About this page
"Community Visitors play a vital role in working towards a Victorian society that is just, celebrates diversity and in which the human rights, dignity and safety of people with a disability are promoted and protected." - Public Advocate Colleen Pearce
Appointed by the Victorian Governor in Council, Community Visitors are created under three Acts of Parliament: the Mental Health Act 1986, the Health Services Act 1988, and the Disability Act 2006.
Community Visitors are volunteers empowered by law to visit Victorian accommodation facilities for people with a disability or mental illness at any time, unannounced. They monitor and report on the adequacy of services provided, in the interests of residents and patients.
Community Visitors visit:
- community residential units (CRUs)
- supported residential services (SRSs)
- mental health facilities
They talk to residents/patients to ensure they are being cared for with dignity and respect, and to identify issues of concern. Community Visitors can then liaise with staff and management to resolve these issues. Broader or more serious issues are referred to OPA.
How do Community Visitors perform their role?
Community Visitors undertake a number of activities, including:
- enquiring into the quality of services and care provided to patients/residents
- talking with residents/patients and staff to identify problems
- ensuring that the treatment and service given to residents/patients maintains their dignity and respect
- assessing the opportunities available to residents/patients to participate in recreational and educational activities
- assessing whether residents/patients are at risk from their living environment
- following up on complaints and concerns raised by residents/patients
Community Visitors work in pairs, organised by region across the state.
Community Visitors spend between 10 to 15 hours a month visiting facilities.
Anyone can become a Community Visitor. For more information, visit the Volunteers section of our website.
Become a Community Visitor
Complete our online form to receive an information pack with forms to become a Community Visitor.