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Supported Decision Making

Supported decision making is the process of providing support to people to make decisions to remain in control of their lives.   Supported decision making is when people get support to make or act on their own decisions.  Having choice and control means each person’s decisions are heard, respected and acted upon.    

Making our own decisions  

Most people in our culture and community, lead autonomous lives.  We make our own decisions about where we live, where we go, how we spend our money, what work we do, who our friends are and what we need for our health and wellbeing.  

For some people, especially those people with disability, it can be assumed that the appointment of a guardian or administrator is necessary. Having a formal decision maker might be needed if they don’t have a network of friends, family and supporters. But for most people, informal supports and the right kind of supports from family, friends and supporters is enough!  

Supported decision-making approach 

One of Mamre’s key missions is to assist people to live the life they choose and contribute to an accessible and inclusive community.  For this reason, Mamre is committed to taking a supported decision-making approach in all our work.   

As a service provider, we have a role to play in ensuring each person has the support they need to be involved in decisions that affect them.  We take time to understand each person’s will and preferences, providing information in a way that works, and work alongside each person and their decision supporters.   

Decision Making Possibilities  

Through our involvement in the Decision Making Possibilities project, we have developed significant practice experience assisting people to:  

  • learn about supported decision making and use this approach 
  • be supported by people who know them well, understand their will and preference and be involved in planning for their future 
  • build a network of supporters 
  • have a say about more things in their life 
  • grow their communication skills and system (and the communication partner skills of the people around them) 

We partnered with Western Australia’s Individualised ServicesSotica and Decision Agency for this project, which was funded by an Information, Linkages and Capacity (ILC) Building Grant from the Australian Government, Department of Social Services. 

Key principles of supported decision making 

Supported decision making aims to keep the individual person at the centre of their life and decisions.   

The key principles of supported decision making include: 


Respecting each person’s right to make decisions and determine their own lives. 


People have the right to access support to communicate and be involved in decisions. 

Will and preferences 

Decisions are directed by a person’s own will and preferences. 


The person is involved in the decision-making process. 


People are provided with accessible information, making sure they have the right communication supports, tools and communication partners. 


Tailored assistance, support, accommodations and resources are offered to the person.  

Safeguards against violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation  

Practice reflects laws and legal frameworks, and safeguards decision makers from abuse and undue influence. 

Respect for rights  

Upholding human rights. 

Find out more about supported decision making, and how we can assist others to experience more choice and control and be involved in decisions that affect them.