Service 1: Provision of information and advice

The Commission works with community members and organisations to extend understanding and skills to achieve equality and realise their rights through:

  • Involvement in community programs and events
  • Responding to enquiries from individuals, government, non-government and private industry
  • Delivering training for employers and service providers on their responsibilities and rights under the Act
  • Education for community groups and individuals on their rights under the Act
  • Identification of potentially discriminatory policies and practices and raising these with appropriate bodies.

Raising community awareness

Key strategies include:

  • Development of resources, both targeted and general information for the community about aspects of equal opportunity law and human rights in a variety of printed and electronic formats 
  • Raising awareness of equal opportunity and human rights issues in Western Australia through presentations, forums, guest speakers, media interviews, community information stalls and lectures using various media to promote public discussion and interest in equal opportunity issues.

The website serves the role of distributing information about the Commission’s community education, complaint handling, human rights advocacy and related functions.  The site provides a clean, fast, consistent and easily navigable online interface for the work of the Commission.

Ongoing review of the website is undertaken to make the site accessible to the widest range of people in the community, including people with visual impairments who require the use of a reader.

In the 2018-19 financial year the Commission’s website received 142,910 page views.  The page with the greatest number of visits was the page providing information about the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 at 17,675 visits.  Of those visiting the site, 85.7% were new visitors and 14.3% were returning visitors.

The Commission’s online complaint form and contact details are now the primary avenue used to lodge complaints of unlawful discrimination.  Lodgement of complaints on the website and by email continue to increase with 85.7% submitted in this way, compared to 74.9% two years ago in 2016-17.  The website has also become the preferred means when registering for the Commission’s popular community education and training events.

The Commission’s e-bulletin contains news of the outreach, community education and other activities of the Commission. The e-bulletin provides informative discrimination related legal cases, and important human rights issues and trends.  It is distributed at the start of each month via email to over 1,800 subscribers.  In 2018-19, a total of 11 editions of the bulletin were published.  Back copies of the e-bulletin are accessible via the Commission’s website, under the ‘Publications’ heading on the home page.

The Commission launched its Facebook page at the end of the 2015-16 financial year to increase its outreach across Western Australia.  In 2018-19 there were 72 online posts, which included links to news articles relevant to the Act as well as publicising the Commission’s awareness raising events, community outreach work, and human rights and equal opportunity issues.

During 2018-19 the Commission’s Facebook page received 349 likes and as of 30 June 2019 has 352 followers.  The most popular post, according to the number of likes received, was the repost of an ABC news story regarding private schools resisting the push to allow girls to wear pants. The post received 63 likes, 115 reactions, comments and shares and reached 2,616 people.

Awareness events

  • Co-hosted the annual Isabelle Lake Memorial Lecture with University of Western Australia (UWA), featuring speaker Joey Joleen Mataele.
  • Held a hypothetical discussion titled In Two Minds for International Day of People with Disability and Human Rights Day.

Our achievements in 2018-19

In 2018-19 the Commission continued to review its range of resources and information, which are freely available in a range of formats.

Over the course of the year the Commission’s seminars and other events attracted over 600 participants.

Key activities undertaken this year:

  • Organised a third Speed Mentoring event for young women in recognition of International Women’s Day
  • Ran stalls at:
    - NAIDOC Week events in Mirrabooka and Ashfield
    - Harmony Day events at South Metropolitan TAFE and Katanning Harmony Festival
    - Pride Fair Day in Perth
    - Participated in the annual Pride March
    - Published Age is not a use by date a snapshot of discrimination experienced by older Western Australians.
  • Links to community activities and training during 2018-19:

WA Media Awards
New and Emerging Communities Reference Group
Age is not a use by date
Federal Sex Dsicrimination Commissioner visits the Equal Opportunity Commission
Harmony Week in the regions
Mentoring young women for International Women's Day
In Two Minds
A cultural exchange for Isabelle Lake Memorial Lecture
Working with the Public Sector Commission on measures intended to achieve equality
Substantive Equality


Mirrabooka NAIDOC

Out in the community for NAIDOC Week

In July 2018 the Commission participated in NAIDOC Week events including stalls at the Mirrabooka NAIDOC Event at the Herb Graham Recreational Centre and the NAIDOC Family Day at Ashfield Reserve.

Acting Commissioner Byrne said it was another successful NAIDOC Week at the Commission.

Commission enquiry staff were rostered on both stalls to speak to stall visitors about unlawful discrimination and to network with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community about ways to address unlawful discrimination, particularly on the grounds of race and racial harassment.

 “Every year we hold information stalls at community NAIDOC events to connect with the WA community, and it is a wonderful way to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture” he said.

Calendar 2019

2019 Aboriginal Calendar

The 2019 Aboriginal Calendar artwork competition was run through Banksia Hill Detention Centre in 2018.

Community Education Officer Steve Goodall provided a training session to a group of students from the boys and girls sections at the centre prior to Communications Officer Sarah Johnston launching the competition.

The winning artist received a voucher for art supplies which was presented to him by Acting Commissioner Byrne.