Refugee Council of Australia
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Privacy policy

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At the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), your right to privacy and data security is a primary concern. It is a requirement of the Privacy Amendment Act (Private Sector) Act 2000 that you be informed about the type of information we hold about you and how we use this information.


This policy outlines our ongoing obligations to you in respect of how we manage your Personal Information. We have adopted the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act). The principles govern the way in which we collect, use, disclose, store, secure and dispose of your Personal Information.

A copy of the Australian Privacy Principles may be obtained from the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at

What information we collect

Personal information

Personal Information is information or an opinion that identifies an individual. RCOA collects personal information about members, donors, supporters, volunteers, consultants, job applicants and individuals who we advocate for. The information we collect can include name, date of birth, address, email address, home phone, work phone, and mobile phone numbers, employee records etc. RCOA also collects and stores visits to our website. You can disable the tracking in your internet browsing settings.

You do not have to provide us with your personal information. However, if you do not provide us with your personal information, it will be difficult for us to contact you.

You may, if you wish, donate or receive general information anonymously. This would need to be in the form of a money order or cash (please do not send cash through the mail). Apart from the information given to financial institutions required for normal bank processing, personal details of donors remain confidential unless the donor specifically directs otherwise. The mailing lists of donors are never sold, rented or exchanged to third parties.

Sensitive information

Sensitive information includes information or opinion about such things as an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious or philosophical beliefs, membership of a trade union or other professional body, criminal record or health information.

RCOA may collect and hold sensitive information as part of our advocacy or research work. Where reasonable and practicable to do so, we will collect your personal information only from you. However, in some circumstances we may be provided with information by third parties. In such a case we will take reasonable steps to ensure that you are made aware of the information provided to us by the third party.

By providing it to us, you consent to us collecting, using or disclosing it as specified by this Privacy Policy or as otherwise authorised by law.

Sensitive information will be used by us only:

• For the primary purpose for which it was obtained

• For a secondary purpose that is directly related to the primary purpose

• With your consent; or where required or authorised by law.

How we collect personal information

We collect personal information you provide to us directly (in person, over the phone, by email, through our website or by completing our online or hard copy forms). We may also collect your personal information from publicly available sources, from SMS and other electronic means and from third parties. If we collected your personal information from a third party, we will notify you of that fact.

During your communications with us, please do not provide us with personal or sensitive information of any other individual unless you have the express consent of that individual to do so. If you do provide us with such information about another individual, you:

• must tell that individual that you will be providing their information to us and that we will handle their information in accordance with this Privacy Policy

• must provide that individual with a copy of (or refer them to) this Privacy Policy

• warrant that you have that individual’s consent to provide their information to us.

Use of personal information

We use personal information you provide us for the purpose for which it was provided to us, for other related purposes or as permitted or required by law. Such purposes include:

• processing donations, memberships and issuing receipts

• responding to your comments or inquiries

• providing information about RCOA’s activities

• donor and supporter research, for example asking you to participate in a survey about your involvement with RCOA or providing feedback on our activities

• requesting financial or advocacy support

• measuring the level of support received and the effectiveness of our campaigns

• providing you with marketing material such as our newsletter (if you opt-in to receive such information)

• visits to our website. This includes the server address, domain name, date and time of visit, web pages accessed, and documents downloaded, previous site visited and type of browser used.

• any other purposes identified at the time of collecting your information.

If we also obtain your sensitive information, we will only use your sensitive information (such as your ethnic origin or health information) for the purposes listed above, or other directly related purposes or purposes to which you consent.

We will always provide an opportunity to opt-out of receiving different types of RCOA information. If you do not wish to receive new information, just email us at and we will delete your details from all lists.

Disclosure of personal information

Any personal information you provide to us may be disclosed, if appropriate, to third parties who provide services on our behalf, such as mail, database, telephone, IT, audit, professional advice, payment processing and research services. We may also disclose your personal information to our volunteers who assist with many of our tasks. From time to time, we send personal information to suppliers who may be based overseas. Our suppliers are required by us to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles. We have confidentiality agreements in place with many of our service providers and external agencies, and with staff and volunteers who handle personal information that we provide to them. We will only disclose your personal information for the purposes for which it was initially collected, other directly related purposes or purposes to which you otherwise consent. Other than as stated above, we will we not share your personal information.

Members are listed by name only in the RCOA website and in the RCOA Annual Report. RCOA does not disclose personal information to other parties and personal information provided by members is treated as strictly confidential.

RCOA does not sell or loan any information collected. No data collected by RCOA from its website or for our database will be disclosed to any third party except where the details are required to transfer information for donations, to reply to a specific request that you might have or where it is legally required (such as in the investigation of a criminal office or in compliance with a search warrant or subpoena). Please note that this does not apply to contact details that are in the public domain.

Data security

RCOA is committed to protecting your data. We take commercially reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is protected from misuse, loss, interference and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Databases maintained by RCOA are secured with a password and can only be accessed by RCOA staff.

For example, whenever we ask for your financial details online, we use security-encrypted response forms and your information is held in secure servers. However, data protection and security measures are never completely secure and, despite the measures we have put in place, we cannot guarantee the security of your information. You must take care to protect your personal information (for example, by protecting any usernames and passwords) and you should notify us as soon as possible of any security breaches. If you do not wish to make your financial contribution online, please contact us for our bank account details.

Information for website or email use


RCOA collects and stores the following information about visitors to our website via our website server: server address domain name, the date, time and duration of the visit, the web pages accessed, and documents downloaded, previous site visited, type of browser used. We will also collect other non-identifying data for statistical purposes. This information cannot directly identify individuals, unless required by law. It is only used to measure the number of visitors to the different parts of the site and to help us make the site more useful to you. As you are not required to enter any personal details in any part of the site, you remain anonymous during your visit.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. Please note that some parts of the website may not function fully for users that disallow cookies.

Email monitoring

If you send us an email, the message content may be monitored by our Internet Service Provider or RCOA employees if email abuse is suspected, or for troubleshooting and maintenance purposes. Email is an unsecure communications medium; it should not be used for confidential correspondence.

Third party links

Our website contains hypertext links to other third-party websites. RCOA is not responsible for the privacy practices or content of any site that is linked to its website. Your activity on those sites is covered by the privacy policies of those sites.

How to contact us

If you have any questions or comments about RCOA’s privacy policy please contact RCOA’s Privacy Officer on 02 9211 9333 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Alternatively you can send an email to (attention Privacy Officer) or write to:

Privacy Officer

Refugee Council of Australia

Suite 4A6, 410 Elizabeth Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010


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