Skip to main content

Conciliation Register

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Descent
Race
Sex
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology

Other opportunity provided

Revised terms and conditions

Compensation

Amount $20,000
Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and undertook a graduate program with the respondent government department. She acted in higher duties for a period and applied for the role when it was advertised. The complainant was not invited to attend an interview and sought feedback from the head of the interview panel. She alleged he told her that discussing her Aboriginality in her application was a factor in the decision not to interview her and may hinder her prospects of progression. She also alleged that he said the woman who was interviewed wore ‘a nice skirt and heels’, which made her feel her appearance/grooming was being criticised. The complainant said she made an internal complaint about the alleged comments but was unhappy with the department’s response to the complaint. At the time of lodging the complaint, the complainant was on leave without pay and undertaking a Masters degree for which she had been awarded a scholarship.

On being advised of the complaint, the department indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the department write to the complainant acknowledging and apologising for her negative experience, stating that the alleged conduct was unacceptable and assuring her that steps were being taken to prevent similar incidents in the future. The department also granted the complainant an additional year of leave without pay to allow her to complete her Masters degree and agreed to meet with her to discuss a safe and sustainable return to work. Finally, the department agreed to pay the complainant $20,000 in compensation for hurt and distress.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Descent
Ethnic origin
National origin/extraction
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Anti-discrimination/EEO policy reviewed/revised

Anti-discrimination training introduced

Amount $7,500
Year

The complainant is of Torres Strait Island ethnic origin and had been employed by the respondent private school for over ten years. He said that, during a discussion with a colleague about a possible lift to another colleague’s wedding, he was vague about his pick-up address. He alleged the colleague asked him ‘why you don't want to tell me where you live, is that because you are a Boonga?’ The complainant claimed that the term 'boonga' is offensive to those of Indigenous heritage and that the colleague asked the question to be disparaging of his race and to imply he lived in sub-standard housing. The complainant claimed the school failed to respond appropriately to his complaint about the incident. The complainant resigned his employment before lodging a complaint with the Commission.

The school confirmed that the complainant was subjected to an offensive and insensitive comment in the workplace, but denied not responding appropriately to the incident. 

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the school pay the complainant $7,500 as general damages, undertake to update its policies and procedures (including policies regarding non-discrimination and its code of conduct) and arrange training in relation to the above policies.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Race
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Other section 9
Outcome details

Statement of regret

Policy change/Change in practice

Year

The complainant is Indigenous and played for the respondent sports club. He advised he was seriously injured during a game and alleged the club treated him less favourably than non-Indigenous players with similar injuries, including by leaving him alone in the change rooms, not providing appropriate medical care, not calling an ambulance until some time after the injury, not following up on his medical care and not arranging for team members to visit him. 

The club claimed its first aid officer provided appropriate care to the complainant and that an ambulance was called once the seriousness of the injury became clear. The club said it provided support to the complainant while he was in hospital and recovering. The sport’s governing body said that, while it had no direct control over what took place in this particular case, it provided appropriate support to Indigenous players.

The complaint was resolved. The sport’s governing body expressed its regret to the complainant for feeling he had not been adequately supported. The governing body undertook to provide the complainant with relevant policies and its Reconciliation Action Plan and to consider the complainant’s feedback on these documents when they were next reviewed.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Ethnic origin
National origin/extraction
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Employment - other

Compensation

Amount Approximately $850
Year

The complainant is Filipino and was placed by the respondent labour-hire company at a government department. He claimed another independent contractor at the department made comments to him such as 'it’s just because you're Filipino' and 'it reminded me of you, you know, the Filipinos who live in the slums', and called him 'Charlie'. The complainant’s contract at the department ended before he lodged a complaint with the Commission.

On being made aware of the complaint, the labour-hire company indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the labour-hire company pay the complainant approximately $850, equivalent to one week’s wages, and provide him with access to its employee assistance program for free counselling/support.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Descent
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $120,000
Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and worked in an administrative role at the respondent government agency. She alleged that over several years disparaging comments about Aboriginal people were made towards her, she was not promoted because of her race and she was subjected to undue performance management. The complainant claimed she had made several complaints about the alleged discrimination but was unsatisfied with the agency’s response. She claimed the agency did not take adequate steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace, including failing to deliver cultural awareness training. At the time of the complaint, the complainant had been on unpaid leave for approximately two years.

On being advised of the complaint, the agency indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved. The parties agreed to end the employment relationship and the agency agreed to pay the complainant $120,000 in settlement of all claims relating to her employment.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Race
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Apology

Policy change/Change in practice 

Anti-discrimination/EEO training introduced

Year

The complainant is Indian and alleged the respondent club denied him entry because of his race. He claimed a security guard was rude to him, said words to the effect that ‘we do not want trouble in this country’ and claimed the complainant had previously been reported to the police for disorderly behaviour at the club. The complainant claimed the security guard was unable to provide him with any evidence that he had been the person referred to and alleged the security guard was engaging in racial profiling.

The club claimed security guards did not consider the race or colour of patrons when deciding whether to grant entry to the club. The club argued the security guard would have recognised the complainant as the person previously engaging in disorderly behaviour. The club noted it employed security and other staff from a range of cultural and national backgrounds.

The complaint was resolved. The club apologised for what may have been a case of mistaken identity and because the security guard communicated with the complainant. The club undertook to deliver training to security and other staff on culturally appropriate communication and customer service, using the complainant’s experience as a case study. The club also undertook to keep better records of persons banned from the club and to meet with the security company to discuss the issues raised in the complaint and how to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Ethnic origin
National origin/extraction
Race
Racial hatred
Areas Employment
Racial hatred
Outcome details

Apology

Compensation

Amount $6,000
Year

The complainant is Welsh and was employed on a contract by the respondent industry association. He alleged a colleague made disparaging comments to him about Wales, Welsh people and the Welsh language, including ‘your culture and language are dead and worthless’, ‘Welsh children...should be beaten at school’ and ‘you're a sheepshagger’. He said he made a complaint to HR but no action was taken and he felt he had no option but to resign.

The industry association claimed the complainant directed comments of a similar nature towards the colleague referred to in the complaint, who was English, in the context of workplace banter. The association claimed it had taken all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace and as such could not be held responsible for the actions of the colleague.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the industry association pay the complainant $6,000 as general damages and write to him acknowledging his disappointment with the manner in which the association responded to his internal complaint.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Race
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Apology

Compensation

Amount $100
Year

The complainant is Chinese and bought a discounted item on the respondent retailer’s website. He alleged that, when he attempted to return the item at one of the retailer’s outlets, a staff member said words to the effect that “you Asians” purchase discounted items only to fraudulently return them and claim the full retail price.

The retailer denied the alleged comment but agreed to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the retailer offer the complainant a $100 voucher for use in-store and write to him acknowledging and apologising for the distress he experienced. 
 

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Race
Areas Other section 9
Outcome details

Apology 
Policy change/Change in practice (external customers)
Record changed 
 

Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and plays in a sporting team whose members identify as Aboriginal. She said that during a discussion with an opponent about another player’s nationality,  she said “I am a true Australian”. She said the opponent made a complaint about her to the regional sporting association. The complainant advised she was suspended for racial vilification on advice from the national sporting association. She alleged the sporting associations discriminated against her on the ground of her race by imposing an unduly harsh penalty on her and failing to follow proper procedures.

The sporting associations denied discriminating against the complainant, but agreed to participate in conciliation in the interests of trying to resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved. The regional sporting association agreed to write to the complainant acknowledging that the complaint process was flawed and the penalty harsh and apologising for any distress she experienced as a result. The regional sporting association also agreed to expunge records of the offence and relevant findings and invited the complainant’s team to return to the competition and to meet with senior management. Additionally, the regional sporting association agreed to contact the local Aboriginal Land Council for assistance for Aboriginal players facing disciplinary action.  

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Race
Racial hatred
Areas Racial hatred
Outcome details

Apology

Employment - other (individual)

 

Year

The complainant is of Iranian ethnic origin and volunteers with a youth organisation. He alleged the respondent, a senior member of the organisation, told him, in front of a large group of people, "you will need to shave your beard because you look like an Arab" and "we wouldn't want you handing out flyers in a shopping mall looking like a terrorist". The complainant said he chose not to include the organisation in the complaint because his primary goal was to privately and confidentially educate the person concerned about the impact of such statements.

The respondent remembered telling the complainant to shave his beard, but did not recall details of the conversation. He agreed to participate in conciliation to try to resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved. The respondent apologised to the complainant for anything he said that might have offended him and emphasised that he did not intend to hurt the complainant. The respondent said he was more aware of the potential impact of comments relating to a person’s race or ethnicity and undertook not to make such comments in the future. The complainant continued to volunteer with the organisation. 

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Racial hatred
Areas Racial hatred
Outcome details

Apology

Year

The complainant is Aboriginal. He said an Aboriginal radio host on the respondent radio station used the term “abo” when referring to himself. The complainant felt this gave callers to the program license to refer to Aboriginal people as “abos”, which he found offensive.

On being advised of the complaint, the radio station indicated a willingness to try to resolve the matter by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the radio host apologise on air for the use of the word “abo” and any upset it may have unintentionally caused listeners.
 

Act Age Discrimination Act
Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Ethnic origin
National origin/extraction
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology

Year

The complainant said her son, who is 17 years of age and of Indian origin, had been employed by the respondent leisure centre. The complainant claimed that because of her son’s age and race, his employer did not provide him with adequate medical treatment following a work-related injury.

The leisure centre denied discriminating against the complainant’s son and claimed the same medical treatment is offered to any injured employee.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the leisure centre write to the complainant’s son acknowledging his hurt and distress.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Ethnic origin
National origin/extraction
Race
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Apology - Private
Compensation
Policy change/Change in practice

Amount $30
Year

The complainant is of Chinese ethnic origin and claimed the respondent supermarket cancelled his online order for infant formula because of his ethnic origin. He advised his wife is Caucasian and claimed her order for infant formula was not cancelled.

On being advised of the complaint the supermarket indicated a willingness to try to resolve the matter by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved. The supermarket wrote to the complainant providing an explanation for the incident and apologising for any distress he experienced. The supermarket offered the complainant a $30 voucher and advised it would revise its policies and procedures with respect to online and in-store purchases of infant formula.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Racial hatred
Areas Racial hatred
Outcome details

Apology - private

Other

Year

The complainants are Aboriginal and live in public housing. They claimed a neighbour attempted to remove them by starting a petition around the neighbourhood and sending the petition to the government body responsible for the property. They also claimed that the neighbour made racially derogatory comments including calling them ‘black c**ts’.

The neighbour denied starting a petition. He claimed another neighbour wrote a letter to the relevant department on behalf of house owners in the neighbourhood raising concerns about the department not adhering to its project regarding sale of properties in the neighbourhood. The neighbour denied making the alleged comments, but said there was an altercation between him and one of the complainants when he tried to raise concerns about the complainants’ grandchild throwing rocks and eggs at the neighbours' windows.

The complaint was resolved. The complainants’ neighbour apologised for any upset or distress experienced as a result of the altercation. The parties expressed a mutual desire to improve their relationship and agreed to attend the complainants’ local church together to get to know each other better. One of the complainants agreed to speak with his grandchildren about appropriate behaviour around the neighbourhood.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Colour
Race
Racial hatred
Areas Employment
Racial hatred
Outcome details

Compensation
Statement of regret – private
Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised

Amount $6,500
Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and was employed as a flight attendant with the respondent airline. She claimed that during a flight, colleagues made racially derogatory remarks in their conversation, including ‘looking so black... looking like a nigger and boong’ within earshot of the complainant and other crew members. The complainant claimed the airline did not respond appropriately to her internal complaint about the issue.

On being advised of the complaint the airline indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the airline pay the complainant $5,000 and write to her acknowledging the distress and upset she experienced as a result of the events complained of. The airline also agreed to take on board input from the complainant with respect to future discrimination and cultural awareness training. The complainant’s colleague agreed to pay the complainant $1,500 and to meet with the complainant and the colleagues aware of the incident to acknowledge that her comments were inappropriate and offensive. The complainant remained employed with the airline.