What we do

What the Commission can do for you

The Equal Opportunity Commission has two major roles. The first is to encourage recognition and an understanding of the principles of equal opportunity. Laws alone do not end intolerance, prejudice and discrimination in our community - so education is a vital part of the Commission’s function.

The second is to provide a means of redress to individuals who allege unlawful discrimination. Since the Equal Opportunity Act was proclaimed 33 years ago, in 1985, the Equal Opportunity Commissioner has received more than 148,000 enquiries and handled over 16,300 complaints.

Community information

YOUR ENQUIRIES

The Commission provides a variety of services that seek to inform and promote the principles of equal opportunity to individuals, employers, employees, equal opportunity coordinators, representatives of public and private sector agencies as well as community and voluntary groups.

Commission staff deal with any general concerns or queries about rights and responsibilities under equal opportunity laws.

You can ring us for information on (08) 9216 3900 or toll free on 1800 198 149 or TTY (08) 9216 3936
9.00am to 4pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday and 12.30pm to 4pm Tuesday and Thursday. 
You can leave us a message out of hours.

You can also send your question by email, fax or letter.  See here for more contact information.

For information out of hours, or anytime, check Your rights and FAQs sections on this website - they may also provide an answer to your query.

PUBLICATIONS AND RESOURCES

The Commission publishes a range of information - posters, brochures, booklets, fact sheets - in print and electronic formats to raise awareness in the community of equal opportunity.  Copies of reports of investigations and inquiries, annual reports and much more are also available.

These are available, cost free, for individuals and community groups.  Most are also on this website. We hope that you will be able to use this information widely, and subject to normal copyright provisions, you can download and print materials.

Go to the Publications section on our website for a full list of available resources and to order your copies.

For further information or to lodge a complaint please contact us.

Community education and training

Community events, education, training sessions, seminars, workshops and papers are regularly presented by Commission staff. 

These seek to enhance understanding of the principles of equal opportunity, as well as increase recognition of the provisions contained in the Equal Opportunity Act 1984.

Presentations or training by Commission staff may be requested by contacting the Commission.  For more information about our regular calendar of courses, customised training and training for community groups.  Go to the Community education and training section of the website to find out more

Complaints of discrimination

ALLEGATIONS OF UNFAIR TREATMENT

The Commissioner can investigate and attempt to conciliate allegations of unfair treatment because of one of the grounds in the Act, which have been received in writing.  The incident or incidents included in a complaint must have occurred within the 12 months previous to the date on which the complaint is lodged.  In some circumstances, the Commissioner may rule there is a good reason to include older incidents.

Where a complaint cannot be conciliated, the Commissioner may refer it for determination by the State Administrative Tribunal and may provide legal advice.

For more information about what constitutes a complaint, how the Commission handles complaints and how to make a complaint see the Complaints section on this website.  We also have published a selection of Complaint Summaries to give an indication of the kinds of complaints which the Commission investigates and resolves.

Inquiries and community projects

The Commissioner for Equal Opportunity is responsible under Section 80 of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 for undertaking investigations into unlawful discrimination and making recommendations for remedying such discrimination.

In recent years, the Commissioner has undertaken two major investigations in relation to discrimination in housing: An inquiry into discrimination against Aboriginal people in public housing, and  An inquiry into discrimination against Aboriginal people and people from ethnic minority groups in the provision of private rental accommodation.

The Commissioner also establishes stakeholder groups to work in identified areas of discrimination such as the CEOs for Gender Equity, and the New and emerging communities reference group.

You can read more about these inquiries in the Community Projects section of the website.