About Us

Our story


Our vision is for inclusive communities where all people are equally valued and enjoy human rights.


Our purpose is to advocate for the protection and advancement of the needs, rights and lives of people with disability in Queensland.


At Queensland Advocacy, we believe that all human beings are equally important, unique and of intrinsic value.  Everyone should be seen and valued as a whole person, first and foremost.  The human condition is such that societies tend to devalue those who do not fit within their models of perfection.  These groups, including people with disability, are socially marginalised.  As an organisation we seek to bring about a common vision where all human beings are equally valued.

History of QAI

Established in 1987 by a small group of passionate Queenslanders with and parents of people with disability, QAI is an independent not-for-profit advocacy organisation and specialist community legal centre for people with disability. We are first and foremost a systems advocacy organisation focused on changing attitudes and policy to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people with disability.

We started with a small team of three staff and a Management Committee run by a majority of people with disability and have always been an organisation that champions the expression nothing about us, without us.

For many years, our efforts were focused on systemic changes, writing submissions, running campaigns and projects, all in the pursuit of a more inclusive and equal society for people of all abilities. Alongside these efforts we offered individual advocacy on a small scale, providing one part-time advocate into the mid-2000s.

In 2008, we received funding from the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG) to launch our Human Rights Legal Service and Justice Support Program. Two years later, our Mental Health Legal Service was established, and for almost a decade, our individual advocacy was provided through these three vital services.

In 2017 when the NDIS rolled-out in Queensland, we received funding from the Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide NDIS appeals advocacy. We then received further funding in 2018 to start an additional pilot program to advocate for people with limited support networks who need decision-making support around the NDIS.

After the Disability Royal Commission was established in 2019, we were funded to provide advocacy for people seeking to engage with the Commission. Then in 2020, we received funding from the Department of Education and Training (DET) to establish a much-needed Education Advocacy Service for children with disability in the public school system. In the same year, we also started our Social Work Service with COVID-19 funding from DJAG, as an internal allied service to support the most vulnerable clients of our Human Rights Legal Service.

Having grown immensely since 1987, we are now an accredited community legal centre, have accredited Economic and Social Council status with the United Nations and run eight individual legal and non-legal advocacy services with around 30 staff. In 2020, QAI became the first organisation in Queensland to voluntarily opt-in to be bound by the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld). In the face of our expansion, we have worked hard to ensure our systems advocacy remains at the core of our organisation and we are now not only guided and informed by the wisdom and lived experiences of our Management Committee, but of our many individual clients as well.

Our team

We have a dedicated team, including our Management Committee and staff, who keep the organisation going.

Meet the team

What is advocacy?

Advocacy is speaking, acting and writing, with minimal conflict of interest, on behalf of the sincerely perceived interests of a disadvantaged person or group to promote, protect and defend their welfare and justice by:

  • Being on their side and no-one else’s
  • Being primarily concerned with their fundamental needs
  • Remaining loyal and accountable to them in a way which is emphatic and vigorous

What are the different types of advocacy?

  • Citizen Advocacy
  • Individual Advocacy
  • Family Advocacy
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Systems Advocacy

Our advocacy practices provide both individual and systems advocacy.

What is individual advocacy?

This form of advocacy is one-on-one support for an individual who, for whatever reason, has difficulty speaking up for themselves. Individual advocacy can be for a specific purpose or general support for particularly vulnerable people.

What is systems advocacy?

This form of advocacy is primarily concerned with influencing and changing the system (legislation, policy, and practices) in ways that will benefit people with a disability as a group within society.  Systems advocates will encourage changes to the law, government and service policies and community attitudes.

Queensland Advocacy has an exemplary track record of effective systems advocacy, with thirty years’ experience advocating for systems change, through campaigns directed to attitudinal, law and policy reform and by supporting the development of a range of advocacy initiatives in this state.

Our understanding and prioritisation of systemic issues is guided by the wisdom and lived experience of our board, a majority of whom are persons with disability. Our extensive experience providing individual advocacy across a range of key areas also informs our understanding, and prioritisation, of systemic advocacy issues.


Queensland Advocacy is an independent organisation which is funded by state and federal government departments.

Photo of group of people protesting
Woman in pool


Queensland Advocacy is a not-for-profit organisation and appreciates all ongoing and one-off donations, as they further enable us to fight for the lives of people with disability.

Careers at QAI

People with disability are always encouraged to apply for any opening we have.

Job openings

Paralegal/Graduate Solicitor – applications close 5pm Friday 19 July

Human Rights Solicitor – applications close 9am Monday 29 July

Volunteer openings

There are currently no volunteer openings.

Placement openings

We are always accepting applications for student placements and will determine our capacity to take a placement on a case-by-case basis.

Asian woman with vision impairment using computer with refreshable braille display.

For students wanting to undertake their Practical Legal Training (PLT) with QAI, please see our Paralegal position description, as a point of reference.

Paralegal position description – Word (368 KB)

All students will of course receive additional supports and their work will be determined based on their training or study requirements.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the opportunities we offer students and volunteers, contact us using the form below. You can also keep an eye on our social media pages for updates throughout the year.

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Become a Member

We are proud of what have been able to achieve and we could not have done this without the support of our members!

What is a Queensland Advocacy membership?

As a member of Queensland Advocacy, you will receive our newsletters, notifications about current work, media releases and invitations to upcoming events. You will also be invited to vote at our Annual General Meeting and any Special General Meetings we may hold.

Membership with Queensland Advocacy also enables you to become involved in our systems advocacy. Hearing the views of people with lived experience of disability is integral to our systems advocacy. It helps to inform our understanding of the key barriers to inclusion that continue to exist for people with a disability. You can tell us if you would like to be contacted to share your views and advise us of the topics you are interested in, via the Membership form. 

Membership is free, though it requires the completion of a Membership application/renewal form each financial year. To become a member or to renew your membership, please complete the Membership form and return it to us via our contact details below.

Contact Us

Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 9:00am to 4:30pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed


07 3844 4200 or 1300 130 582




07 3844 4220

Postal address

Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion
PO Box 3384
South Brisbane (Meanjin) QLD 4101

Street address

Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion
South Central Commercial
Level 2, 43 Peel Street
South Brisbane (Meanjin) QLD 4101
(Entry on Merivale St)

Client Feedback

Get in touch with us

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, contact us on (07) 3844 4200 or qai@qai.org.au or use the form below to send us a message.

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