Register an interstate order in Victoria

If you have been appointed as a guardian or administrator (or equivalent appointment) in another Australian state or territory, you can apply to have the appointment recognised in Victoria.

You only need to register an order in Victoria if the represented person is living in Victoria or, in the case of an administration order, if you need to make a decision about a property in Victoria that is owned by the represented person.

An interstate order, once registered in Victoria, has the same force and effect as a guardianship or an administration order made by VCAT under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986.

VCAT has the power to reassess an interstate order at any time and may amend, vary, continue or replace the order subject to any conditions or requirements, or may revoke the order. An order of this type has no effect in the state that made the original order.

If an interstate tribunal or board revokes, amends or varies an order that has already been registered in Victoria, those changes have no effect on the interstate registration order made by VCAT.

Role and responsibilities of guardians and administrators

Guardians and administrators have unique roles and responsibilities. If both roles are appointed, the guardian and administrator must consult each other and work closely when making decisions.

The role of a guardian

A guardian makes personal lifestyle decisions on behalf of a person with a disability, including decisions about their:

  • living arrangements
  • work arrangements
  • medical treatment
  • access to people and services.

The responsibilities of a guardian

A guardian must:

  • act as an advocate for the represented person
  • act in the best interests of the represented person
  • take the represented person’s wishes into account when making decisions
  • encourage the represented person, as far as possible, to make decisions and act for themselves
  • protect the person from neglect, abuse or exploitation.

A guardian may be a friend or relative of the person with a disability. If there is no suitable person, we can appoint the Public Advocate as a guardian.

Safeguards for represented people and guardians

VCAT can reassess a guardianship order if it is not working in the best interests of the represented person.

The role of an administrator

An administrator makes financial and legal decisions, including decisions about:

  • buying or selling property
  • banking and investing
  • paying bills and managing debts.

An administrator may be a friend or relative of the person with a disability, or a solicitor, accountant or an organisation. If there is no suitable person or organisation, State Trustees Limited or a private trustee company may be appointed as an administrator.

The responsibilities of an administrator

An administrator must:

  • act in the best interests of the represented person
  • take the represented person’s wishes into account when making decisions
  • encourage the represented person, as far as possible, to make decisions and act for themselves.

Administrator reporting requirements

An administrator is accountable for the decisions they make and must provide annual accounts to VCAT. Learn more about reporting requirements in General advice for administrators.

Cases VCAT can hear

VCAT can hear cases about the registration of interstate guardianship and administration orders (or equivalent appointments) in Victoria.

Cases VCAT cannot hear

VCAT cannot hear:

  • registration applications by someone who is not a guardian or administrator (or equivalent appointment)
  • applications about orders for people who are under 18 years of age.
  • Before you apply to VCAT, you must ensure the interstate order is current. It is only necessary to register an order in Victoria if the represented person proposes to live permanently or temporarily in Victoria or they have property in Victoria.

  • To make an application at VCAT fill in the correct application form. You must also provide us with a certified copy of the interstate order and copies of supporting documents. You must give a copy of your application and supporting documents to the represented person and other interested parties. There is no fee for this type of application. Learn more about applying to VCAT.

  • VCAT may consider your application without a hearing. If your application proceeds to hearing, we send notices of hearing to all parties. The notices tell you the date, time and place of the hearing.

    Where VCAT registers an interstate order without a hearing we send a copy of the order to the represented person and to the parties named in the application. 

    Learn more about what happens when VCAT opens a case.

  • Most cases at VCAT are decided at a hearing. Prepare early so you can present the best possible case. If you did not submit supporting documents with your application, you must ensure VCAT receives them at least three business days before the hearing. You should give a copy of any written submissions to the other parties. If you do not provide the material in time, it might cause a delay to your case. The other parties need time to respond to your claim. Learn more about how to prepare for your final hearing.

  • As the applicant, you must attend the hearing. If you or the person who is the subject of the application are interstate and cannot attend the hearing in person, you must apply to attend by telephone or video conference. We will consider your request and advise if it is approved and how it will proceed. The represented person should also attend unless there are exceptional circumstances preventing them from attending. VCAT must begin to hear your application within 30 days of receiving it. At the hearing we hear evidence and consider your supporting documents. Learn more about what happens on final hearing day.

  • If we make an order to register the interstate order in Victoria, we will advise the tribunal or board that made the original order. Learn more about what to expect after the final hearing.

Professional representation

It is usually not necessary to have legal or other representation at VCAT. In most cases, if you want to be represented you must request VCAT's permission. Learn more about professional representation at VCAT.

Remember your reference number

VCAT gives you a reference number for your case. Use this number whenever you call or write to us or the other people involved in the case.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public. We have limited authority to restrict access to information. Learn more about applying for confidentiality.

If you are involved in a case and want to see what is on the VCAT file, you must make a request in writing for disclosure. A VCAT member considers your request and notifies you of the outcome. Read more about applying for disclosure.

It is an offence to publish details of a matter before the Guardianship List that identifies or could lead to the identification of a party.

If you need assistance at VCAT (including interpreters, hearing loop, video or telephone links, or family violence support) please contact us as early as possible so we can assist you. Learn more about customer support at VCAT.