When you lodge a complaint, our office will assesses it to see whether it is covered by the Equal Opportunity Act (1984), (the Act).

  • If it is, and it appears you have been treated unfairly, we will accept your complaint and allocate it to a Conciliation Officer.
  • If it is not covered under the Act, then the complaint will be declined, and you will receive a letter explaining why this is the case.

There is no cost in making a complaint of discrimination.

Making a complaint factsheet (PDF, 107.7 KB)

Things to include

If you decide to lodge a complaint you need to:

  • provide your complaint in writing - this can be in your preferred language - it should be no longer than 5 pages.
  • explain what has happened and why you think it is discrimination
  • identify the grounds of discrimination and an area of activity in your complaint
  • include details about the organisation you believe has discriminated against you
  • attach copies of any relevant documentation.

You will need to send your complaint within 12 months of the last act of discrimination.

You can also lodge a complaint on behalf of someone else, as long as you have their written and signed consent (this may be a power of attorney if they are unable to sign for themselves).

We will ask you to outline what outcomes you wish to pursue so please include the remedies you are seeking, should your complaint proceed to the conciliation stage.

The Commissioner does not have enforcement powers.

The Commissioner is unable to impose sanctions on any individual or business, such as a prosecution, financial penalty or suspension of a licence to operate. The Commissioner will remain independent in any dispute. The parties to a dispute must jointly decide the terms of any potential resolution.

Learn more about the complaint process.

How to make a complaint to us

You can submit a complaint in one of three ways:

  1. Submit a Complaint Form online.
  2. Print a complaint form (PDF, 177.8 KB), fill it in and post or fax it to us.
  3. Fill out complaint form (DOCX, 191.1 KB) and either post it to us or email as an attachment.

Learn more about what happens to your complaint once we receive it.

Other complaint pathways

You may prefer to make a report directly to the business involved. This gives them the opportunity to remedy the situation without our involvement.

If the situation does not improve, you can still make a formal complaint to us.

We provide several ways for you to report discrimination and harassment directly to a business, including: