Service 1: Provision of information

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
  • Education for community groups and individuals on their rights under the Act
  • Identification of 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, community information stalls and lectures using various media to promote public discussion and interest in equal opportunity issues.

Facebook

The Equal Opportunity Commission launched its Face book page at the end of the 2015-16 financial year to increase its outreach to a wider digitally savvy demographic, as well as increase its outreach across the physically large state of Western Australia.  In 2016-17 there were 163 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 various publications.

During 2016-17 the Commission’s Face book page received 221 likes and gathered 222 followers. The most popular post, according to the number of likes received, was a promotional video of the Commission’s 2016 Human Rights Day event, which was shared three times and was liked 140 times, reaching 56,812 people.

Website

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. A priority when designing and posting web content has been to maximise accessibility by:

  • Making the site accessible to the widest range of people in the community, including people with a disability
  • Designing the pages so that they print out well.

In the 2016-17 financial year the Commission’s web site was visited on 186,459 occasions.  The page with the greatest number of hits was a page providing information about the Equal Opportunity Act.

The Commission’s website is now the primary avenue used to lodge complaints of unlawful discrimination, by filling out an online structured ‘Enquiry/Complaint form’, or by emailing the complaint using the email address provided on the site.

The website has become the preferred means when registering for the Commission’s popular community education and training events.

e-bulletin

The Commission’s e-bulletin is a digital newsletter containing 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.   The e-bulletin is distributed at the start of each month via email to over 2,500 subscribers. In 2016-17 eleven editions of the bulletin were published.  Back copies of the e-bulletin are freely accessible via the Commission’s website, filed under the ‘Publication’ heading in the drop down menu.

Our achievements in 2016-17

In 2016-17 the Commission continued to review its range of resources and information, made freely available in a range of formats.

Over the course of the year the Commission’s seminars and other events attracted 3,648 participants.

The Commission worked with public sector agencies in several areas including with the Public Sector Commission to support the development of trans inclusive workplaces.

Key activities undertaken this year

  • Co-hosted a panel discussion event with Youth Affairs Council of WA (YACWA) on Human Rights Day
  • Participated in, and distributed information at, the Pride Parade
  • Organised a Speed Mentoring event for young women, in recognition of International Women’s Day
  • Ran stalls at:
    • NAIDOC Week event in Mirrabooka
    • Harmony Day event in Mirrabooka
    • Aboriginal Health Worker’s Conference
    • Sorry Day commemoration at Wellington Square
  • Hosted the annual Isabelle Lake Memorial Lecture with University of Western Australia (UWA), featuring speaker A J Kearn
  • During Reconciliation Week displayed a Commission banner in Geraldton.

Links to community activities and training during 2016-17:
- Human Rights Day
- LGBTI Initiatives
- PSC on Trans inclusivity
- CEOs for Gender Equity
- New and Emerging Communities Reference Group
- Substantive Equality for 2016
- Training

Acting Commissioner at Sorry Day

Sorry Day 26 May

The Commission considers an important part of its outreach is to be involved in significant events for Aboriginal people.

The annual Sorry Day commemoration organised by the Bringing Them Home Committee and Reconciliation WA was held at Wellington Square, East Perth.

Many members of the Stolen Generation were present, as well as an estimated 2,500 school students and 1,500 community members.  The Commission’s stall was kept busy providing resources and information, as well as a competition for school children to create a caption for a cartoon depicting diversity.


Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day 12 December 

The Commission in collaboration with YACWA and the Commissioner for Children and Young People, hosted a panel discussion on International Day of Human Rights.  The event aimed to increase community awareness about human rights issues affecting young people, and was compered by Misty Farquhar from Curtin University.  A keynote address was given by Tammy Solonec, Indigenous Rights Manager at Amnesty International Australia.

Panellists included Youth Disability Advocacy Network worker Grace Mills, student intern at the Equal Opportunity Commission Patrick O’Reeri, Multicultural Youth Advocacy worker Sara Shengeb and Freedom Centre youth worker Dani Wright Toussaint.

Topics covered included refugees and migration, Aboriginal Australia, living with an impairment or disability and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex diversity.


Harmony Day Stall

Harmony Week

The Commission held an information stall for the Mirrabooka Harmony Day event at the Herb Graham Centre on 24 March to provide awareness about the Act and the Commission’s work.

To do this, the Commission held a competition at its stall for the best response to the question, ‘why do we need laws protecting us from discrimination and harassment?”

There were 17 responses from people of different ages, cultural backgrounds and genders, with and without a disability.

All responses supported laws protecting us from discrimination and harassment.