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Conciliation Register

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Race
Areas Employment
Other section 9
Outcome details

Apology 
Compensation  
Named individual(s) to undertake anti-discrimination/EEO training  

Amount $3,000
Year

The complainant is a 19-year-old Aboriginal woman. She alleged that colleagues at the fast food outlet where she worked made racist and derogatory comments about Aboriginal people. She alleged that, on one occasion, her manager said she did not like 'those dirty Aboriginals'. She claimed she raised the issue with the store owner, but nothing was done. The complainant said she felt she had no option but to resign. 

The store owner and franchise advised that the store owner had investigated the complainant's claims and provided statements given by the two colleagues concerned. The respondents said the complainant's former manager had been issued with a formal warning. The respondents said no action was taken against the other colleague because there was no evidence that he made inappropriate statements and because the complainant was alleged to have made offensive comments about his sexuality. 

The complaint was resolved. The store owner and franchise undertook to direct the two staff members referred to in the complaint to undertake an online training module on appropriate workplace conduct. They also agreed to pay the complainant $3,000 net and write to her apologising for the comment and any distress the complainant experienced. The franchise also undertook to investigate the workplace culture at the outlet where the complainant worked. 

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Race
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Other section 9
Outcome details

Compensation 
Statement of regret

Amount $5,000
Year

The complainant is from China and claimed that when she contacted the respondent law enforcement agency to report an incident of domestic violence, she was not provided with a Mandarin language interpreter, despite requesting one. She alleged her claim was not adequately investigated and she was not assisted to find safe accommodation because she was unable to effectively communicate with investigating officers. She also alleged officers made comments regarding her race, including that she should return to China. 

The respondent law enforcement agency said attending officers made an assessment that the complainant did not require an interpreter and would be able to communicate effectively with them in English. The agency said the Complainant’s allegations of domestic violence were not pursued because she provided inconsistent versions of the events and there was an absence of supporting evidence. The officers denied making comments about the complainant’s race.  

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the agency pay the complainant $5,000 and write to her expressing regret for the events giving rise to the complaint.   

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Race
Racial hatred
Areas Other section 9
Racial hatred
Outcome details

Apology - Private  
Compensation  
Named individual(s) to undertake anti-discrimination/EEO training  

Amount $12,500
Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and alleged that, during a conversation in the dining room of a hotel, the respondent, whom she knew in a professional capacity, made derogatory comments about Aboriginal people and referred to them as ‘gins’ and ‘coloured people’. The complainant said she found the comments and the terms used to describe Aboriginal people offensive and intimidating. 

The respondent had a different recollection of the conversation but indicated a desire to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation. 

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the respondent apologise to the complainant and pay her $12,500. The respondent also agreed to undertake management training covering cultural awareness and discrimination law and policy. 

Act Age Discrimination Act
Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced 
 

Year

The complainant advised she is a South Sea Islander and her husband and children are Aboriginal. She is 53 years of age and worked as an animal facility officer with the respondent local council. The complainant alleged that, during a conversation, a colleague referred repeatedly to ‘Abos’ and said words to the effect that ‘they are okay when they are not drunk’. She alleged that when seeking to use a computer the complainant was using, the same colleague said ‘It’s not my fault you are so slow cause you are old’. She alleged both conversations took place in front of a supervisor, who took no action. The complainant said she made a complaint to Human Resources, who found allegations of racism to be substantiated but asked her if she would have found it as offensive had her colleague been referring to ‘pommies’. The complainant felt she had no option but to resign.

The council confirmed that an internal investigation found the complainant’s allegations to be substantiated. The council claimed all the recommendations of the investigator’s report were implemented.

The complaint was resolved. The council assured the complainant of its commitment to cultural diversity as reflected in its policies, including its code of conduct. The council undertook to include diversity as a topic in induction training and to include a leaflet on cultural diversity in its new induction pack.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation 
Statement of regret
Statement of service 

Amount $1,500
Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and worked as a cleaner at the respondent hotel. She alleged that, after a change of ownership, her shifts were reduced and eventually, she was not offered any work. She claimed the hotel did not offer any reasons for the reduction in her shifts, there was no downturn in business, no issues were raised about her performance and another Aboriginal cleaner was also not offered further work after the change in ownership.

The hotel advised that the new owners took over some of the cleaning duties, meaning there was less work available for staff.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the hotel pay the complainant $1,500, provide her with a statement of service and write to her expressing regret for the events giving rise to the complaint.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds National origin/extraction
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced 
Named individual(s) to undertake anti-discrimination/EEO training 

Year

The complainant is from Thailand and worked as a nurse at the respondent aged care facility. She alleged a colleague made a number of racially offensive comments towards her, such as aggressively telling the complainant to speak English and telling the complainant she did not understand the complainant’s culture.

The aged care facility advised that, in response to the complainant’s allegations, it had issued her colleague with a warning. The aged care facility had also delivered an anti-discrimination awareness session for all staff, which the named colleague was required to attend.

The complaint was resolved. In addition to the outcomes already implemented by the aged care facility, the complainant’s colleague apologised to the complainant. The complainant remained employed with the aged care facility and continued to work alongside her colleague.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Colour
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation
Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced 
 

Amount $2,000
Year

The complainant is African Australian and was employed as a casual sales assistant with the respondent retailer. She claimed that a colleague bullied her, commented that her skin looked 'different' and reported to management that she felt 'uncomfortable' working with the complainant. The complainant alleged the retailer did not offer her further work.

The retailer claimed the complainant’s employment was terminated on performance grounds.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the retailer pay the complainant $2,000 as general damages and deliver training to managers on anti-discrimination, cultural sensitivity and complaint handling. The retailer agreed to write to the complainant apologising for the events that gave rise to her complaint.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Racial hatred
Areas Racial hatred
Outcome details

Apology - Private
Material removed from website/other publication 

Year

The complainant is Chinese and wrote an article on the respondent business publication’s website about the impact of national security concerns on business dealings between Australia and China. She alleged the responding article criticised her support for foreign investment and questioned the impact of immigration and foreign investment in Australia. She alleged the article referred to her as a ‘property fluffer’. 

The respondent denied that its article amounted to racial hatred. It said that its article did not link the descriptions of the complainant with her race or ethnicity. The respondent said that the objective of the article was to point out that promoters of foreign buying of Australian realty were arousing anger in the community by ignoring the plight of existing residents and that this could tear the social fabric.

The complaint was resolved after the respondent took down the post referred to in the complaint. The respondent also wrote to the complainant apologising for the incident.
 

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Descent
Race
Areas Education
Outcome details

Policy change/Change in practice
Compensation
Statement of regret 
 

Amount $2,800
Year

The complainant’s son is 16 years of age and attended the respondent public high school. The complainant and her son are Aboriginal. The complainant alleged her son was required to complete a comprehension test with statements such as ‘universities started accepting all women in 1875’ and ‘all women were granted suffrage in 1902’. She said her son would be required to treat such statements as accurate to pass the test despite the statements not being accurate in the case of Aboriginal women. She alleged the test did not treat Aboriginal women as Australian women and was therefore discriminatory.

On being advised of the complaint, the school indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation to try and resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved. The school acknowledged not all statements on the test were accurate and undertook to correct this. The school expressed regret for hurting the complainant’s son’s feelings and agreed to pay him $2,800.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology
Policy change/Change in practice (external customers) 
Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced 

Year

The complainant is 35 years of age and of Pakistani national origin. He alleged that, during an interview for an engineering role with the respondent company, the interviewer asked him about his nationality and said he would not hire the complainant. The complainant claimed the interviewer said ‘age is an issue’, ‘you will struggle to get a job in this age’ and that he would not fit in with the "young" team.

The company said interviewers ask a range of questions to get to know prospective employees and noted it employs staff of different ages and ethnic and national origins.

The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the company to review its recruitment process so that interviews are conducted by two staff members. The company also undertook to commission an external provider to deliver training on discrimination and cultural awareness. The interviewer wrote to the complainant to apologise for the events giving rise to the complaint.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology
Policy change/Change in practice (external customers) 
Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced 

Year

The complainant is 35 years of age and of Pakistani national origin. He alleged that, during an interview for an engineering role with the respondent company, the interviewer asked him about his nationality and said he would not hire the complainant. The complainant claimed the interviewer said ‘age is an issue’, ‘you will struggle to get a job in this age’ and that he would not fit in with the "young" team.

The company said interviewers ask a range of questions to get to know prospective employees and noted it employs staff of different ages and ethnic and national origins.

The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the company to review its recruitment process so that interviews are conducted by two staff members. The company also undertook to commission an external provider to deliver training on discrimination and cultural awareness. The interviewer wrote to the complainant to apologise for the events giving rise to the complaint.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Descent
Race
Sex
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology

Other opportunity provided

Revised terms and conditions

Compensation

Amount $20,000
Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and undertook a graduate program with the respondent government department. She acted in higher duties for a period and applied for the role when it was advertised. The complainant was not invited to attend an interview and sought feedback from the head of the interview panel. She alleged he told her that discussing her Aboriginality in her application was a factor in the decision not to interview her and may hinder her prospects of progression. She also alleged that he said the woman who was interviewed wore ‘a nice skirt and heels’, which made her feel her appearance/grooming was being criticised. The complainant said she made an internal complaint about the alleged comments but was unhappy with the department’s response to the complaint. At the time of lodging the complaint, the complainant was on leave without pay and undertaking a Masters degree for which she had been awarded a scholarship.

On being advised of the complaint, the department indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the department write to the complainant acknowledging and apologising for her negative experience, stating that the alleged conduct was unacceptable and assuring her that steps were being taken to prevent similar incidents in the future. The department also granted the complainant an additional year of leave without pay to allow her to complete her Masters degree and agreed to meet with her to discuss a safe and sustainable return to work. Finally, the department agreed to pay the complainant $20,000 in compensation for hurt and distress.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Descent
Ethnic origin
National origin/extraction
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Anti-discrimination/EEO policy reviewed/revised

Anti-discrimination training introduced

Amount $7,500
Year

The complainant is of Torres Strait Island ethnic origin and had been employed by the respondent private school for over ten years. He said that, during a discussion with a colleague about a possible lift to another colleague’s wedding, he was vague about his pick-up address. He alleged the colleague asked him ‘why you don't want to tell me where you live, is that because you are a Boonga?’ The complainant claimed that the term 'boonga' is offensive to those of Indigenous heritage and that the colleague asked the question to be disparaging of his race and to imply he lived in sub-standard housing. The complainant claimed the school failed to respond appropriately to his complaint about the incident. The complainant resigned his employment before lodging a complaint with the Commission.

The school confirmed that the complainant was subjected to an offensive and insensitive comment in the workplace, but denied not responding appropriately to the incident. 

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the school pay the complainant $7,500 as general damages, undertake to update its policies and procedures (including policies regarding non-discrimination and its code of conduct) and arrange training in relation to the above policies.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Race
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Other section 9
Outcome details

Statement of regret

Policy change/Change in practice

Year

The complainant is Indigenous and played for the respondent sports club. He advised he was seriously injured during a game and alleged the club treated him less favourably than non-Indigenous players with similar injuries, including by leaving him alone in the change rooms, not providing appropriate medical care, not calling an ambulance until some time after the injury, not following up on his medical care and not arranging for team members to visit him. 

The club claimed its first aid officer provided appropriate care to the complainant and that an ambulance was called once the seriousness of the injury became clear. The club said it provided support to the complainant while he was in hospital and recovering. The sport’s governing body said that, while it had no direct control over what took place in this particular case, it provided appropriate support to Indigenous players.

The complaint was resolved. The sport’s governing body expressed its regret to the complainant for feeling he had not been adequately supported. The governing body undertook to provide the complainant with relevant policies and its Reconciliation Action Plan and to consider the complainant’s feedback on these documents when they were next reviewed.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Ethnic origin
National origin/extraction
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Employment - other

Compensation

Amount Approximately $850
Year

The complainant is Filipino and was placed by the respondent labour-hire company at a government department. He claimed another independent contractor at the department made comments to him such as 'it’s just because you're Filipino' and 'it reminded me of you, you know, the Filipinos who live in the slums', and called him 'Charlie'. The complainant’s contract at the department ended before he lodged a complaint with the Commission.

On being made aware of the complaint, the labour-hire company indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the labour-hire company pay the complainant approximately $850, equivalent to one week’s wages, and provide him with access to its employee assistance program for free counselling/support.

Pagination