Privacy Policy

As an Australian Government agency, Aboriginal Hostels Limited (AHL) is bound by the standards, rights and obligations in relation to the handling and maintenance of personal and sensitive information in the Privacy Act 1988 and the 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). The Privacy Act defines personal type of information as information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether it is true or not and whether it is recorded in a material form or not. Some types of personal information are sensitive information, as is health, genetic and biometric information.

Purpose of this policy

The purpose of this policy is to detail the personal and sensitive information handling practices of AHL, including how your information will be collected, used, disclosed and stored.

The 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act 1988 set out obligations in relation to the collection, storage, use, disclosure, quality and security of personal information, and access and correction rights of individuals in relation to their own personal information. The Privacy Act 1988 also requires agencies bound by the APPs (which includes AHL), to have a Privacy Policy.

Purpose of collection

AHL collects personal and sensitive information in order to provide safe, affordable, culturally appropriate temporary hostel accommodation to residents and to collect tariffs for that accommodation. It also collects this information for purposes relating to the recruitment, engagement and management of its employees and contractors. AHL is committed to ensuring the confidentiality and privacy of personal and sensitive information in its possession, and treats this information with the utmost respect and discretion.

Who should read this privacy policy?

You should read this policy if you are:

  • an individual whose information may be given to or held by AHL, including if you are:
    • seeking to access or are a resident of a hostel, including if you are the partner of or are responsible for a person who is a resident or potential resident;
    • an employee or a person seeking employment with AHL; or to provide services to AHL;
  • an agent, representative or nominee of an individual who is required to provide information to AHL, including if you are:
    • a third party, such as an agency that is responsible for making payments on behalf of a resident; or
    • an agent, representative or nominee of an individual who is seeking access to the information covered by this policy.

Why does AHL collect personal and sensitive information?

AHL requires individuals to provide certain personal and sensitive information so that AHL can provide services to residents or to manage its employees and contractors.

As an individual you have a right to know:

  • when your personal and sensitive information is being collected by AHL;
  • who will have access to this information and how you can access your own information;
  • what the information will be used for; and
  • whether it will be disclosed to someone outside of AHL.

Can you deal with AHL without identifying yourself?

To perform many of its functions, AHL will need to know who you are. For example, if you wish to apply for accommodation, AHL will not be able to progress your request without having identifying information about you. However, where AHL can perform its functions without knowing who you are, AHL will give you the opportunity to interact anonymously or under a pseudonym.

How does AHL collect personal and sensitive information?

AHL collects information for a range of reasons including for proof of identity, for the administration and payment of accommodation, for analysis relating to AHL's provision of services, and employment purposes.

AHL may collect personal and sensitive information from you in a number of different ways, including:

  • forms you complete as part of the check in, recruitment or employee management process;
  • telephone conversations;
  • face-to-face interactions;
  • email correspondence; and
  • social media interactions through third party social media sites

By providing AHL with personal and sensitive information when checking into a hostel or in relation to their recruitment or employment, AHL considers that an individual has consented to AHL's management of that information as described in this policy.

As a resident or potential resident, AHL will collect personal and sensitive information which includes, but is not limited to:

  • personal details such as name and date of birth;
  • contact details such as home/postal address, phone numbers and email addresses;
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identity, including community of origin;
  • religious affiliation; and
  • biometrics (including photographs, voice or video recordings of you).

The same information will be collected about your family members if they are residents or potential residents of a hostel (eg. spouse/partner, children and/or other relatives).

As an employee or applicant, AHL will collect information which includes, but is not limited to:

  • personal details such as name and date of birth;
  • contact details such as home/postal address, phone numbers and email addresses;
  • proof of citizenship or residency status;
  • job application, supporting documents such as resumes and references, and information provided during the selection process such as academic qualifications;
  • employment details, such as rates of pay and leave entitlements;
  • medical certificates or health related information supplied by you or a medical practitioner;
  • financial information such as taxation details or superannuation accounts;
  • attendance, performance, training or disciplinary records; and
  • biometrics (including photographs, voice or video recordings of you).

AHL may at times also collect personal or sensitive information about individuals from other sources, such as from another government agency as part of arranging or collecting payment for accommodation.

How does AHL store personal information?

AHL has implemented security measures and procedures to protect the security of your information. AHL stores personal and sensitive information in both digital and paper format in accordance with the Archives Act 1983. AHL takes all reasonable steps necessary to protect this information including the prevention of unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.

These steps include:

  • paper records are held securely in accordance with Australian government security guidelines;
  • access to personal information is on a need-to-know basis, by authorised personnel;
  • our premises have secure access; and
  • storage and data security systems and protections are regularly updated and audited.

Use and disclosure of personal information

AHL is committed to protecting your privacy and will make every effort to maintain the confidentiality and security of your personal and sensitive information. Your information may be used by AHL, as well as Australian Government and state/territory government agencies, such as a relevant Department of Health or Centrelink, where you give AHL express consent or where sharing is otherwise required or permitted by an Australian law or court/tribunal order. AHL is unlikely to disclose personal and sensitive information to overseas recipients.

Unless necessary and wherever possible, any information provided to other organisations by AHL will be de-identified, anonymised and aggregated. If you provide personal information that AHL did not request (unsolicited disclosure) and AHL does not need to keep it for Commonwealth record keeping purposes, it will be destroyed and/or deleted.

Internet and social media

AHL uses social media and its website contains links to other websites and social media services. AHL takes precautions to ensure all information (including personal and sensitive information) received about individuals remains secure.

However, the internet and social media are insecure public networks which means there are risks that information sent to or from a website or social media service may be intercepted, corrupted or modified by third parties. In addition, files obtained from or through the website or social media service may contain computer viruses, disabling codes, worms or other devices or defects. Individuals bear the risks and responsibility for any loss or damage caused, directly or indirectly, by these risks. Additionally, AHL is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these third party social media services and websites.

Accessing or correcting information held by AHL

AHL will, upon request and in line with legislative requirements, provide individuals with access to the personal and sensitive information that it holds about them. Individuals (or authorised representatives) may also seek to correct information that AHL holds. If you would like to access or request that a record be corrected, please contact AHL on the details provided below. Please be aware that under certain circumstances and as permitted by the Privacy Act 1988 or the Freedom of Information Act 1982, AHL is allowed to refuse access to this information or a correction request. AHL will not charge an individual to access or correct any personal or sensitive information that it holds.

How to make a complaint

If for any reason you feel as though AHL has neglected to manage personal and sensitive information appropriately, or are concerned about any of the information or processes described in this policy, please contact AHL’s complaint line on Freecall 1800 640 836 or email complaints.officer@ahl.gov.au. Any concerns or complaints will be handled in accordance with AHL’s Complaints Policy. This policy and associated documentation is available upon request.

You may also make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). If you do so, the OAIC may recommend that you try to resolve your complaint directly with AHL in the first instance. The OAIC can be contacted on 1300 363 992 or via the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website. The website also contains further information about making complaints relating to privacy

Contact us

You can contact AHL on Freecall 1800 640 836 or email complaints.officer@ahl.gov.au if you would like to:

  • request access to your own personal information;
  • request a correction to your personal information;
  • make a complaint about a breach of your privacy;
  • query how your personal and sensitive information is collected, used or disclosed;
  • make a suggestion or comment in relation to AHL's privacy policy; or
  • ask questions about the privacy policy