Extract from Rights & Obligations Policy
DVAC takes confidentiality and privacy of information seriously, including the right to remain anonymous if a client chooses. We recognise our duty of care to safeguard information which could jeopardise the security and safety of adults, children or young people accessing DVAC services.
This Policy outlines the types of personal information that we usually collect, the purposes for which we collect it, to whom we disclose it, how we hold and keep it secure and your rights in relation to your personal information, including how to complain and how we deal with complaints.
We will handle your personal information in accordance with this Policy, legislation including the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). DVAC is also covered by the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) and the National Privacy Principles (NPPs).
In this Policy:
- ‘Personal information’ means any information or opinion about an identified individual or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether true or not. It does not include information that is de-identified.
- ‘Sensitive information’ is a subset of personal information that is given a higher level of protection because of its sensitive nature. It includes health information, as well as personal information that is about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, a professional or trade association, or trade union, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs sexual orientation or practices, or criminal history.
This Policy does not apply to the personal information of our employees.
5.15.1 Types of personal data we collect
The types of personal information we collect about you depends on the dealings you have with us, and may include:
- personal details, such as your name, date of birth, postal address, email address, telephone number and details of your guardian (if applicable)
- financial details, such as your employment status, occupation and annual income
- demographic information, such as age, sex, religion, family type, country of birth, year of arrival in Australia and language spoken at home
- medical information
- IP address and browser user agent string
- any additional information you provide through our forms or website; and
- information about the matter you are seeking assistance with.
If you are applying for a job with us, we may also collect your:
- employment history and qualifications
- academic records
- medical information
- personal alternative contact details
- superannuation fund details; and
- criminal history record.
5.15.2 Dealing with us anonymously or using a pseudonym
Where possible and lawful, you may interact with us anonymously or using a pseudonym. For example, if you contact us with a general question we will not record your name unless we need it to adequately handle your question.
However, for many of our functions and activities we usually need your name, contact information and other details to enable us to provide our services to you.
5.15.3 Ways we collect your personal information
We may collect personal information from or about you in different ways, including from you directly when you interact with us or through third parties with whom we interact in order to provide our services.
5.15.4 Information we collect from you
When you interact with us we collect information from you when you call us, when you complete our forms, when you contact us with an enquiry or complaint through our website or social media, when you email us, when you otherwise interact with us.
You may ‘opt in’ to share your personal information by providing a request for contact on the DVAC website and providing your contact details for the purpose of a DVAC employee to contact you. You may also ‘opt in’ to provide feedback, compliments or complaints through the DVAC website, You may choose to submit these requests confidentially. Please note that a DVAC staff member will be unable to make contact with you to follow up if you are not able to provide some contact details. Access to this information is limited to DVAC employees for the purpose of following up on your request and/or complaint, compliment or feedback.
If you upload images to our website or social media, we obtain information about that image. As such you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website or social media can download and extract any location data from images on the website or social media.
If you apply for a job or contract position with us, we may also collect personal information about you from third parties and publicly available sources, including:
- government departments to verify your entitlement to work in
- police agencies to obtain your criminal history record
- academic institutions
- consulting medical practitioner
- superannuation fund provider
- your current or previous employers; or
- your referees.
5.15.5 Information we collect from third parties
We may also collect your personal information through third parties with whom we interact with in order to provide our services. This includes:
- from organisations you have provided consent to pass your personal information on to us (e.g. medical and other health providers, government agencies and other non-government service providers);
- from your guardian/carer and/or authorised representative, government agencies and other non-government service providers.
In these cases, we will take reasonable steps to ensure you are aware that we have collected personal information about you and the circumstances of the collection.
5.15.6 Unsolicited information
If we receive personal information that we did not request and we could not have obtained by lawful means, we will destroy or de-identify the information as soon as practicable and in accordance with the law.
5.15.7 Do we engage in directing marketing?
In some instances, DVAC may use your personal information to contact you about news or events current to DVAC.
Direct marketing about DVAC events and news may be utilised only in the instances where a person provides consent through ‘opting in.’
We will never use or disclose your personal information for direct marketing related purposes without your consent. You can withdraw your consent to receiving direct marketing communications from us at any time by unsubscribing from the mailing list using our ‘opt out’ function, advising us that you no longer wish to receive these calls or by contacting our Privacy Officer using the Contact Us details below.
5.15.8 Collection of information via our website cookies
When you visit our website, we may also use ‘cookies’ or other similar tracking technologies that help us track your website usage and remember your preferences. Cookies are small files that store information on your computer, mobile phone or other device. They enable the entity that put the cookie on your device to recognise you across different websites, services, devices and/or browsing sessions. You can disable cookies through your internet browser but our website may not work as intended for you if you do so.
Embedded content from other websites
Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.
DVAC uses Google Analytics on our website and social media analytics to understand how our website and social media is being used and the demographics of the people accessing this information that we provide.
5.15.9 Purposes of which we collect, use and disclose personal information
We will only use your personal information for the purposes for which it is given to us, or for the purposes which are related to one or more of our functions or activities unless required or authorised by law. For example, we may collect, hold and use your personal information for the following purposes:
- to provide our services;
- to manage and conduct our business;
- to offer or promote our services;
- to obtain feedback;
- to help us manage, develop and enhance our services, including our websites and applications;
- to consider your suitability for employment; and
- to comply with our legal obligations, resolve any disputes and enforce our agreements and rights with third parties.
5.15.10 Disclosing your personal information
The following points outline how and why your information is shared at DVAC. Usually, information is shared due to safety, legal, and/or support planning purposes:
- The main reason we collect information is to provide our service to you
- There may be times we share this information with your consent to other services such as medical/ health providers with your expressed consent either by signing the consent form, or in some cases providing verbal consent.
- You may ask DVAC to share information on your behalf with another person, stakeholder, organisation, or service.
- Duty of Care
- Duty of care simply means that we have an obligation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of you and the If there is a situation where it is assessed that you or another individual is at imminent risk of harm, we have a duty of care to speak to any relevant person and/or service provider to ensure your safety and wellbeing. DVAC may be legally required to provide relevant information under Child Protection Legislation, if requested.
- If you are a complainant, we will need to collect some personal information to respond to your complaint.
- Information requests from another agency or legal subpoenas, such as:
- DVAC may be given a legal subpoena and is required to provide any information we have recorded. There are times when DVAC may be able to challenge subpoenas and provide a summary letter or report instead. However, if we are not successful then legally, we are required to provide this information.
- Under the DFV Protection Act 2012, DVAC staff are required to provide relevant information from case files in relation to high risk.
- Reporting requirements and business management
- DVAC may provide de-identified data to the funding body as a requirement of our service contract to meet our funding, professional or other legal obligations in providing you with our services.
- DVAC may also disclose information to:
- business service providers we contract to provide services on our behalf (for example IT systems administrators, software suppliers and mail houses);
- professional advisers who we engage to provide advice (for example other solicitors and barristers, accountants and auditors);
- anyone to whom part of or all of our assets or businesses are transferred or sold.
Every effort will be made to preserve the confidentiality of the client, especially where known safety concerns exist. Information you choose to share with our service may be sensitive, and therefore we seek to be respectful with this information. We are committed to involve you in all decision making where possible and safe, including when any information is required to be shared.
5.15.11 How long we retain your data
We store your personal information in hard copy and electronically. We take all reasonable and appropriate steps (including organisational and technological measures) to protect your personal information from misuse, interference and loss, as well as unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
We only keep your personal information for as long as it is required for the purpose for which it was collected or as otherwise required by applicable laws. If we no longer need to hold your personal information for any reason or we are no longer required by law to keep it, we will take reasonable steps to de-identify or destroy that information. These steps may vary depending on the nature of the information, the way it was collected and how it was stored.
5.15.12 What rights you have over your data
We will endeavour to ensure that the personal information collected from you is up to date, accurate and complete.
You may request access to, or correction of, the personal information we hold about you at any time by contacting us through our website. We will need to verify your identity before responding to your request. Subject to any applicable exceptions or requirements, we will provide you with access to the personal information you request within a reasonable time and usually within 28 days. If we decide to refuse your request, we will tell you why in writing and how to complain.
5.15.13 Consent for children and young people
Young person (14–17 years old)
It is best if we can get your parent/caregiver to sign a permission form for you to see a DVAC counsellor. However, we know that sometimes it is not possible or you may have valid reasons for not telling your parents/caregivers that you want to see a counsellor. If you are aged 14- 17 years you can request to provide consent without a parent or guardian. Your DVAC counsellor will ask you some questions to make sure that it is appropriate and ensure you are able to make an informed decision to engage in counselling.
Parental Consent for referring a child (0–17 years old) for counselling/or group
As a Child Safe Organisation we will also seek the agreement of all children to participate in an age appropriate manner.
It is also important to have the consent of your parent or legal guardian for a child to engage with counselling. We will first consider if there are safety concerns preventing safe access to counselling at DVAC, or Family Law Court Orders which prevent you from accessing the counselling program or its activities without the informed written consent of both parents.
If you have a complaints regarding this Policy or wish to exercise your privacy rights, please contact us through our complaints portal at https://dvac.org.au/our-services/important-information-for-clients/#feedback.
We will respond to you within a reasonable period of time to acknowledge your complaint and inform you of the next steps we will take in dealing with your complaint.
If you are not satisfied with our response, you may complain to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) via the OAIC website, www.oaic.gov.au.
5.16.1 Contact Us
If you have any questions about this Policy, or wish to make a complaint or exercise your privacy rights, please contact the Complaints Officer using the details below:
Phone: 07) 3816 2919
5.17 Privacy notice
Domestic Violence Action Centre Inc (ABN 91 593 855 217) (“DVAC”, “we”, “our” or “us”) may collect your personal information when you interact with us, including when you call us, when you complete our forms, when you contact us with a comment, enquiry or complaint through our website or social media, when you email us and when you otherwise interact with us.
DVAC collects your personal information from you directly and from other sources, such as third parties and publicly available sources, to provide our services, to manage and conduct our business, to offer or promote our services, to obtain feedback, to help us manage, develop and enhance our services, to consider your suitability for employment and to comply with our legal obligations, resolve any disputes and enforce our agreements and rights with third parties.
If you do not provide or DVAC cannot otherwise collect all the information we request or need, DVAC may not be able to provide our services to you.
5.17.1 Sharing your personal information
We may share your personal information for safety, legal, and/or support planning purposes, including with your consent for your health and wellbeing, to comply with our duty of care, to comply with our legal obligations and/or to comply with our reporting requirements and manage our business.
5.17.2 Information about our services
With your consent, we may use your contact details to send you (by telephone, post, email or SMS marketing communications about news or events current to DVAC. You can opt out of marketing communications at any time, by following the unsubscribe function in the message we send or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org