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Conciliation Register

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Colour
Ethnic origin
National origin/extraction
Race
Areas Employment
Other section 9
Outcome details

Other opportunity provided 
Revised terms and conditions 

Year

The complainant is from Sri Lanka and was employed as a casual team member at the respondent supermarket. He alleged the respondent manager reduced his shifts while employing new Anglo-Saxon/white Australian staff. He also alleged Anglo-Saxon/white Australian staff were allocated less onerous duties, such as selling cigarettes and newspapers and monitoring self-checkout counters as opposed to packing bags or heavy lifting. The complainant further alleged the respondent manager intervened to prevent him from attending a leadership workshop. 

The supermarket claimed that the complainant was not the only employee whose shifts were reduced during the relevant time period. The supermarket said that new staff members were offered more shifts and more varied work tasks because the complainant's own availability was restricted due to his study commitments outside of work. The supermarket said that the complainant was not eligible for the leadership workshop because of his casual employment status.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the supermarket offer the complainant a permanent part-time role and train him in, and deploy him to, a broader variety of tasks. 

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Ethnic origin
Race
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Action taken against named individuals 
Apology
Compensation 
 

Amount $1,000
Year

The complainant purchased some items at an outlet of the respondent charity. He claimed a store attendant asked him where he was from. He alleged that when he informed her he was from China, she made comments to the effect that 'the Chinese are doing lots of nasty things to the world' and 'Chinese are disgusting'. 

The respondent charity said the person involved had a different recollection of the conversation but admitted making comments of a political nature about the Chinese government. The charity said that such comments were contrary to its code of conduct and it therefore terminated the person's engagement as a volunteer with the charity.

The complaint was resolved. The charity apologised to the complainant for the incident and agreed to pay him $1,000 as general damages.

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

Apology
Policy change/Change in practice
Compensation 

Amount $4,500
Year

The complainant is Sikh and Punjabi and wears a turban over his unshorn hair. He alleged the respondent university required him to wear the graduation trencher hat in order to participate in his graduation ceremony. The complainant said he could not fit the trencher over his turban and could not remove the turban for religious and practical reasons. He alleged university staff were rude and disrespectful towards him. He said he was eventually permitted to participate in his graduation ceremony without wearing a trencher hat but was deeply affected by the experience.

The university denied unlawfully discriminating against the complainant. The university advised it took a number of actions in response to the complainant’s allegations, including updating its graduation attire policy to remove the requirement for a trencher to be worn. 

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the university write to the complainant apologising for his experience, pay him $1,500 and offer him counselling sessions up to a value of $3,000 over 24 months. The university also agreed to undertake a consultation process on inclusion of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Immigrant status
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Policy change/Change in practice (external customers) 

Year

The complainant’s son is an Australian citizen who was born outside Australia. She alleged he was unable to be considered for an internship with the respondent engineering company because he was born outside Australia.

The engineering company said it had obligations to its stakeholders that required strict recruitment processes. However, after considering the issues raised in the complaint, the company said that Australian citizenship would be enough to meet those obligations.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company would change its recruitment advertisement and process to no longer require applicants to be born in Australia.

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

Apology

Year

The complainant said the respondent called her to offer cleaning services. She alleged that when she asked the price, he said ‘Oh, it’s a bloody Indian’.

The respondent recalled saying the words and expressed a desire to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved. The respondent apologised to the complainant, saying that the comment was not nice, was inappropriate and that he should have known better.

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

Action ceased/Undertaking to cease an action

Year

The complainant is Chinese and was working on a landscaping job at a client's residential address. He claimed the respondent, who is his client's neighbour, approached him and complained about the type of trees being planted and the conversation became heated. The complainant alleged the respondent shouted at him 'Don't let me see you here again! Get f**king out of my country you liar'.

The respondent denied the allegations but indicated a willingness to try and resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the respondent does not approach or address the complainant and raise any concerns about the landscaping with the complainant’s client.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Ethnic origin
Race
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Year

The complainant was a public housing tenant. She alleged she was not offered interpreting services and was therefore unable to raise concerns about her housing, including the behaviour of neighbours.

The relevant government department confirmed there had been difficulties associated with providing the complainant with an interpreter but denied this constituted racial discrimination.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the complainant would be offered a different apartment on a top floor in order to avoid potential problems with neighbours.
 

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
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
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 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 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 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 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 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.

Pagination