Autonomy First

Helping you, your family and your business age well

About Autonomy First

Our People

Autonomy First was founded by Dr Jane Lonie and Michael Perkins

Clinic at MQ Health

The Capacity & Capability Clinic is located at Suite 401, Level 4, 2 Technology Place, Macquarie University.

Professional Training

Autonomy First offers training on autonomy assessment and  supported decision making to professionals, referrers and their personnel.

Public Education

In its wider role for the community, Autonomy First provides education on capacity and capability consequences of a range of diagnoses and medico-legal needs.

MQ Health at Macquarie University provides location, administrative support and non-legal clinician support for Autonomy First’s Capacity & Capability Clinic.
Autonomy First Lawyers, not MQ Health, has responsibility for the Clinic’s integrated medico-legal service delivery and proposing any follow-on pathways or solutions. The choice of who helps implement these always remains with the client.

Latest Blog Posts

Medical practice’s $16,400 privacy law fine for one email

Medical practice’s $16,400 privacy law fine for one email

A $16,400 fine was recently imposed against a medical practice in Victoria for an email the practice sent to an address to which it should not have been sent. The fine was imposed by the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner applying the...

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Where to go for cognitive or legal capacity advice?

Where to go for cognitive or legal capacity advice?

Where do you go when there are concerns about a person's cognitive or legal capacity? How do you make appropriate decisions? The decision may be about their welfare, wealth, wellbeing, financial affairs, medical treatment, or legal documents such as guardianship or an...

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Document Signature and Witnessing Over Audiovisual Media Guide

Document Signature and Witnessing Over Audiovisual Media Guide

The eight practices and procedures here are a practical guide for effective signature and witnessing of documents affecting in particular the health, wealth and wellbeing of individuals and their families. In 2020 four escalating developments require greater care: (1) pandemic social distancing, (2) signature and witnessing over audiovisual media, (3) virtual meetings, and (4) remote collaborative computing. For difficult or complex cases Autonomy First Lawyer’s Capacity & Capability Clinic at MQ Health can help.

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Our Top Priorities

The Capacity & Capability Clinic provides Capability Medico-legal Evaluation Reports that serve a wide spectrum of needs.


as a medico-legal service on whether a client can give informed consent for a decision. For example, any decision or transaction affecting a client’s health, wealth and wellbeing.


on capacity and capability consequences of a range of medical diagnoses and medico-legal needs


clients to implement supported and substituted decision making when a client is affected by constrained autonomy


on autonomy assessment and supported decision making for professionals, referrers and their personnel.


clients, and through them their supporting and substitute decision makers, on the legal consequences of any decision or situation of concern.

Upcoming Events



NDIS Law Conference – 30% discount

This one-day Zoom conference will include a presentation by Autonomy First Founder, Michael Perkins, on Empowered Decision Making. His presentation will connect Supported Decision Making and the National Decision Making Principles and will cover linking administrative and legal representation into a care plan. It will also cover estate administration, the emerging multi-disciplinary practice field.



Client Communications: Taking Instructions in a Digital World

The importance of getting clear and concise instructions from a client cannot be underestimated and doing so remotely is an added complexity that comes with some risk. This session explores measures to put in place and how to spot any warning flags, ensuring clients and practitioners are protected from interference or abuse. This webinar’s organiser is Television Education Network Pty Ltd. It is part of its professional skills development program for lawyers.



Decision Making Ability

POSTPONED | How Professionals can De-risk Their Client Interactions. What do you do when your client’s decision making ability is in doubt? This one day program equips you with a structured approach to the practical evaluation of client decision making capacity. 

“[A] good understanding of the issues surrounding mental capacity is an essential skill for any solicitor who holds himself or herself out as competent to provide legal services to natural persons.” Ryan vs Dalton; Estate of Ryan [2017] NSWSC 1007

- Supreme Court of NSW

Empowering families to age well | Helping safeguard your will and preferences

Our Collaborators