7 care.

When he connected with Synapse, he was unhappy with the services involved in his care – he felt he didn’t have any control over his situation and the care providers were making decisions he wasn’t happy with. Matthew really wanted to be listened to and make more choices about his support services, but struggled to communicate his wishes, which was impacting his mental health.

Matthew was born in France, and his family still resides there. As a result his only informal supports in Sydney are some friends he used to work with. For a time, Matthew’s friends tried to help but hit limitations in changing Matthew’s services as the Public Guardian was his former decision maker. With limited understanding of their processes, his friends found it hard to communicate and understand how to work effectively alongside the public guardian.

Matthew sought out the help of the Synapse Advocacy Team for support in communicating with his service providers and getting his guardianship order reviewed. Synapse’s advocates supported Matthew through several discussion and meetings with the Public Guardian. As a result, immediate changes were made to guarantee he would be listened to and have more choice..

Matthew’s guardianship order was also due for review in October 2021 and his Synapse advocate was there to support him by explaining and providing information so he could better understand his options.

As a result, Matthew worked with the advocate to have his guardianship order fully reviewed and to appoint his friends as the new guardians. His advocate assisted this direction by compiling all information needed, arranging support letters from Matthew’s family in France – all submitted to the Tribunal for consideration.

To Matthew’s great joy, his family attended the guardianship review virtually from France. The order was reviewed and Matthew’s friends were successfully appointed as his new guardians – a result both Matthew and his family were very happy with.

Thanks to the support of his family, friends and the efforts of Matthew’s advocate at Synapse, he now has greater control over decisions regarding his care and can more comfortably communicate in his first language with his friends able to interpret and act in his best interests as guardians.

*Names have been changed to protect client identity