Past issues

Commissioner for Equal Opportunity e-bulletin April 2016

by Equal Opportunity Commission | Apr 04, 2016

For all the latest news on what is happening at the Commission read our latest e-bulletin.

April 2016

Commission in the community in Harmony Week

Consulting with young people

WA Acting Commissioner for Equal Opportunity Jenni Perkins sat down with a group of students from Cyril Jackson Senior Campus to discuss their hopes for equality in multicultural Western Australia

The students talked about some of their own experiences, especially of race and age discrimination and how it made them feel.

They believed that working with communities, in schools and in social media would be good ways to make young people more aware of equal opportunity laws in WA. 

Talking discrimination around WA

A stall at the Aboriginal Health Worker’s Conference highlighted issues of race and impairment in Aboriginal communities for delegates from every corner of WA.

The Commission also worked with the Great Southern Migrant Services and Federal Department of Social Services to bring workshops and training sessions for service providers on systemic discrimination.

At a seminars in Bunbury and Albany, the Commission worked with groups of young women to combat sexual harassment in their workplaces.  

International Women’s Day

Ruby Hutchison honoured

Ruby Hutchison, was the first woman to serve in the Western Australian Legislative Council and was posthumously acknowledged by her inclusion on the Western Australian Hall of Fame Honour Roll.

Elected in 1954 and serving until her retirement in 1971 Ruby was the longest serving woman Member of Parliament. 

She was well known for her championship of consumer rights, adult suffrage in the WA Upper House and support for women and children. 

Ruby attracted attention to her causes in novel ways, including being evicted from the Legislative Council for insisting that it was undemocratic and should be abolished.  Read more about Ruby at Choice magazine,  Australian Dictionary of Biography, and WA Parliament.

We’ve got you covered

Job ads online

Job hunters are increasingly going online to seek out new job opportunities, however a number of recent of enquiries we have received indicate that the advertisers are not always clear about their responsibilities under the WA Equal Opportunity Act 1984.

 Have you seen a job asking for a ‘Gen Y’ or ‘senior’ person in an online advertising service or a company website?

The WA Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (the Act) provides that any advertisement which indicates an intention to discriminate on grounds and areas covered by the Act as interpreted by a reasonable person could be unlawful (s68).

It covers ‘every form of advertisement, or notice, whether to the public or not’, whether in print or online, for an agency or a company website. 

It applies to everyone involved in advertising a position including the person placing the ad, the organisation, the recruitment agency or those who publish the advertisement.

There are however some exceptions when a job has certain inherent requirements, or comes under sections of the Act which make special provisions for employment of underrepresented groups or programs for such groups, such as young people in a graduate development program.

It is not unlawful for advertisements to be published for vacancies for people under 21 years old or where an industrial agreement specifies age-related pay rates.

What can you do?

You can lodge a complaint if you were deterred from applying for a job, or your application was rejected because of a condition stated in the ad if that condition is aground covered in the WA Equal Opportunity Act 1984.

See our website for Guidelines for advertiserslodge a complaint or Contact us to find out more.

 New on the website

Helpful contacts and websites

Our website is being continually updated to provide information and resources about equal opportunity in Western Australia.

This month we are pleased to launch a comprehensive directory of Helpful links and websites to help you navigate the services available.

Thousands of West Australians call the Commission every year, wanting to find out answers to their questions.  Approximately 80 per cent of enquiries relate to the Equal Opportunity Act.

When your question does not relate to the Act, our experienced officers will make their best effort to refer you to the appropriate agency. This resource can help you identify the best sources of support and information. It brings together 30 years of experience in helping you to find the answer to your questions.

Check our new page Helpful contacts and websites and bookmark it for future reference.


What's coming up at the Commission

Register for all Commission courses on the Community Education page

  • April 27         Recruitment and selection – are you getting it right? 

  • May  11        Equal opportunity essentials for managers and supervisors

  • May 24         Contact officer role – what’s it all about.

  • June 8          An introduction to equal opportunity la

  • NAIDOC – visit the Commission stalls at the Mirrabooka NAIDOC day and Ashfield NAIDOC Family Day July 3-10


Can we help?


The Commissioner’s telephone and online enquiry service provides information on whether your circumstances can be addressed under the Equal Opportunity Act.


The Commission can deliver free education sessions and workshops for community groups and advocates about rights under the Equal Opportunity Act.


The Commission website has a wealth of information for community members and organisations about their rights and responsibilities under the Act
Check the website for more information about Your rights

 Contact us on 92163900, 1800 198 149 (country callers) 9216 3936 (TTY) or email

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For more information please contact us or call the EOC Public Affairs Officer on (08) 92163911 or for WA country callers 1800 198 149. 
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