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Get the facts: Know your rights leaflet

and Aboriginal
and Torres Strait
Islander Women

Get the facts:
Know your rights

For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
women, discrimination is still a very common

Discrimination can happen because of the
colour of your skin, because you are Aboriginal
or a Torres Strait Islander, or because you
are a woman.

Discrimination on the basis of race, sex and
disability is against the law in Australia. This
includes discrimination because you are
pregnant or breastfeeding.

You can help stop

This leaflet explains your
rights and how you can
stand up for them.

Racial Discrimination

means being treated differently because you are
Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander person or
because of the colour of your skin.


  • being treated rudely or refused service in a
    shop because you are an Aboriginal person
  • being racially abused at work
  • being unfairly hassled by the police and
  • being refused rental housing because you
    are a Torres Strait Islander


cartoon: Racism

Sex Discrimination

means you are treated unfairly because you are
a woman, you are pregnant or you may become
pregnant, you are breastfeeding, because of your
marital status, or your family responsibilities.

Examples include:

  • being sexually harassed at work
  • being sacked because you need to take
    time off to care for your sick mother
  • being asked to leave school because you
    are pregnant and
  • being told to leave a cafe © because you
    are breastfeeding your baby

cartoon: Sex Discrimination

Disability Discrimination

means being treated unfairly because you have a
disability, injury or illness.

Examples include:

  • losing your job because you are HIV positive
  • not being able to get into a government
    office because you use a wheelchair and
  • not being able to travel in a taxi with your
    guide dog

Cartoon: Disability discrimination

What can you do?

1. Find out about your rights:

  • get more information from the kit
    Indigenous Women and Discrimination
    - Get the Facts: Know Your Rights available
    from the Commission or your local Aboriginal
    Legal Service or Women's Legal Service, or
  • get some advice from the Commission, an
    Aboriginal Women's Legal Service, union,
    legal centre or working women's centre.

2. Talk to someone:

  • talk to a friend or family member about
    what happened and what you would
    like to do
  • talk to the person or organisation causing
    you problems

3. Stand up for your rights - make
a complaint:

  • call the Commission, your State or Territory
    anti-discrimination agency, a legal service,
    your union, or other organisation who
    can help you with advice on making
    a complaint.

Cartoon: HREOC complaint


For more information contact:

The Australian Human Rights Commission (the Commission)
Complaints Info Line: 1300 656 419
TTY: 1800 620 421

National Network of Indigenous Women's Legal Services logo

The National Network of Indigenous
Women's Legal Services Inc.
Phone: (08) 9221 9544


Get the Facts kit