How we can help you
Australia likes to see itself as a fair country. Unfortunately, sometimes people are treated unfairly because of what they look like, where they come from or what they believe. In Victoria there are laws to protect people from unfair behaviour and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission helps people who have been treated unfairly.
What can I do if I experience unfair treatment?
- contact us for information about your rights
- report something that happened
- make a formal complaint.
You can read more about these options below, including what happens when you make a complaint.
I want information about my rights
We can tell you about your rights, and explain if we can help with your problem.
Sometimes we cannot help you. If this happens, we will tell you why and try to suggest another organisation that can help.
I want to report something that happened
If you want to tell us about your experience, but you do not want to make a formal complaint, you can make a report to us using our Community Reporting Tool. The tool is in English.
The Community Reporting Tool is a quick way to tell us what has happened, or what you are worried about.
You do not have to tell us your name but, if you want to, you can ask for someone at the Commission to contact you and try to help you.
We will not share your details with anyone else. We will keep your information private.
When people report to us what is happening in their community, it helps us know if there is a problem. Then we can get better at helping communities.
I want to make a formal complaint
You can make a complaint about:
- sexual harassment
- racial or religious vilification
If you make a formal complaint we will try to help you solve your problem.
Making a complaint is free and you do not need a lawyer.
Sometimes we cannot deal with your complaint. If this happens we will tell you why and try to suggest an organisation that may be able to help you.
We do not handle complaints about the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
We can give you information about your human rights but if your complaint is about a public authority breaching the Charter, you can contact the Victorian Ombudsman.
What you need to tell us in your complaint
To help us understand your complaint, you should try tell us as much as possible, including:
- your contact information. We will always protect your privacy and will not give your contact details to anyone else.
- details of what happened to you, where and when
- details of who the complaint is about and your connection to them (for example, if they are your employer, your university or your sports coach).
What we will do with your complaint
When we get your complaint we will review it to see if we can help you. To make sure, we might need to ask you for more information.
We will also ask you what kind of resolution or outcome you are seeking, such as an apology, financial compensation or a promise for the behaviour to stop.
After speaking with you, someone from the Commission will contact the person or organisation you are complaining about. We will:
- tell them about your complaint
- ask for their comments
- find out if they are willing to try to resolve your complaint.
Then we will let you know what they have said. If you both agree we will help you resolve your complaint through a process called conciliation.
Conciliation and how it works
Conciliation may be a way to work out your complaint with the person or organisation. It tries to let both sides explain what happened and find a way to resolve the issues.
Conciliation is often a successful way of resolving complaints. People who have used our conciliation process say it is fair and easy to understand and helps them to come up with good solutions.
Taking part in conciliation is voluntary.
The Commission does not have the power to make orders or award compensation.
If we cannot help you resolve your complaint
Sometimes we cannot deal with your complaint. If this happens we will tell you why and try to suggest another organisation that may be able to help you.