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Conciliation Register

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.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Descent
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $120,000
Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and worked in an administrative role at the respondent government agency. She alleged that over several years disparaging comments about Aboriginal people were made towards her, she was not promoted because of her race and she was subjected to undue performance management. The complainant claimed she had made several complaints about the alleged discrimination but was unsatisfied with the agency’s response. She claimed the agency did not take adequate steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace, including failing to deliver cultural awareness training. At the time of the complaint, the complainant had been on unpaid leave for approximately two years.

On being advised of the complaint, the agency indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved. The parties agreed to end the employment relationship and the agency agreed to pay the complainant $120,000 in settlement of all claims relating to her employment.

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

Apology

Policy change/Change in practice 

Anti-discrimination/EEO training introduced

Year

The complainant is Indian and alleged the respondent club denied him entry because of his race. He claimed a security guard was rude to him, said words to the effect that ‘we do not want trouble in this country’ and claimed the complainant had previously been reported to the police for disorderly behaviour at the club. The complainant claimed the security guard was unable to provide him with any evidence that he had been the person referred to and alleged the security guard was engaging in racial profiling.

The club claimed security guards did not consider the race or colour of patrons when deciding whether to grant entry to the club. The club argued the security guard would have recognised the complainant as the person previously engaging in disorderly behaviour. The club noted it employed security and other staff from a range of cultural and national backgrounds.

The complaint was resolved. The club apologised for what may have been a case of mistaken identity and because the security guard communicated with the complainant. The club undertook to deliver training to security and other staff on culturally appropriate communication and customer service, using the complainant’s experience as a case study. The club also undertook to keep better records of persons banned from the club and to meet with the security company to discuss the issues raised in the complaint and how to avoid similar incidents in the future.

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

Apology

Compensation

Amount $6,000
Year

The complainant is Welsh and was employed on a contract by the respondent industry association. He alleged a colleague made disparaging comments to him about Wales, Welsh people and the Welsh language, including ‘your culture and language are dead and worthless’, ‘Welsh children...should be beaten at school’ and ‘you're a sheepshagger’. He said he made a complaint to HR but no action was taken and he felt he had no option but to resign.

The industry association claimed the complainant directed comments of a similar nature towards the colleague referred to in the complaint, who was English, in the context of workplace banter. The association claimed it had taken all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace and as such could not be held responsible for the actions of the colleague.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the industry association pay the complainant $6,000 as general damages and write to him acknowledging his disappointment with the manner in which the association responded to his internal complaint.

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

Compensation 
Anti-discrimination/EEO policy reviewed/revised 
Policy change/Change in practice

Amount $50
Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and went to the respondent hotel for a meal. She claimed a crowd controller required her to undertake a breath test for alcohol but did not require non-Aboriginal patrons to undergo the test.

On being advised of the complaint, the Hotel agreed to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the hotel pay the complainant $50 as a refund of the cost of her meal, implement cultural awareness training for staff and prominently display signage regarding the hotel’s commitment to non-discrimination. The hotel also agreed to brief crowd controllers on the concerns raised in the complaint.

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

Apology

Compensation

Amount $100
Year

The complainant is Chinese and bought a discounted item on the respondent retailer’s website. He alleged that, when he attempted to return the item at one of the retailer’s outlets, a staff member said words to the effect that “you Asians” purchase discounted items only to fraudulently return them and claim the full retail price.

The retailer denied the alleged comment but agreed to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the retailer offer the complainant a $100 voucher for use in-store and write to him acknowledging and apologising for the distress he experienced. 
 

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

Apology 
Policy change/Change in practice (external customers)
Record changed 
 

Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and plays in a sporting team whose members identify as Aboriginal. She said that during a discussion with an opponent about another player’s nationality,  she said “I am a true Australian”. She said the opponent made a complaint about her to the regional sporting association. The complainant advised she was suspended for racial vilification on advice from the national sporting association. She alleged the sporting associations discriminated against her on the ground of her race by imposing an unduly harsh penalty on her and failing to follow proper procedures.

The sporting associations denied discriminating against the complainant, but agreed to participate in conciliation in the interests of trying to resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved. The regional sporting association agreed to write to the complainant acknowledging that the complaint process was flawed and the penalty harsh and apologising for any distress she experienced as a result. The regional sporting association also agreed to expunge records of the offence and relevant findings and invited the complainant’s team to return to the competition and to meet with senior management. Additionally, the regional sporting association agreed to contact the local Aboriginal Land Council for assistance for Aboriginal players facing disciplinary action.