Consultation period

19 January 2023 - 4:45 pm To 3 March 2023 - 12:00 am

Early Years Strategy Survey – Collection Notice

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

The Department of Social Services (Department, we, us, our), 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’s collection of your personal information, as required by the Privacy Act.

Purpose of this pulse survey

The Australian Government is developing an Early Years Strategy (the Strategy), in recognition of the vital importance of the first five years of every child’s life. The Department is inviting the public to provide their views on what the Australian Government should focus on under the Strategy (the survey).

As part of this survey, we do not ask for you to provide your name, phone number, or email address. The Department’s intention is for survey respondents to not be identified or be reasonably identifiable. However, this may not always be possible due to various factors (through free text boxes and the nature of the questions asked). Further, any emails sent directly to the Department to request an alternate method to complete the survey or to ask a question will include your name, email address and other identity details.

Where we are able to identify you or another person from your survey responses, or where you provide unsolicited information, we will handle your response in accordance with 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 or 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 information regarding whether an individual has a disability and the nature of their disability.

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 information technology aspects of the survey.

What personal information we collect

Through your participation in the survey, we may collect a range of personal information, some of which could be sensitive information.

The personal information we will require includes your:

  • views on what the Australian Government should focus on under the Strategy, and
  • postcode.

The personal information we will ask for, but is optional to provide, includes:

  • whether you identify as a parent, carer, or family member
  • whether you are a community member or represent a government, non-government or for-profit organisation
  • highest level of education
  • age bracket
  • gender
  • Indigenous status
  • disability status
  • Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD) status
  • LGBTIQA+ status.

We may also collect personal information from you:

  • if you include the personal information in your responses to questions, and
  • if you complete the survey by an alternative method (such as by emailing us a completed copy of the survey).

How we collect your personal information

Your personal information relating to your personal views, and any other personal information you provide, will be collected if you choose to participate in the survey. We will do this by collecting information from your responses to the Engage.dss.gov.au survey.

Your personal information relating to your personal views, your email address, and any other personal information you provide will be collected if you email your survey response to the Department directly.

Why we collect your personal information

Your personal information is collected for the purposes of informing the development of a new Strategy, which includes:

  • developing the Strategy’s vision, outcomes and priorities, and
  • understanding and publishing aggregated information about the demographics of respondents.

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 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:

  • entities contracted to provide services to assist us with developing the Strategy (which may include entities contracted to the Department analysing and reporting on survey responses and consultation submissions in an aggregated way, or providing information technology, accessibility, analysis and editing services);
  • the information provided in the free-text boxes may be shared with other Commonwealth agencies who are contributing to the development of the Strategy;
  • Services Australia, for the purposes of assisting the Department to administer DSS Engage and providing the Department with other information technology services; and
  • other parties where the disclosure is required or authorised by law.

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

We may redact parts of your survey response before disclosing it, as appropriate. This may occur in circumstances where your response contains information that is not relevant to this survey, it contains personal or sensitive information, could potentially defame others, is offensive in nature, or contains operationally sensitive information.

Any demographic information provided in your survey responses will only be used for internal analysis, and will not be published, except as aggregated statistics.

If we receive information in response to this survey that indicates there is a risk of harm to the respondent or another person, we are required to report it under Australian Law. This may include referral to the relevant state or territory authorities, in line with the relevant state, territory and Commonwealth legislation.

Storage of your 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 by the Department.

All personal information collected 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 third parties will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act and stored in accordance with agreed security protocols.

More information

The Department’s Privacy Policy contains more information about how we handle personal information, how you can access personal information that we hold about you, and how you can 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 privacy@dss.gov.au.

Confirmation and consent

By providing personal information as part of your survey response, you consent to the Department’s collection and handling of personal information in accordance with this collection notice and the Department’s Privacy Policy.

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

By providing 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 collection notice and the Department’s Privacy Policy.