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Government SA, Legal


Matilda Bawden 4 mins read


Aged & disability advocates are calling on the South Australian Civil & Administrative Appeals Tribunal (SACAT) to stop undermining the right of South Australians to access the protections of the Courts, including the Supreme Court.


Human Rights Advocate & Forensic Social Worker, Matilda Bawden, has raised the alarm after a highly educated, multi-lingual woman (Dr.K.M) was taken from the care of her loving son & rich community of carers, medical practitioners, nurses & others & placed into full guardianship of the State, despite laws that protect vulnerable persons from being kidnapped by applicants from other States. Put simply, this is a case in which a scorned daughter; aggrieved at being left out of any control over her parents’ financial or other affairs, sought vengeance against her brother.


At the time of the application, no-one from SACAT had even:

  • Respected the lawful & valid Advanced Care Directives (ACD) & Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) which was already in place for Dr.K.M.’s care,
  • Enforced Dr.K.M.’s right to attend a SACAT hearing to know what was being done to her & openly speak for herself, when she had ample capacity,
  • Informed Dr.K.M. that there is a battle to have her rendered mentally incompetent [as this would “upset & distress her”],
  • Asked Dr.K.M. what her wishes are regarding her care, or bothered to read the ACD & copious emails over 14 years revealing Dr.K.M.’s wishes.
  • Sought Dr.K.M.’s consent to conduct any cognitive assessment.


In breach of it’s own charter, Dr.K.M. was brought before SACAT without a single fact of abuse or neglect to warrant an application for intervention.  In the meantime, Dr.K.M. has been:

  1. Isolated away from her medical practitioners & community,
  2. Denied medications which were effective in her cognitive recovery & well-being,
  3. Forced by the Applicant to see a new General Practitioner in order to have Dr.K.M incapacitated & medicated by withdrawing the natural medications, without her consent & against her wishes,
  4. Prevented from having contact with her son & other long-time friends, even over Christmas, for no reason (showing extreme bias & antagonism against one sibling),
  5. Denied any access to social & community opportunities,
  6. Had her wishes (as clearly stated in her “Advanced Care Directive”) overturned & ignored & has not had those wishes respected.


“Violence & torture against women continues under the watchful eye of the paternalistic State Organ”, Ms. Bawden said.  We are back to institutionalising women because they might disagree with their husband or have an opinion which an offspring doesn’t like, such as who inherits their assets” Ms. Bawden said.


Ms. Bawden said, “Our elderly & disabled are being “disappeared” by Dementia diagnosis & denied personal care in their own home.  The moment SACAT intervened, Dr.K.M. went from living a healthy & happy life in her own home, recovering from a UTI, surrounded by a community who cares for her, to being hospitalised, institutionalised, medicated, isolated & having her home & assets prepared to be sold off”, Ms. Bawden said.  “This is an act of torture and terrorism as defined by The United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNVFVT) & it’s the treatment which awaits us all as we age or become infirmed.”


Dr.K.M. was never a candidate for Guardianship, yet in 3 short weeks, through criminal interventions against her entire family, an interstate Applicant was able to orchestrate 2 visits by a new GP, Police interventions & a reverse-chronology narrative that would impress SACAT.  So, what was SACAT protecting Dr.K.M. from, exactly?”.


Many High Court precedents have ruled that state Tribunals cannot exercise jurisdiction where an applicant lives in another state &, accordingly, SACAT had no lawful jurisdiction to accept the application from Victoria, but SACAT thumbed its nose at this Constitutional violation to expand its powers & meddle in Dr.K.M.’s private family affairs & wishes, with devastating consequences to her health.  Instead, SACAT engineered incarcerating & rendering Dr.K.M. mentally incompetent over 5 months & then forced Dr.K.M. to undergo capacity assessment when she was left dishevelled, neglected, confused & disoriented at a vulnerable time in her life with major upheaval & pursuant family conflict.


“SACAT cannot be trusted to respect, honour & enforce the human & legal rights of the elderly & disabled”, Ms. Bawden said.


Under the watchful eye of two GP’s, Dr.K.M. was given medically-prescribed cannabis for pain, critical vitamins for her cognitive recovery to replenish nutrients lost through toxic medications & organic natural foods & supplements to encourage gut health but the State of South Australia has deemed these natural protocols illegal by public-servant decree. Dr.K.M.’s treatments were working with good results & cognitive improvement when the State decided to condemn Dr.K.M. to a nursing home, away from her son & the life she wanted for herself.


“Even the State’s hospitals have “spotters” (usually Social Workers & ED doctors) who funnel the elderly into urgent SACAT hearings, even where there are multiple family members residing in a home with EPOA’s, ACD’s & Aged Care packages in place to care for a person.  No one is safe”, Ms. Bawden said. “My own mother narrowly escaped a similar fate as Dr.K.M. after the Lyell McEwin Hospital deemed her mentally incompetent because “she doesn’t speak English”.  Our EPOA & ACD powers were also ignored by The State Organs. My mother is also on a regime of natural alternatives that won’t deplete her brain of vital nutrients & she is cognitively vibrant.” 


“We need Kiara’s Law to get all family guardianship matters taken out of SACAT & sent directly into the courts where the rules of procedural fairness, facts & evidence are applied”, Ms. Bawden said.


Key Facts:

Our elderly & disabled are being “disappeared” by Dementia diagnosis & denied personal care in their own home. 

We need Kiara’s Law to get all family guardianship matters taken out of SACAT & sent directly into the courts where the rules of procedural fairness, facts & evidence are applied.

About us:

Matilda is a Forensic Social Worker with 30 years experience specialising in complex and compounding psychosocial barriers; including child protection, homelessness, poverty and disabilities. Matilda is a Former National Secretary of Whistleblowers Australia who has been a tireless champion of social justice causes and has dedicated her life to ensuring integrity and transparency in public office and public sector accountability.

Contact details:

Matilda Bawden is available for comment anytime at or Mob: 0412 836 685

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