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Privacy Policy

ISS Australia is committed to respecting the privacy of your personal information. This Privacy Policy sets out our personal information management practices. It covers the following areas:

  • Application of privacy laws
  • Personal information collected
  • Use and disclosure of personal information
  • Accessing and updating your personal information
  • Security of personal information
  • Information for users of our Website
  • Further information

Throughout this Privacy Policy, we refer to your “personal information” which means information which identifies you as an individual or from which your identity can be reasonably ascertained. Your personal contact details are examples of personal information.

References to “ISS Australia”, “us”, “we” and “our” are references to International Social Service Australia ABN 12 004 508 641 and its related bodies corporate.

Application of privacy laws

ISS Australia is required to comply with the Information Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988 and other laws which protect your privacy. ISS Australia sometimes handles personal information relying on exemptions under these laws, for example in relation to:

  • employee records
  • related bodies corporate
  • provision of services to State or Territory authorities
  • operations outside Australia relating to personal information of non-Australians

Any permitted handling of personal information under such exemptions will take priority over this Privacy Policy to the extent of any inconsistency.

In all other respects this Privacy Policy applies to the extent permitted by law.

Personal information collected

We may collect personal information about individuals such as clients, supporters, volunteers, contractors, job applicants and persons sought by family members requesting our tracing services. We collect personal information that you provide to us directly, as well as from publicly available sources and third parties such as those identified in the “use and disclosure of personal information” section below.

In certain circumstances we may collect sensitive information such as health information. We will only collect this information when you provide it voluntarily, consent to us collecting it or as otherwise authorised by law.

Use and disclosure of personal information

We may collect, use and disclose your personal information for purposes including:

  • for clients and prospective clients, assessing what services you require and whether we can provide those services, providing our services and evaluating ongoing services provided to you
  • assessing any application made by you to become a volunteer, contractor or employee
  • for supporters (including members, donors, sponsors and referring agencies) who provide their personal information, to process and record donations, provide receipts and – subject to legal requirements and any requests you make to opt out – to contact you about ISS Australia, our activities and to provide our newsletters, reports, invitations and membership renewal requests
  • research, internal reviews, analysis and production of consolidated statistics
  • compliance with legal requirements (for example, child protection laws)
  • protection of our lawful interests
  • where reasonably necessary to lessen or prevent serious threats to the life, health or safety of others

Provision of your personal information is voluntary; however we may not be able to do these things without your personal information. For example, we may not be able to contact you, provide services, issue receipts or offer employment to you.

Many of our tasks are performed with the assistance of our contractors, volunteers, partner agencies and associated ISS offices overseas, and we may share personal information with them. We may also outsource certain tasks involving personal information to third party service providers, including organisations that provide research, mail and delivery, auditing, consulting or technology services.

ISS Australia provides international family tracing-related services including searching and reunion. Personal information about a person requesting tracing is only provided to the person being traced (or vice versa) with consent or where required by law.

We may sometimes need to share your personal information with government agencies where appropriate in relation to funding arrangements or where relevant to services we are providing (for example, to provide more effective services relating to child welfare, adult welfare, child abduction or family mediation). Where you request ISS Australia to undertake an overseas background check, we will only disclose your personal information to the relevant authorities overseas with your consent or where required by law.

If you apply for a position with ISS Australia, we may exchange your personal information with your referees, police, Centrelink and recruitment consultants.
Accessing and updating your personal information

To make a request to access or correct any personal information we hold about you, please contact us using the details set out in the “Further information” section below. We ask that you provide us with as much detail as you can about the particular information you seek, in order to help us retrieve it. An access fee may be charged where permitted by law. In certain circumstances, we may not be required by law to provide you with access or to correct your personal information. If that is the case, we will give you our reasons for that decision.

We take reasonable steps to make sure that the personal information we collect, use and disclose is accurate, complete and up-to-date.
Security of personal information

Irrespective of whether personal information is stored electronically or in hard copy form, we take reasonable steps to protect the personal information we hold from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

Information for users of our Website

If you visit (our “Website”) to read, browse or download information, our system may record information such as the date and time of your visit to the Website, the pages accessed and any information downloaded. This information is used for statistical, reporting and website administration and maintenance purposes only.
Like many websites, our Website may use “cookies” from time to time. Cookies are small text files that we transfer to your computer’s hard drive through your web browser to enable our systems to recognise your browser. Cookies may also be used to record non-personal information such as the date, time or duration of your visit, or the pages accessed, for website administration, statistical and maintenance purposes. Any such information will be aggregated and not linked to particular individuals. The default settings of browsers like Internet Explorer always allow cookies, but users can easily erase cookies from their hard-drive, block all cookies, or receive a warning before a cookie is stored. Please note that some parts of the Website may not function fully for users who disallow cookies.

While we take great care to protect your personal information on our Website, unfortunately no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. Accordingly, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you send to us or receive from us online. This is particularly true for information you send to us via email. We have no way of protecting that information until it reaches us. Once we receive your transmission, we make our best effort to ensure its security in our possession.

The Website may contains links to other sites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or policies of those sites.

Further information

If you have any questions, concerns or feedback about privacy, please contact us:

International Social Service Australia
Address: Level 2, 424 William St, West Melbourne VIC 3003, Australia
Phone: (03) 9614 8755

For information about privacy generally, or if your concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction, you can contact the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner on 1300 363 992 or via

International Social Service Australia ABN 12 004 508 641
Date of Publication 4 May 2011

Freehills Melbourne\004837315

Last Updated (Thursday, 07 May 2009)