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 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 Commission launched its Facebook page at the end of the 2015-16 financial year to increase its outreach across Western Australia.  In 2017-18 there were 55 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 2017-18 the Commission’s Facebook page received 282 likes and gathered 281 followers.  The most popular post, according to the number of likes received, was regarding the Commission’s annual Isabelle Lake Memorial Lecture for IDaHOBIT day, which was shared 72 times and received 77 reactions and seven comments, reaching 1,860 people.


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 visual impairments who require the use of a reader.

In the 2017-18 financial year the Commission’s website was visited on 156,497 occasions.  The page with the greatest number of visits was the page providing information about the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 at 19,428 visits.  Of those visiting the site, 84.78% were new visitors and 15.22% 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 continues to increase with 79.4% submitted in this way, compared to 69.9% two years ago in 2015-16.  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 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.  It is distributed at the start of each month via email to over 1,900 subscribers many of which are organisations.  In 2017-18, 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.

Our achievements in 2017-18

In 2017-18 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 1,070 participants.

Key activities undertaken this year

  • Published “Catering for Everyone” click here a guide to assist hospitality venues develop accessible menus for people with visual impairments
  • Organised a second Speed Mentoring event for young women in recognition of International Women’s Day
  • Ran stalls at:
    • NAIDOC Week event in Mirrabooka and Ashfield
    • Harmony Day event in Mirrabooka
    • Pride Fair Day in Perth
    • Aboriginal Health Worker’s Conference in Fremantle
  • Hosted the annual Isabelle Lake Memorial Lecture with University of Western Australia (UWA), featuring speaker Tony Briffa creating more awareness for people who identify as intersex
  • Held a panel discussion titled Has Political Correctness Gone Mad? For WA Harmony Week.

Links to community activities and training during 2017-18:

- Substantive Equality forum
- New and Emerging Communities Reference Group
- Empowering women in the workplace
- Supporting safe schools
- Discussing sexual harassment with the Australia Human Rights Commission
- WA Media Awards
- Helping the hospitality industry cater for everyone
- Women sharing advice for International Women's Day
- Discussing race complaints at the Commission
- Has political correctness gone mad
- Helping architects build barriers to sex discrimination
- Intersex issues on IDAHOBIT Day
- Measures intended to achieve equality

Commission staff at the Harmony Week stall

Out in the community for NAIDOC Week

In July the Commission participated in NAIDOC week evens included stalls at the Mirrabooka NAIDOC Event at the Herb Graham Recreational Centre and at Ashfield Reserve for the NAIDOC Family Day.

Acting Commissioner John Byrne said these were important events for the Commission.

“The Aboriginal community unfortunately still suffers greatly from discrimination especially in employment and provision of goods and services,” he said.

 “People put up with discrimination because they are sometimes unsure about what they can do about it or who can help them,” John Byrne said.

He said having a presence at NAIDOC Week helped raise awareness in the Aboriginal community about the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (the Act) and the Commission’s role in providing means of redress.

Sharing the harmony at Mirrabooka

Sharing the harmony at Mirrabooka

The Equal Opportunity Commission held a stall at the Herb Graham Recreational Centre again this year for Mirrabooka’s Harmony Day celebration.

Commission staff gave out information about equal opportunity and human rights laws and asked stall visitors to write responses to the question – What’s not fair?

Acting Equal Opportunity Commissioner John Byrne said the event was a wonderful way of bringing together Perth’s diverse communities to celebrate the state’s multicultural heritage.

“Coming together and embracing diversity is central to our conciliation process here at the Commission, so the Mirrabooka Harmony Day is an event we strongly support,” he said. 

2018 Calendar

2018 Aboriginal Calendar

In September 2017 Year Six classes from Huntingdale Primary School submitted their entries for the Commission’s 2018 Aboriginal Calendar with this year’s theme, of Discrimination is no joke.

Earlier in June 2017 three classes from this school had participated in training sessions on discrimination and equal opportunity conducted by the Commission’s community education officers.

The winner of the Aboriginal Calendar artwork competition had their design reproduced on the Commission’s 2018 Aboriginal Calendar.

Acting Commissioner John Byrne said the entries showed great consideration for the theme, Discrimination is no joke as well as artistic skill