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Complaints

We investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination and breaches of human rights. You can make a complaint no matter where you live in Australia. Our service is free, impartial and informal.

The Australian Human Rights Commission is an independent third party which investigates complaints about discrimination and human rights breaches. It does not act as an advocate or legal representative for a party to a complaint. The complaint process is simple, free and flexible.

Complaint Areas

The Complaint Process

You can make a complaint no matter where you live in Australia and it doesn’t cost anything to make a complaint. The elements of the complaint process are outlined below.

  • Making a complaint
    • You can make a complaint no matter where you live in Australia.
    • It doesn’t cost anything to make a complaint and you don't need a lawyer to make a complaint
    • If you are not sure if you can make a complaint about something, you can contact the Commission’s National Information Service by phone on 1300 656 419 or by email to infoservice@humanrights.gov.au.  If we can’t help you, we will try to refer you to someone who can.
    • We can only accept written complaints.  You can make a complaint online at www.humanrights.gov.au/complaints/make-complaint .  If you prefer, you can print off a complaint form, fill it in and post it to us at GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001 or fax it to 02 9284 9611.  We can also send you a complaint form and if necessary, we can help you to write down your complaint.
    • If we cannot deal with your complaint, we will explain why.

    Printed forms

  • Investigation
    • We will contact you to talk about your complaint and we may ask you to provide more information.
    • Usually, we will contact the person or organisation you are complaining about (the respondent) and provide them with a copy of your complaint.  We will ask for their comments and other information.  We will let you know what they say about your complaint.
    • In some cases, we may decide not to investigate or to stop investigating your complaint.  If this happens, we will explain why.
    • We may talk to you about trying to resolve the complaint by conciliation.
  • Conciliation

    Complaints to the Commission are resolved through a process known as conciliation.

    Conciliation is a very successful way of resolving complaints. Feedback shows that most people find our process fair, informal and easy to understand. It also helps them to better understand the issues and come up with solutions that are appropriate to their circumstances.

    Complaint outcomes can include an apology, reinstatement to a job, compensation for lost wages, changes to a policy or developing and promoting anti-discrimination policies.

     

Other Guides

Complaint information in Auslan

Learn More

How conciliation works

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Responding to a complaint

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