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Our complaints process: What you need to know

Understand what you can make a complaint about and the process we take to help you find an outcome.

Make a complaint

What is the complaints process?

We help people resolve complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, racial or religious vilification and victimisation.

We use an informal process called conciliation to support both parties to:

  • tell their stories
  • listen to one another
  • understand the impact
  • work together to find an outcome.

Our service is free, impartial, and confidential. It is voluntary for everyone involved. It is a simple and flexible alternative to taking a complaint to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

What complaints does the Commission resolve?

We can help resolve complaints under two Victorian laws: the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001.

Under these laws, you can make a complaint if you believe you have experienced discrimination, sexual harassment, racial or religious vilification or victimisation.

If you are making a complaint about discrimination under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, it must:

  • have happened in an area of public life that is protected by the law – such as in recruitment or at work, in education, in the delivery of goods and services, or in accommodation, sport or clubs
  • be about something that happened because of at least one personal characteristic that is protected by the law – such as your race, disability, sex, age, sexuality or gender identity.

The incident or behaviour must have happened in Victoria unless your complaint is about racial or religious vilification, which only requires one of the participants to be a resident of Victoria.

How do I make a complaint?

You can:

There is no cost to make a complaint.

You can make a complaint in any language. We can also arrange a free interpreter to help you, including Auslan interpreters.

Contact us to let us know how we can help you participate in the process.

You can also ask someone else to make a complaint for you, such as a family member, friend, advocate, union or lawyer. We will ask you to provide your consent for that person to act on your behalf.

What you need to know before making a complaint?

If you are thinking about making a complaint, there are some important things you should know.

We resolve most complaints within six months, but some complaints will be fast-tracked if they require urgent action, for example: if someone is about to lose their job.

What happens after I make a complaint?

We will assess your complaint to see if we can help you – which we can only do if your complaint is covered by the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 or the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001.

We may contact you if we need more information before deciding whether to accept your complaint.

If we don’t accept your complaint and can’t help you, we will tell you why and give you information about other organisations that may be able to help.

What kind of service can I expect from the Commission?

We are committed to provide and maintain a service that is impartial, accessible, accountable, rigorous, creative, and empathetic.

We take a flexible approach to meet the different needs of different members of the Victorian community. Our conciliators use strategies to address any disadvantage experienced by anyone in the process and make sure that the process used is tailored to the needs of the participants to keep them safe.

More details about the complaints process

Make a complaint

You can make a complaint to us if you believe you have experienced discrimination, sexual harassment, vilification, or victimisation.

Not ready to make a complaint?

Downloadable resources

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Level 3, 204 Lygon Street Carlton Victoria 3053

General enquiries

1300 891 848

Enquiry line
1300 292 153 or (03) 9032 3583

1300 152 494

NRS Voice Relay
1300 555 727 then use 1300 292 153

Media enquiries
0447 526 642

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission acknowledges that we work on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We also work remotely and serve communities on the lands of other Traditional Custodians.

We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.