On 13 April 2017 changes were made to the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) (AHRCA). Please refer to the fact sheet for more information about these changes.
All of the information on this website has been updated to reflect the changes.
The Australian Human Rights Commission can investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying based on a person’s:
- sex, including pregnancy, marital or relationship status (including same-sex de facto couples) status, breastfeeding, family responsibilities, sexual harassment, gender identity, intersex status and sexual orientation
- disability, including temporary and permanent disabilities; physical, intellectual, sensory, psychiatric disabilities, diseases or illnesses; medical conditions; work related injuries; past, present and future disabilities; and association with a person with a disability
- race, including colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, immigrant status and racial hatred
- age, covering young people and older people
- sexual preference, criminal record, trade union activity, political opinion, religion or social origin (in employment only)
It is against the law to be discriminated against in many areas of public life, including employment, education, the provision of goods, services and facilities, accommodation, sport and the administration of Commonwealth laws and services.
The Commission can also investigate and resolve complaints about alleged breaches of human rights against the Commonwealth and its agencies.
How are complaints resolved?
Complaints to the Commission are resolved through a process known as conciliation. This is where the people involved in a complaint talk through the issues with the help of someone impartial and settle the matter on their own terms.
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.
Find out more about complaints and the complaint process
- Information for people making complaints
- Information for people responding to complaints
- The complaint process
- Understanding and preparing for conciliation
- Complaint information in other languages
- Conciliation register
- Charter of Service
- Complaint statistics
How do I make a complaint?
Complaints must be made in writing or by email. Go to the Lodge a complaint page for more details.
For more information contact our National Information Service
Phone: 1300 656 419 or 02 9284 9888
Fax: 02 9284 9611
TTY: 1800 620 241 (toll free)
National Relay Service: 1300 555 727 (Speak and Listen) or http://relayservice.gov.au/
Translating and Interpreting Service: 131 450 or http://www.tisnational.gov.au/
Note: We will use the information you provide to consider and respond to your enquiry. Any personal information will be used and stored in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).