Making a complaint to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC)

Making a Complaint to the HREOC

If a person with a disability or an Associate of a person with a disability feels that they have been discriminated against because of their disability, they can make a complaint to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC). Below is a brief description of the complaint process.

Seek information and assistance

Many complaints begin with a telephone call to HREOC. The first telephone conversation will usually help clarify whether or not a complaint is covered by the DDA. If it is covered, information will be given about the next step to take. Other organisations that may give more information and assistance with complaints are listed in this booklet.

Put the complaint in writing

If you decide to make a formal complaint, you need to put your complaint in writing. HREOC has complaint forms that can be filled in, which can be posted out to you, if you wish. Alternatively, the complaint can be made in a letter. A friend or support person can help with writing the complaint down, or a HREOC officer can help. Basically, the written complaint should provide contact details for all parties, report what happened, who was involved and, where possible, your preferred outcome to the complaint. It is a good idea, too, to list all the people or organisations that have been contacted about the complaint and to attach copies of any letters you've sent or received so far. HREOC's complaint handling process is free.

Assessing the complaint

Upon receiving the written complaint, HREOC will determine if the circumstances of the complaint are covered by the law. If they believe that they are not or they fall under some other area of law, HREOC will let you know that they can't accept the complaint. Sometimes, HREOC may ask you to give them more information about the circumstances of the complaint to help them make their assessment. Normally, HREOC will not consider complaints that have been lodged over 12 months after the time the discrimination happened unless there are special circumstances. Because of this, it's important to enquire about the complaint process as soon as you can after an act of discrimination happens.

Dealing with the Complaint

Generally the process followed by HREOC is as follows:

For more information on the complaints process with HREOC go to:
www.humanrights.gov.au/complaints_information/lodging.html or contact the
HREOC Complaints Info Hotline
Phone: 1300 656 419
TTY: 1800 620 241
Email: complaintsinfo@humanrights.gov.au.