Consultation period

14 January 2022 - 6:00 am To 25 February 2022 - 11:59 pm

DSS Engage Consultation – APP 5 Privacy Collection Notice

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

The Department of Social Services (department, we, us), collects personal information about individuals for a range of purposes to enable it to carry out its functions. 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 of Social Services (department, we us), collection of your personal information, as required by the Privacy Act.

What is the purpose of this Consultation?

The department is currently inviting participants to provide their views on the consultation for the draft National Plan to end violence against women and children (Consultation).

Please note that Services Australia will be assisting the department with some of the information technology (IT) aspects of the Consultation.

We have designed the Consultation to obtain views from stakeholders to help inform the draft of the next National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children (next National Plan) ahead of finalisation and official release.

As part of the Consultation, we do not ask for you to provide your name, phone number or address. If you email the department directly outside of the online survey, this will include your name, email address and other identity details. 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 asked). Where we are able to identify you or another person (or reasonably identify you or another person) from your response, we will handle your response in accordance with the Privacy Act.

We may collect, or have already collected, your information (including any personal information) for one or more of the above purposes. This notice is designed to ensure you are aware of the purpose and certain matters in relation to that collection, as required by the Privacy Act.

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.

Who is collecting your personal information?

Your personal information is being collected by the department and by Services Australia, who will be assisting the department with some of the IT aspects of the Consultation.

What personal information we collect

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

  • submission type, such as whether you are making the submission as an individual or as someone representing an organisation;
  • identity details, relating to gender, age, if you identify as having a disability, ethnicity, geographic and demographic information, if you have experienced family, domestic or sexual violence or another form of gender-based violence, work sector; and
  • your personal views about the next National Plan.

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 or experience, and the experience of others, in relation to a National response to family, domestic and sexual violence.

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

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.

Why we collect your personal information

Your personal information is collected for the purposes of shaping the final next National 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 Consultation and your identity will remain anonymous.

Some of the information collected by us from our targeted or public consultations or surveys has research value in developing policies that extend beyond the specific consultation or survey for which it was originally collected. Where this is the case, the information that we collect from this consultation 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:

  • other entities contracted to provide services to assist us with the development of the next National 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 next National 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 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. This may occur in circumstances where the submission contains information that is not relevant to this Consultation, 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 comments in relation to a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual, or to public health or safety, your submission may be referred to the appropriate enforcement agency for the purpose of lessening or preventing a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual, or to public health or safety, in accordance with the Privacy Act.

No information about you will be disclosed overseas.

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, 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

More information about how we handle your personal information is set out in our Privacy Policy. Our Privacy Policy contains more information about 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 Consultation 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.

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