Consultation period

9 December 2022 - 8:00 am To 31 March 2023 - 7:00 pm

Developing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan – Privacy Notice

Privacy Collection Notice

Your personal information is protected by law, including under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act).

The Department of Social Services (DSS, Department, we, us) collects personal information about individuals for a range of purposes to enable it to carry out its function. More information about how we handle your personal information is set out in our Privacy Policy.

This privacy collection notice is designed to ensure you are aware of certain matters in relation to the Department’s collection of your personal information, as required by the Privacy Act.

What is the purpose of this collection?

The Department is currently inviting participants to provide their views on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan Framework (Framework) and topics for consideration in drafting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan (Survey).

We have designed the Survey to obtain views from stakeholders on the Framework to help inform the drafting of The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan (Action Plan) and views on topics for the Action Plan, seeking feedback from the public on priorities and critical elements for consideration.

The Action Plan forms part of the overall National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022 -2032; and serves as an interim plan while the First Nations National plan is developed. The Framework of the Action Plan lays the foundations for the Action Plan to drive long-term structural change, as well as addressing immediate sector needs. The Department works in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council on family, domestic and sexual violence (Advisory Council), an external entity consisting of 16 recognised and respected First Nations leaders from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds. The Advisory Council is leading the development of the Action Plan with support from DSS.

If you are completing this survey as an individual, we ask that you do not provide any identifying information (such as name, phone number or address). Where you are completing this survey on behalf of an organisation, we ask you to provide the details of the organisation you are representing if you are comfortable to do so.

The Department’s intention is for participants to not be identified or be reasonably identifiable. However, this may not always be possible due to various factors (e.g. free text boxes and the nature of the questions). Where we are able to identify you (or reasonably identify you) from your response, we will handle your response in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act) as it will be ‘personal information’.

We will collect your information (including any personal information) for one or more of the above purposes.

What is ‘personal information’ and ‘sensitive information’?

‘Personal information’ is information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable.  This applies whether the personal information is true or not and whether the personal information is recorded in a material form or not. For example, personal information can include an individual’s name, signature, residential address, phone number, email address, date of birth, photographs, employment information, location information from mobile devices and internet protocol addresses.

‘Sensitive information’ is a subset of personal information. It includes information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of associations or unions, sexual orientation or practices, criminal record, or health, genetic or biometric information. ‘Health information’ includes any personal information regarding about an individual’s health, whether they have a disability, the nature of the disability and their wishes about their future health services.

Who is collecting your personal information?

Your personal information is being collected by the Department of Social Services and by Services Australia, which will be assisting the Department with some of the information technology (IT) aspects of the Survey.

What personal information we collect

Through your participation in the Survey, we will collect a range of your personal information (some of which could be sensitive information) including:

  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Indigenous status
  • Demographic information (such as the state or territory you received a service in (if applicable) or are currently living in).

This information is not required to be completed to enable you to respond to the full survey, so you can choose to omit details that you are not comfortable providing.

We may collect personal information from you as well as from other people. For example, we may collect personal information from you about:

  • your personal views in relation to your experience, and others’ experience, with family and domestic and sexual violence;
  • submission type, such as whether you are making the submission as an individual or as someone representing an organisation, and;
  • your personal views on the vision and principles in the draft framework that underpin the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan Framework, and on topics for consideration in drafting the Action Plan.

No questions in the survey are mandatory. Please only provide information that you are comfortable to provide.

How we collect your information

Your personal information relating to your personal views will be collected if you choose to participate in the survey. We will do this by:

  • Collecting information from your responses to the survey and
  • Collecting information from you directly through an email submission.

Why we collect your personal information

Your personal information is collected for the purposes of the development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan.

If you do not provide your personal identifying information (including sensitive information), we will still be able consider your views as part of this Survey and your identity will remain anonymous.

Some of the information collected by us from our targeted surveys has research value in developing policies that extend beyond the specific survey for which it was originally collected. Where this is the case, the information that we collect from this survey may be used for our other research purposes. In doing so, we will apply the Australian Privacy Principles to the handling of any personal information.

Who we disclose your personal information to?

We may disclose your personal information to the following people, organisations or third parties:

  • The Advisory Council;
  • other entities contracted to provide services to assist us with the development of the Action Plan, where required (which may include entities contracted to the Department to provide information technology, accessibility, analysis and editing services);
  • individuals within agencies, organisations and bodies that will be working with the Department on the development of the Action Plan, including Ministers and their staff, state and territory governments, and advisory groups to the Australian Government;
  • Services Australia, for the purposes of assisting the Department to administer the DSS Engage Survey and providing the Department with other information technology services; and
  • Other parties where the disclosure is authorised or required by law.

All entities contracted by us are subject to strict confidentiality, privacy and security obligations.

We may redact parts of your feedback before disclosing your submission, as appropriate and at our absolute discretion. This may occur in circumstances where the submission contains information that is not relevant to this Survey, it contains personal or sensitive information, could be potentially defame others, is offensive in nature or contains operationally sensitive information.

If your submission raises specific concerns in relation to a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual, or to public health or safety, your personal information may be referred to the appropriate enforcement agency for the purpose of lessening or preventing that serious threat, in accordance with the Privacy Act.

No information about you will be disclosed overseas.

An insight report on a summary of the findings from the survey will be published on the DSS website. It will not include information that identifies or reasonably identifies an individual.

Storage of personal information

Storage of personal information (and the disposal of information when no longer required) is managed in accordance with the Australian Government records management regime, including the Archives Act 1983 (Cth), agency-specific records authorities and general records authorities. This ensures your personal information is held securely.

All personal information collected that is held by the Department is stored on Services Australia’s cloud storage, on servers located in Australia. Services Australia and the Department retains effective control over any personal information held on our cloud, and the information is handled in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles.

Any information disclosed to external consultants will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act and stored in accordance with agreed security protocols.

More information

Our privacy policy contains more information about how the Department handles personal information, how you can access any personal information that we hold, and how to seek correction of that personal information. It also contains information about how to make a complaint about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles, as set out in the Privacy Act.

If you have any concerns or questions, you can contact us at

Confirmation and consent

By providing your personal information as part of your Survey response, you consent to the Department collecting your personal information and handling your personal information in accordance with this privacy notice and the Department’s privacy policy.

Please note that you do not need to provide your sensitive information if you do not wish to do so.

By providing your sensitive information as part of your Survey response, you consent to the Department collecting your sensitive information and handling your sensitive information in accordance with this privacy notice and the Department’s privacy policy.