‘My friends and I were having a laugh as we got to the front door. The security guard glared at us and said there was no way we were coming in tonight as Aboriginal people had a fight here last week.’
Kate is Aboriginal and went to the local hotel to have a meal and drinks on Saturday night with friends.
They were denied entry to the hotel by security on the front door as ‘Aboriginal people had a fight here last week’.
How does the law apply to Kate’s situation?
Under Victoria’s Equal Opportunity Act, it is against the law to discriminate against someone because of their race.
Providers of goods and services, including restaurants, must not discriminate on the basis of race and have a positive duty to take reasonable steps to eliminate discrimination as far as possible.
Kate could make a complaint of race discrimination against the hotel.
What outcomes are available?
If Kate decides to make a complaint to the Commission, she could ask for outcomes that are important to her and her community. These could include:
- telling her story and being heard
- an acknowledgement of her experience
- an apology made to her or within the community
- a promise to change or stop the behaviour
- financial compensation
- cultural awareness training for hotel staff and security
- new or updated equal opportunity policies for the hotel
- the hotel talking publicly (e.g., on social media) about their commitment to ensuring they are free from discrimination.
Are you in a similar situation?
You can start by contacting us with your enquiry or complaint – we will then take you through your rights and options.
We can listen to your story and provide you with information about your rights under our laws.
We have staff specifically trained to support First Nations peoples make enquiries and complaints.
When you contact us, we will ask if you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander so that we can provide you with an inclusive and culturally appropriate service.
You can also choose to speak directly to a First Nations staff member if one is available.
This is our tailored approach for First Nations peoples.
You can contact us by
Call 1300 292 153 – weekdays from 10am–2pm.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your issue and whether you would like to speak with a First Nations staff member.
Online complaint form
Send us your complaint through our online complaint form.
Send us a letter to our address: Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Level 3, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053
Read more about
Our services for First Nations people
If you (or someone you know) have experienced discrimination, harassment or racial vilification, you have the right to speak up and be heard.
First Nations peoples rights
First Nations people have cultural rights under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.
Race discrimination and vilification
The law protects your right to be treated equally, no matter where you are from or the colour of your skin.