What are some examples of my advocacy?
This is a cross section of case studies:
The issue: NDIA refused a complex home modification in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The complex home modification related to installation of a lifting device.
My resolution: I achieved an out of court settlement after appealing the decision. The device was subsequently installed, enabling a professional man with a disability to access a workstation in a noise-free home office on the upper level of his home. He was able to re-commence work after an extended layoff. The settlement equaled the amount of the original application.
Sale of private rural property to SA Government
The issue: Due to a pressing housing need an elderly lady required a 110 acre rural property be sold within a narrow time frame to secure a residential option. The lady’s preference was to put the property into public hands as it adjoined the Charleston Conservation Park and it had the potential to increase the area of severely depleted high rainfall natural grassy woodlands. Typically, such sales of private land to state government bodies take up to five years. The lady was also surrounded by a turbulent family dynamic.
My resolution: I encouraged the lady to pursue a two pronged approach whereby she placed the property on the open market while still leaving the possibility open for it to be acquired by the state government agency.
I endeavoured to keep open channels of communication with all parties, advocating strongly for the interests of the elderly lady, whilst being considerate of the challenges/constraints faced by the officer I was dealing with from the government agency concerned.
The sale process was completed within three months of the initial interaction with the government agency, at a sales price which met the lady’s expectations, in spite of strong private market interest.
The acquisition by the SA Government doubled the size of Charleston Conservation Park, making it the largest high rainfall grassy woodland reserve in South Australia.
The issue: An unlicensed contractor completed work which did not meet the building code standards.
My resolution: I achieved an out of court settlement for the owner of the residential property development. The settlement was equal to the full amount of the remedial works.
The issue: An unemployed nurse suffering psychological illness needed help making a claim against her income protection policy, 13 years after she had last worked.
My resolution: I successfully pursued the claim. Payments exceeded $120K.
(I have managed successful claims against income protection, total and partial disablement, and life insurance policies for professionals. Payments exceeded $1.5K)
The issue: The elderly wife of a farmer had been subjected to financial abuse and intimidation by her family. She was suffering a mental health illness after all non-legal measures pursued by the husband had failed. Family members were estranged.
My resolution: I facilitated a significant out of court financial and property settlement. The settlement was achieved within 12 months of the claim being made and for a fraction of the legal costs likely to occur had the matter been run by a solicitor/lawyer.
Granny flat agreements
The issue: Two retired single women needed housing security.
My resolution: I established granny flat agreements, along with supporting financial and estate planning arrangements. This maximised their social security entitlements whilst providing housing security in purpose-built apartments.
The issue: A retired single lady had immigrated to Australia with her parents five decades earlier. She had not applied for Australian citizenship and had no evidence that she had entered the country legally. She was at risk of not being eligible for the aged pension, had limited financial resources, and potentially required her family to support her financially.
My resolution: I assisted her to gain the full social security aged pension benefit despite her failing to prove her identity on application.
Building contract early termination
The issue: A working couple nearing retirement had inadvertently entered into contractual obligations with a builder for a residential property development. The couple thought they had engaged a builder to develop concept plans for an investment property. On closer examination, they realised they had committed to the builder for the whole development without undertaking financial feasibility.
My resolution: I provided guidance for them to undertake the financial feasibility and the couple realised the project was not profitable. I provided direction on negotiating an amicable termination with the builder. The cost was a few thousand dollars. This was compared to the many thousands of dollars they could have lost if the development proceeded, which would also have derailed their retirement plans.