Alternative formats: PDFWord docx. If you would like a printed copy of the ACTCOSS Privacy Policy, please send your request using the details under the ‘Contacting us’ heading. 

This Privacy Policy explains how the ACT Council of Social Service Inc. (ACTCOSS) (ABN 81 818 839 988) collects, uses, discloses and otherwise handles personal information in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and Notifiable Data Breaches scheme which are contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act). While not legally required to comply, ACTCOSS has implemented the APPs in accordance with the requirements of the legislation as a matter of best practice.

For the purposes of this policy, ‘personal information’ means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable.

If you have any questions or feedback about this policy or the way in which ACTCOSS handles personal information, you can contact us on the details below. You can also request a hard copy of this policy using the details below.

Contacting us

Privacy Officer 


Mail: 1/6 Gritten St, Weston ACT 2611

Email: [email protected](link sends e-mail)

Telephone: +61 2 6202 7200

What types of personal information do we collect?

The types of personal information that we collect about you will depend on the type of dealings you have with us. For example, if you:

  • become a member of ACTCOSS, we may collect your name, organisation, contact details, job title, income bracket (for the purpose of deciding Associate membership fees), and areas of interest
  • subscribe to an ACTCOSS publication, we may collect your name, organisation, contact details, areas of interest and details about the information you access in our publications
  • attend a learning and development program or other ACTCOSS event, we may collect your name, organisation, contact details, payment details (if applicable), photograph and any dietary and accessibility requirements
  • participate in our surveys, we may collect your name, organisation, job title, contact details and your survey responses
  • send us an enquiry, we may collect your name, contact details, information about your circumstances and details of your query
  • make a complaint, we may collect your name, contact details, the details of your complaint, information collected in any investigation of the matter and details of the resolution of the complaint
  • apply for a role at ACTCOSS, we may collect the information you include in your application, including your cover letter, resume, contact details and referee reports
  • contribute to advocacy and policy development and research, we may collect your name, contact details, information you provide us about yourself such as your lived experience and sensitive information (see ‘Sensitive information’ below).

ACTCOSS website

ACTCOSS uses cookies on our website to provide necessary website functionality to improve your experience. These cookies will not collect any personal information but will collect IP addresses and uses a unique identifier to recognise your computer when you visit our website again.

Sensitive information

Some personal information, such as information relating to racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs or affiliations, health information (including mental health information and information about a disability), genetic information and whether or not you have a criminal record is sensitive and requires a higher level of protection under the Privacy Act. We may collect your sensitive information when we have your consent and when the collection is reasonably necessary for us to carry out one or more of our functions or activities.

Example – personal stories for policy development and advocacy

For some of our policy and advocacy work, collecting and sharing personal experience stories assists with researching and developing our policy positions, raising awareness through publications and advocating policy change. Some of these stories may contain sensitive information, such as the nature of a person’s mental illness or disability. We seek written consent to use and share personal stories. We will de-identify the information unless you provide permission otherwise.

What if you don’t provide us with your personal information?

In some circumstances we allow individuals the option of not identifying themselves, or of using a pseudonym, when dealing with us (for example, when viewing our website or making general phone queries).

The nature of the business carried on by ACTCOSS means that, generally, it is not possible for us to provide services to individuals in an anonymous way.

If we cannot collect your personal information, some or all of the following may happen:

  • we may not be able to provide the requested services to you, either to the same standard or at all
  • we may not be able to provide you with information that you may want
  • we may be unable to tailor the content of our websites, emails and communications to your preferences and your experience of our communications may not be as enjoyable or useful.

How do we collect personal information?

We collect personal information in a number of ways, including:

  • through our websites (for example, through our online feedback form)
  • when you correspond with us (for example by email, letter, or phone)
  • on hard copy forms
  • in person (for example, at job interviews, and where we meet with you to provide tailored organisation support)
  • at events and forums
  • via online platforms, such as when subscribing to our communications, registering for events, completing surveys, and using online training portals.

Why do we collect personal information?

The main purposes for which we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information are set out below.

Providing services

  • determining whether individuals have any accessibility requirements to be provided with or participate in our services and events
  • endeavouring to arrange for the provision of services
  • providing tailored support to community organisations


  • carrying out policy work
  • promoting ACTCOSS and its activities, including through events and forums
  • conducting research and statistical analysis relevant to ACTCOSS’ activities
  • preparing personal stories for use in advocacy work and in publications (individuals will not be identified without their consent)

Education and information

  • providing information and resources for individuals and community organisations
  • running capability development programs for community sector workers, board members and volunteers
  • running events and forums

General administration

  • recruiting staff, contractors and volunteers
  • processing payments
  • answering queries and resolving complaints
  • evaluating our work and reporting externally
  • recording membership
  • complying with any law, rule, regulation, lawful and binding determination, decision or direction of a regulator, or in cooperation with any governmental authority of any country (or political sub-division of a country).

Direct marketing

Direct marketing is the promotion of goods and services directly to you including through emails, phone calls and the post. We will only send you direct marketing materials if you would reasonably expect to receive them or you have consented. If it is impractical to gain your consent, we will always provide a simple means for you to request not to receive the material (‘opting out’). We will not use your sensitive information for the purposes of direct marketing unless you have given us prior consent.

Opting out

You can opt out of receiving marketing communications from us by:

  • advising us if you receive a marketing call that you no longer wish to receive these calls
  • using the unsubscribe facility that we include in some of our email services to opt out of receiving those messages
  • contacting us by email at [email protected](link sends e-mail), by phone on 02 6202 7200, or by sending a letter to Publications, ACTCOSS, 1/6 Gritten St, Weston ACT 2611.

Who do we disclose your personal information to?

The nature of the services provided by ACTCOSS means that it is sometimes necessary for us to disclose your personal information to other parties. We will ordinarily let you know who we will disclose your personal information to when we collect the information from you (unless there are practical reasons for not informing you).

Common third parties we might need to disclose your personal information to include:

  • our funding providers (although personal information will only be provided with consent)
  • financial institutions for payment processing
  • referees whose details are provided to us by job applicants
  • our contracted service providers which include:
    • information technology service providers
    • conference, function and training organisers
    • marketing, communications and research agencies
    • freight and courier services
    • printers and distributors of direct marketing material
    • external business advisers (such as recruitment advisors, auditors and lawyers).

In the case of these contracted service providers, we may disclose personal information to the service provider and the service provider may in turn provide us with personal information collected from you in the course of providing the relevant products or services.

Cross border disclosures

We may disclose personal information to our contracted information technology service providers that are hosted off-shore. We ensure that the countries in which the providers host your personal information have privacy laws which conform to Australia’s Privacy Act.

Storage and security of the information we hold

We hold personal information in both hard copy and electronic formats. Paper files are securely stored onsite. They may also be archived in boxes and stored offsite in secure facilities. Copies of documents containing personal information will generally be kept for 7 years after they are no longer current and will be destroyed using secure disposal facilities.

The steps we take to secure the personal information we hold include:

  • website and network protection measures (such as encryption, firewalls and anti-virus software)
  • access restrictions to our computer systems (such as login and password protection)
  • restricted access to our office premises
  • staff training and implementation of workplace policies and procedures that cover access, storage and security of information.

Website security

While ACTCOSS strives to protect the personal information and privacy of users of our website, we cannot guarantee the security of any information that you disclose online and you disclose that information at your own risk. If you are concerned about sending your information over the internet, you can contact ACTCOSS by phone or post (details under ‘Contacting us’).

You can also help to protect the privacy of your personal information by letting us know as soon as possible if you become aware of any security breach.

Third party websites

Links to third party websites that are not operated or controlled by ACTCOSS are provided for your convenience. ACTCOSS is not responsible for the privacy or security practices of those websites. Third party websites should have their own privacy and security policies, which we encourage you to read before supplying any personal information to them.

Access and correction to personal information

We will take reasonable steps to provide you with access to your personal information.

We will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information if we are satisfied that it is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading. If we have provided your personal information to third parties, we will also notify them of the correction if you ask us to do so, unless it is impracticable or unlawful.

Requests to access and correct your information should be made by email, post or phone using the details provided under the ‘Contacting us’ heading. Note that we will need to verify your identity before processing your request. We will endeavour to respond to your request within 30 days.

If we do not agree with your request to access or correct your information, we will provide you with written reasons for our decision and available complaint mechanisms.


If you have a complaint about how ACTCOSS has collected or handled your personal information, please contact our Privacy Officer using the details provided under the heading ‘Contacting us.’

We will endeavour to respond to your complaint within 30 days.

If you are unhappy with our response, you can refer your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner(link is external).


Updated 16 October 2018. 

Skip to content Skip to content