National and State Mechanisms

Below is a list of national and state dispute resolution mechanisms along with a summary on how you might take your case to them.

Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

The Australian Human Rights Commission receives complaints of racial discrimination based on the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA), which includes discrimination on the basis of colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, immigrant status and racial hatred. All complaints received by the Commission are decided through conciliation. If a solution is not found through this process, the person making the complaint may take the issue to the Federal Circuit Court or the Federal Court of Australia.

Making a complaint to the Commission is free, however, the Commission may terminate a complaint if the complaint was made more than 6 months after the alleged discriminatory act or practice took place.

If you wish to know more about the complaint procedure at the AHCR, their website includes information for people making complaints.

ACT Human Rights Commission

The ACT Human Rights Commission receives complaints of racial discrimination based on the ACT Discrimination Act 1991. Complaints received by the Commission are decided through conciliation. If the Commission decides to terminate a case or a solution is not found through the conciliation process, the person making the complaint may take the issue to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT).

If you wish to know more about the complaint procedures at the ACT Human Rights Commission, you can look at their Guide to Consideration.

Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW

The Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW receives complaints of racial discrimination based on the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977. Once a complaint is received, the Board will communicate with both parties and see if they find a solution. If a solution is not reached, the Board will consider holding a conciliation process. If a complaint cannot be resolved this way, the person making the complaint can ask for it to be sent to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Complaints should be made to the Board within 12 months of the discriminatory act. In case of serious vilification, a complaint should be made as soon as possible.

You can read more about making a complaint to the Board or see their complaint flow chart at their website.

Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Board

The Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Board receives complaints of racial discrimination based on the NT Anti-Discrimination Act 1996. Complaints are decided through conciliation. If a solution is not reached through this process, the Board will analyse if the case has merits to be submitted to the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT). Complaints should be made to the Board within 12 months of the discriminatory act.

If you wish to learn more about this process, you can read the Complaints’ Frequently Asked Questions.

Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland (ADCQ)

The ADCQ receives complaints of racial discrimination, vilification and encouraging discrimination based on the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991. Disputes submitted to the Commission are resolved through conciliation. Complaints should be made within 1 year of the discriminatory act.

Equal Opportunity Commission (South Australia)

The Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) receives complaints of racial discrimination based on the Equal Opportunity Act 1984. Complaints must be made in writing within 12 months of the discriminatory act. The EOC will solve complaints by conciliation. If an agreement is not reached through this process, the complainant can ask the Commissioner to refer the case to the South Australian Employment Tribunal. If you wish to learn more, you can read about the complaint process here.

Equal Opportunity Tasmania

Equal Opportunity Tasmania will receive complaints of racial discrimination based on the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998. If the complaint is accepted, Equal Opportunity Tasmania will start an investigation and, most likely, invite the parties to the dispute for a conciliation meeting. If the complaint is rejected or a solution is not found through the conciliation process, you can take the issue to the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. If you wish to learn more, you can read about the complaint process here.

Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission

The Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) will receive complaints of racial discrimination and vilification based on the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. Complaints are decide through conciliation. If you wish to learn more, you can read about the complaint process here. You can also contact VEOHRC via  a free telephone Enquiry Line: 1300 292 153, by web chat, or by email.

Equal Opportunity Commission (Western Australia)

The Equal Opportunity Commission will receive complaints of racial discrimination based on the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 within 12 months of the discriminatory act. Complaints will be resolved through conciliation. If no solution is found through this process, the Commissioner might refer the case to the State Administrative Tribunal.

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