The Honourable Jan Wade Attorney-General 200 Queen Street

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					                                                                                 EOC Annual Report 1994/95         1

The Honourable Jan Wade
200 Queen Street

Dear Attorney-General,

I am pleased to present to you the Annual Report of the Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria for the year ended
30 June 1995. This report records the first full year of the current Commission’s operations.

Highlights for the Commission in 1994/95 included
• the elimination of the backlog of complaints lodged prior to the 1993 legislative amendments
• the introduction of a streamlined and procedurally fair complaints resolution service
• receiving a delegation from the federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner to receive complaints made in
    Victoria under the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992
• the commencement of Information and Education initiatives aimed at key groups including employers and equal
    opportunity practitioners.

Yours sincerely,

Virginia Rogers
                                                                                     EOC Annual Report 1994/95   2


1.   Mission Statement and Equal Opportunity Law in Victoria                       Page 3

2.   The Equal Opportunity Commission                                              Page 4

3.   Chairperson’s Message                                                         Page 5

4.   Chief Executive’s Report                                                      Page 7

5.   Law and Policy                                                                Page 9

6.   Information and Education                                                     Page 13

7.   Complaint Resolution                                                          Page 16

8.   Appendices                                                                    Page 20

     Appendix 1: Commission Members and Staff at 30 June 1995

     Appendix 2: Commission Budget at 30 June 1995

     Appendix 3: Enquiries and Complaints Tables
             Table 1. 1994/95 Enquiries by Grounds and Financial Year (All Acts)
             Table 2. Complaints by Area, Ground and Financial Year (All Acts)
             Table 3. Complaints by Area and Financial Year (All Acts)
             Table 4. Complaints by Ground and Financial Year (All Acts)
             Table 5. Complaints by Gender and Financial Year
             Table 6. Complaints by Area, Gender and Financial Year
             Table 7. Complaints by Ground, Gender and Financial Year
             Table 8. Complaints by Statute and Financial Year

     Appendix 4: Available Publications
                                                                                       EOC Annual Report 1994/95       3


Mission Statement

The Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria promotes equal opportunity and works to eliminate unlawful
discrimination in Victoria by providing
• A fair, impartial and low cost complaint resolution service
• Information and education about equal opportunity rights and responsibilities.

Equal Opportunity Law in Victoria

The Commission receives and finalises complaints made under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (to be
replaced by the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 which is yet to proclaimed).

The Commission’s Chairperson and the Chief Executive also have delegations from the federal Race and Disability
Discrimination Commissioners to investigate and conciliate complaints made in Victoria under the
• federal Racial Discrimination Act 1975
• federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
The Chief Executive also has a delegation from the federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner to receive complaints
made in Victoria under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984. This means that, in effect, all complaints of
discrimination in Victoria are received by the Commission.

Under the state and federal legislation listed above, it's unlawful in Victoria to sexually harass or treat anyone
unfairly because of their
• sex
• race
• disability
• marital or parental status
• religious and political beliefs or activities
In the areas of
• employment
• education
• accommodation
• goods and services
• clubs and associations

New provisions contained in the Equal Opportunity Act 1995, making discrimination unlawful on the basis of age,
lawful sexual activity, pregnancy, industrial activity, physical features and personal association and widening some
existing areas in the 1984 Act, are expected to come into force in 1996.

Discrimination can occur whether or not the person has, or is assumed to have, an attribute or personal characteristic
at the time the discrimination occurs or sometime in the past. Discrimination can be direct or indirect, and can lead to
victimisation which is also unlawful.

Direct discrimination means treating another less favourably on the basis of an attribute or personal characteristic
covered by equal opportunity law.

Indirect discrimination means imposing an unreasonable practice, requirement or condition that can only be complied
with by a higher proportion of people without the attribute.

Victimisation means treating someone unfairly because they have taken action under equal opportunity law.
                                                                                    EOC Annual Report 1994/95        4


The Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria is a statutory body that reports to the Victorian Parliament through the
Attorney-General. The Commission is composed of four part-time members, one of whom is the Chairperson, and
one full-time member who is also the Chief Executive. The Commission meets weekly to assess individual
complaints made under State legislation, and to set directions for encouraging equal opportunity and eliminating
discrimination in Victoria. All Commission members frequently address, and represent the Commission at, equal
opportunity and human rights-related events and functions.

Commission members

Virginia Rogers, Chairperson
Through her work as an independent councillor for the City of St Kilda and currently as a Commissioner for the City
of Glen Eira, Virginia has extensive involvement with the issues faced by culturally and socially diverse
communities. A lawyer with broad experience in both major corporations and private practice, Virgina is a past
president of the Corporate Lawyers Association, an honours graduate in law and holds a diploma in commercial law.

Diane Sisely, Chief Executive
Diane has spent many years developing and managing service programs for both the public and non-government
sectors. Before joining the Commission, Diane was Director, Consultation and Policy for the Victorian Department
of Transport and Director of Community Service Victoria's Home and Community Support Program. In these and
other positions, she worked closely with a broad cross section of the community, including people from non-English
speaking backgrounds, older people and people with disabilities. Diane holds a PhD and BA with honours in

Regina Fuster, Member
As a member of both the Victorian Ethnic Affairs Commission and the Immigration Review Tribunal, Regina has
worked closely with diverse cultural, ethnic and social groups. She has also been active in improving public access to
dispute resolution bodies and processes through her service with the Residential Tenancies Tribunal, the Small
Claims Tribunal and the Credit Tribunal. Regina has a BA in Psychology and a Diploma of Education.

Michael Gorton, Member
Michael is a partner in Russell Kennedy Solicitors and actively involved in human rights issues through his
membership of the Law Institute’s Human Rights Committee and in his capacity as vice-president of the United
Nations Association of Australia. A board member of the Association for the Blind, Michael holds degrees in law
and economics.

Daphne Milward, Member
Currently a consultant specialising in cross-cultural awareness programs for the public and private sector, Daphne has
spent many years running cross-cultural training and recruitment programs for various Victorian and Commonwealth
Boards and Departments. Most recently she managed Aboriginal training and employment programs for the
Department of Employment, Education and Training. Daphne is also a member of the board of the Victorian
Women’s Trust.
                                                                                       EOC Annual Report 1994/95          5


It is just over a year since the current members of the Commission met for the first time. This is the first annual report
of our activities. I am proud of the effort made, and the results achieved, by my fellow members and all staff, often in
difficult circumstances. In last year's report I said that the broad directions of the Commission for the 1994/95 year
were clear. Our main priority had to be the elimination of the complaints backlog.

At the beginning of the year, the Commission had a backlog of 550 cases, some of which had been waiting over 12
months to be assigned to an investigator. Such lengthy delays between the receipt of a complaint and any action
being taken often cause unnecessary stress and anxiety for all concerned. It also often made it much harder to resolve
the complaint because parties had become more entrenched in their positions, and the delay hindered, or prevented,
full investigation.

I am now pleased to report that this backlog has now been eliminated. All complaints which made up the backlog
have now been investigated, conciliated, declined, otherwise finalised or are pending conciliation. This was achieved
with the aid of one-off funding which allowed the Commission to temporarily bring in additional staff, and much
hard work by existing staff.

I am also pleased to be able to report that, despite a substantial increase in the number of complaints received by the
Commission in 1994/95, all new complaints made under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1984 are investigated
within 60 days of being lodged. The majority of these cases have a date set for conciliation within three months of
being investigated.

In last year's report, I said that we must firmly establish the Commission's complaint resolution service as one that all
Victorians value and respect. It must be fair and impartial and it must provide an effective, low cost service for
everyone - complainants, respondents, the public, employers and government.

With this objective in mind, the Commission spent much time during the year on operational issues. Both the
Commission's structure and its processes were reviewed, a new complaints resolution service was introduced and a 3
year business plan was developed. We believe that the attention paid to these matters ensures that the Commission is
ready to meet the challenges of the coming year. These challenges include
• implementing the new Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (which is discussed in detail in this annual report)
• making sure that all sectors of the community understand their rights and responsibilities under the new Act
• stemming the continued rise in complaints by reducing the incidence of discrimination through education and
   preventive programs.

The number of complaints made under equal opportunity legislation has increased every year since the legislation
was first introduced in 1977. Complaints received by the Commission in 1994/95, including those received under the
federal Disability Discrimination Act, increased by 68% over the previous year, and the Commission expects a
further increase in complaints for 1995/96.

While we view the continued increases as a matter of concern, we do not believe that these increases reflect a
significant rise in the incidence of discrimination. Rather the current increases are due to a number of factors
• an additional delegation from the federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner to handle complaints made
    under the federal Disability Discrimination Act
• increased awareness by the community of their rights under equal opportunity, and an increased willingness to
    exercise these rights.
The Commission also anticipates a further increase in complaints in 1995/96 and beyond as new grounds for
discrimination will be added to existing ones when the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 comes into force.

In the coming year, the Commission will place much greater emphasis on education and prevention. We must lay the
foundation now to halt the continued increase in complaints and, over time, reduce discrimination and consequently
the number of complaints.

The Commission does not underestimate the enormity of the task we have set ourselves. We must not be complacent.
We must continue to review and improve our processes, listen to and work co-operatively with all sectors of the
community, seize opportunities when they present themselves and be ready to learn from others.
                                                                                       EOC Annual Report 1994/95           6

When the Commission heard that the Chairman of the United Kingdom's Commission for Racial Equality, Herman
Ouseley, was to visit Australia to address the United Nation's Conference on Cultural Diversity in Sydney during
April 1995, we invited Mr Ouseley to Melbourne. He provided the keynote address at a seminar, "Strategies Against
Racism", organised by the Commission.

Mr Ouseley’s visit provided us with an excellent opportunity to build stronger links with one of the UK's most
important equal opportunity bodies and to draw upon its extensive experience in dealing with discrimination in
multicultural societies. In particular, the knowledge and strategies provided by Mr Ouseley about the Commission for
Racial Equality's "Let's Kick Racism Out Of Football" campaign proved very useful when racism in the Australian
Football League became a high profile issue a month later.

In collaboration with the federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, the AFL, AFL clubs and the
players themselves, the Commission helped draw up new rules for the sport, making racial and religious vilification
unlawful on the field, and set up a process for resolving all future allegations of on-field racial and religious abuse.

Our priorities for 1995/96 are to
• mount a major information campaign to inform the community about their new rights and responsibilities under
   the Equal Opportunity Act 1995
• closely monitor the implementation of the 1995 Act
• continue to improve the complaints resolution process
• work more closely and effectively with key groups directly affected by equal opportunity issues including
   employer associations and unions, equal opportunity practitioners, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
   community and people of non-English speaking backgrounds.

Finally, and on behalf of all the Commission members, I would like to thank the staff of the Commission for their
dedication during what has been a very extensive period of reorganisation. The Commission could not have achieved
what it has so far without the hard work of its staff and their commitment to the principles and practice of equal
                                                                                     EOC Annual Report 1994/95          7


The last year has seen an extensive and exhaustive effort by Commission members and staff to firmly establish the
Commission as Victoria's most effective organisation for promoting equal opportunity and combating discrimination
and I'm pleased to report that this effort is now showing some significant results.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1993

From 1 January 1995, the Commission became responsible for handling all complaints of disability discrimination
made in Victoria under the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 as well as its existing responsibility for
resolving disability complaints made under state legislation. Almost 60% of these disability complaints received by
the Commission in 1994/95 had already been lodged with the Disability Discrimination Commissioner over the
previous 2 years and were transferred to the Commission at the beginning of 1995 under the delegation. The
remainder received under the delegation were then lodged directly with the Commission up until the end of the
1994/95 year.

Under this delegation from the Commonwealth, additional funds have been made available to the Commission to
help handle the increased workload. For Victorians, the delegation means that they are now able to have all
complaints of unlawful discrimination on the basis of disability lodged, no matter what Act they fall under, with the

Overview of complaints and enquiries in 1994/95

In 1994/95, the Commission recorded a 31% rise in complaints on 1993/94 figures. When complaints of disability
discrimination made under the federal delegation are also taken into account, the overall increase in complaints rises
to 68%. A total of 2708 complaints were received in 1994/95 with 1049 (39%) being made under the Victorian Equal
Opportunity Act 1984. The Commission finalised 1844 complaints in 1994/95, a 57 % increase on the 1993/94 figure
of 1176.

As in 1993/94, employment continued to be the biggest area of complaints, accounting for 75% of all complaints
received by the Commission. However this was 12% less than in 1993/94. Goods and services was the next largest
area of complaints, making up 17% of all complaints made, an increase of 8% on 1993/94. All these figures include
complaints received under the delegation from the federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

The biggest ground for complaint in 1994/95 was disability, making up 29% of all complaints received. Disability
complaints made under the federal Disability Discrimination Act accounted for 22% of total complaints while the
other 7% came from complaints made under state legislation. Other major grounds for complaint included sexual
harassment (19%), sex discrimination (17%) and race (15%).

Enquiries made to the Commission about possible cases of discrimination and equal opportunity issues also rose
significantly, up 16% from 1993/94 to 18,077 in 1994/95.

Information and education

The Commission made a strategic decision in 1994/95 to focus most of its limited resources on the elimination of the
complaints backlog and the introduction of the new complaint resolution service. Only when these objectives were in
place were we able to concentrate on building up our information and education services and delivering a wider
range of preventative education programs.

Despite this, a number of information and education programs were undertaken in 1994/95. Highlights included
• the 'Strategies Against Racism’ seminar held at Parliament House in April 1995
• the launch of the 'Best Person For The Job' training kit for employers at the 'Doing Business With Government'
   expo in March 1995
• a series of seminars for lawyers working in equal opportunity, held at the Law Institute in May and June 1995.

Given that in 1993/94, 87% of all complaints were employment related, we have been working closely with key
employer groups such as the Australian Chamber of Manufactures and the Victorian Employer Chamber of
                                                                                    EOC Annual Report 1994/95          8

Commerce and Industry to inform employers about their equal opportunity responsibilities in an effort to reduce this
unacceptably high level of complaints.
The main messages that we are sending are
• workplaces that have effective equal opportunity policies and procedures in place are more productive
• employers need to be aware of the clear responsibilities, as well as the rights, they have under equal opportunity
• prevention rather than resolution of complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment is more cost effective and
   better for staff morale.

For 1995/96, the main focus of the Commission's information and education programs will be on ensuring that the
community is fully informed about the new rights and responsibilities under the new Equal Opportunity Act 1995.

Corporate Services

Another major step forward has been the development of a three year business plan which will take the Commission
through to 1997/98. This business plan clearly sets out overall strategic directions for the Commission, establishes
demand management plans and benchmarks for measuring the effectiveness of Commission services and programs.
The business plan will be used in negotiating on-going service and funding agreements with both the state and federal

The Commission's organisational structure is now firmly in place, with our four main areas of activity, Complaint
Resolution, Information and Education, Law and Policy and Corporate Services, now operating as individual, but
complementary, branches with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

A new corporate identity was also introduced for the Commission in late 1994 which has now been applied to all
publications and stationery. This corporate identity, featuring a visually striking logo, the new corporate colours of
plum and ochre and standardised typefaces, reflects the Commission's renewed focus on providing a high quality and
consistent level of service for all its clients.

New computers and software networks were installed towards the end of 1994/95 which will provide a significant
boost to overall productivity and a number of options for a new case management software system are now being
assessed. Funding has also been secured for a new, more effective telephone system to be installed once the
Commission moves to new premises.

Our planned move to new premises, made even more necessary by a planned expansion of Commission staff over
1995/96 to implement the new Act, is expected to take place sometime in the first half of 1996.

Finally, I’d like to say that, as busy as 1994/95 has been, I anticipate that the coming year will be even more
challenging and productive for the Commission. I'm confident that we will be able to handle what the future holds
because of our most important resource, the staff of the Commission. Their hard work and willingness to go that extra
mile has been unfailing and I both thank them and look forward to continuing to work with them to further improve
all Victorians' right to a fair go.
                                                                                                       EOC Annual Report 1994/95   9

5.         LAW AND POLICY

The role of the Commission’s Law and Policy branch is to
• research and interpret state and federal equal opportunity legislation and its impact on the community and the
    operations of the Commission
• identify potentially discriminatory legislation
• establish policies and guidelines for complaints where legal issues are unclear
• provide legal support for the Commission.

The Equal Opportunity Act 1995

The most important law and policy issue in 1994/95 for the Commission has been the Equal Opportunity Act 1995,
passed by both Houses of the Victorian Parliament on 1 June 1995. The 1995 Act contains the most significant and
substantive changes to Victorian equal opportunity legislation since the Equal Opportunity Act 1984.

The 1995 Act both widens the Commission's areas of responsibility and affects procedures for resolving complaints.
Major substantive changes include making it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of age, industrial activity and
lawful sexual activity, expansion of the sexual harassment provisions and areas of a person’s public life in which
discrimination is unlawful, such as sport and the disposal of land. Major procedural changes include
• streamlining procedures for complaints lodged more than 12 months after the discrimination was alleged to have
• registration of conciliation agreements with the Equal Opportunity Board (to be renamed the Anti-Discrimination
• the ability for complainants and respondents to have their complaints expedited under certain circumstances.

1995 Act compared with prior legislation

Attributes                                  EO Act          EO Act         EO Act         EO Act
                                            1977            1982           1984           1995
Carer status
De facto spouse status
Industrial activity
Lawful sexual activity
Marital/parental status
Personal association
Physical features
Political belief/ activity
Religious belief/activity
Sexual harassment
*Previously heard under sex discrimination provisions, this is now listed as a separate attribute under the 1995 Act

Areas                                       EO Act          EO Act         EO Act         EO Act
                                            1977            1982           1984           1995
Disposal of land
Goods and services

Substantive Changes
                                                                                      EOC Annual Report 1994/95         10

Grounds are characteristics of a person - her/his physical or cultural status, background or beliefs - that could form a
basis for discrimination. The 1995 Act introduces a number of new grounds, renamed ‘attributes’, and extends some
existing ones. The changes are as follows
• Age. This covers all areas of a person’s public life and abolishes compulsory retirement.
• Carer status. A carer is someone on whom another is wholly or substantially dependent for ongoing care and
    attention Industrial activity. This is defined as:
• (a) being a member or joining on a substantially non-commercial basis. Carers are not confined to family
    or not being a member or refusing to join an organisation of employees, employers or any other organisation
    established for people involved in a particular industry, trade, profession, business or means of employment.
    (b) participating in, not participating in or refusing to participate in a lawful activity organised or promoted by an
    industrial organisation.
    Lawful sexual activity. Includes either taking part in or not taking part or refusing to take part in any form of
    sexual activity not prohibited by Victorian law. This is intended to cover homosexuals, lesbians and
    heterosexuals, legal prostitution and people perceived to fall into one of these groups. The perception of sexual
    activity will also cover characteristics or identities that are associated with sexual preference. This provision does
    not cover unlawful sexual activities such as paedophilia, incest or sexual assault, regardless of the gender or
    sexual preference of the person claiming discrimination.
• Marital and parental status. Parental status now includes foster parents and guardians.
• Personal association. This means association or imputed association with someone either possessing or imputed
    to possess attributes covered by the 1995 Act.
• Physical features. These are defined as features beyond a person's control such as their height, weight, size or
    other bodily characteristics. It is not intended to cover self-imposed physical features like tattoos and body
• Pregnancy. This is now specifically covered by legislation. In the past complaints of discrimination were dealt
    with as cases of sex discrimination under the 1984 Act on the ground that it was an attribute unique to women.
• Race. This now includes descent and ancestry.

Other changes introduced by the 1995 Act include exemptions for employers allowing them to set reasonable
standards of dress, behaviour and appearance and, if they employ the equivalent of five employees, other than
relatives, on a full time basis, to discriminate in offering employment and/or limit the offering of employment to
family members. However, partnerships of 5 or more can no longer discriminate in deciding who should become a
partner or the terms on which they are invited. However employers are not exempt from other provisions of the Act
such as sexual harassment.

The sexual harassment provisions have been extended to make this behaviour unlawful not only when committed by
an employer or supervisor but also when committed by fellow employees. It will also be unlawful to commit sexual
harassment in common workplaces regardless of a person's status as employer, employee or contractor and regardless
of whether they work for the same employer or not. Other areas under the new Act where sexual harassment is
specifically mentioned as unlawful are
• education, whether between teachers and students or between students
• religious bodies
• in the selection, supply or receipt of goods and services whether they are provided or received for payment or not.

Procedural changes

• Extensions of time. Complaints relating to incidents that occurred more than 12 months prior to the date of
  lodging will no longer need to go through a separate extension of time process. A delay of more than 12 months
  in lodging a complaint will now be a basis for the Commission declining a complaint.

• Expedition of complaints. Both complainants and respondents will be able apply to the Commission for a
  complaint to be expedited. The Commission can only expedite a complaint at the request of a complainant if it
  considers the complaint to be conciliable, and if there are special circumstances that require a fast resolution.
  Special circumstances must be taken to exist if the complaint relates to a health-based emergency matter or
                                                                                   EOC Annual Report 1994/95        11

  continuing sexual harassment. The Commission may only expedite a complaint at request of the respondent if the
  complaint relates to a policy decision made by the respondent that is alleged to be discriminatory. Both parties
  can apply to the Tribunal to have an expedited complaint referred for hearing without conciliation.
• Lapsed complaints. The Commission may now dismiss a complaint if it has had no substantive response from
  the complainant within 12 months.
• Referrals. Once a complaint has been declined or if it appears not able to be conciliated and the complainant has
  been notified, the complainant has 60 days to request a referral to the Tribunal. If this does not occur, the
  Commission may dismiss the complaint.
• Special complaints. The 1995 Act also introduces the category of special complaints. A special complaint is one
  - has been referred to the Tribunal by the Minister; or
  - may have significant social, economic or financial effects on the community or a section of the community; or
  - involves issues of a particular complexity that when resolved may establish important precedents for the
  interpretation or implementation of the 1995 Act.

    If a party or the Attorney-General considers that a complaint is a special complaint, it may request that the
    Tribunal refer it to the Supreme Court to determine whether it is a special complaint. If the Supreme Court does
    make this determination, it must hear the complaint. If the Supreme Court does not make a determination that the
    complaint is a special complaint, the complaint must be referred back to the Tribunal and the party which
    requested the referral must pay the referral costs. The Supreme Court's decision can be appealed by either party
    on a question of law within 30 days.

•   Conciliation agreements. These will be certified by the Commission's Chief Executive. Either party may then
    lodge a copy of the agreement with the Registrar of the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. The agreement will then
    be taken to be a legally binding order of the Tribunal.

Implementing the Act

One of the most important tasks for the Commission in 1995/96 will be implementing the new Act. This includes
developing a consistent approach to interpreting and implementing the legislation. In doing this, the Commission will
be guided by the Act’s objectives which are to
• promote recognition and acceptance of everyone’s right to equality of opportunity
• eliminate as far as possible, discrimination against people by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of various
• eliminate as far as possible, sexual harassment
• provide redress for people who have been discriminated against or sexually harassed.
It is with these objectives, and the Attorney General’s second reading speech of the Equal Opportunity Bill in
Parliament, in mind that the Commission will interpret provisions of the Act.

Approach to Exceptions

Exceptions are more clearly identified in the new Act and the onus is now on persons or organisations claiming an
exception to demonstrate to the Commission that it applies to their circumstances. There are a number of key terms in
the Act relating to the application of exceptions and the Commission is developing what it regards as fair and
workable definitions of them that it will use when assessing complaints. These terms include the following.

• Reasonable. This term appears in various exceptions to provisions in the new Act. It is a relative term, and the
  facts of a case must be considered before reasonableness can be determined. The criteria upon which a decision is
  made must be objective. The term reasonable was considered by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. AT in the
  appeal of Broken Hill Associated Smelters v Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC)
  (1990), “ The proper course... is to ascertain the underlying reasons...and to ask whether, having regard to the
  discriminatory effects...and considering the question in a practical and not merely theoretical way, it is, under all
  the circumstances, objectively justified.”
  On this basis, the Commission believes that the reason for the standard, condition or requirement needs to be
  weighed against the nature and extent of the discriminatory effect to see if it is justified in the circumstances. A
  requirement which is merely for business convenience or because “things have always been done that way” is
  unlikely to be reasonable.
                                                                                    EOC Annual Report 1994/95           12

• Rational. Rational is also used in a number of exceptions, for example in discriminating in the employment of
  professional child carers or workers. To invoke this exception the employer, amongst other requirements, must
  have a rational basis for a belief that someone is a risk to the well being of the children. Rational is defined as
  agreeable to reason, reasonable or sensible. The test of rationality is therefore objective and will be applied in
  such a way by the Commission in its investigation processes.

• Genuine. In the new Act, the term genuine is used in several different ways. It appears in the context of genuine
  religious belief as a basis for exception from provisions covering areas such as employment. The term genuine
  does not appear to have been judicially defined, however clearly the belief must be truly, authentically and
  sincerely held. This is obviously a subjective test. To demonstrate the holding of such a genuine belief, a person
  would need to be able to demonstrate that she or he practises the religion and applies the behaviour or
  requirement to all people, not just one person.

   Genuine is also used in relation to occupational requirements, terms of employment and requirements of
   partnership in firms. Genuine occupational requirements could include the necessity of having particular physical
   characteristics (other than strength or stamina), preservation of decency or privacy in relation to the fitting of
   clothes, conducting body searches, entering lavatories and entering areas where people are in a state of undress.
   Here the decision as to whether behaviour or requirements are genuinely necessary would require evidence as to
   the requirements of the job, skills requested of a position and how they were assessed.

Reference groups

The Commission will have a valuable opportunity to monitor the implementation of this major piece of equal
opportunity legislation from its first day of introduction to see how it achieves its objectives. As part of the
monitoring process, the Commission will establish reference groups drawn from various sectors of the community
most likely to be affected by the new Act such as small and large employers, people with disabilities, Aboriginals and
Torres Strait Islanders, older people, younger people, gay men and lesbians and people of non-English speaking
                                                                                   EOC Annual Report 1994/95        13


The Commission’s Information and Education branch
• responds to telephone and written enquiries about equal opportunity issues
• organises education and training programs targeted at key groups including a Koorie Outreach Program
• responds to requests for speakers on equal opportunity issues and practices
• produces brochures, posters and other publications
• coordinates media and marketing activities.


Telephone and written enquiries provide useful information about perceived levels of discrimination in the
community and trends in equal opportunity issues. The majority of enquiries in 1994/95 were from members of the
public seeking advice on whether equal opportunity legislation covered what had happened or was happening to
them. A smaller, but still significant, number of enquiries was for general information about anti-discrimination
legislation and the Commission itself.

If an enquiry appears to be about a case of discrimination that may fall within the Commission's jurisdiction, the
Information and Education staff refer the person to the Commission’s complaint resolution branch. Whenever
appropriate or possible, information and education staff inform people making enquiries about the various steps that
they can take themselves to sort the issue out. If the enquiry is about matters outside the Commission’s jurisdiction,
staff will provide information about other bodies such as Jobwatch, the Maternity Leave Hotline and the Centre
Against Aggravated Sexual Assault that might be able to help.

The Information and Education branch dealt with 18,077 enquiries in 1994/95, a 16% increase on the 1993/94 figure
of 15,605. Approximately one third of these were seeking general information, including requests for information by
students (slightly above 11% of total enquiries), enquiries about general equal opportunity issues such as workplace
policies and practices (again just over 11% of the total) and enquiries about matters outside the Commission's
jurisdiction (roughly 10% of total enquiries).

The highest number of enquiries about a specific issue of discrimination was for sexual harassment (14%) followed
by sex discrimination (11%). However this last figure was 6% less than in 1993/94, the largest single decrease in
enquiries about a specific issue.

While dealing with these enquiries, Information and Education staff noted what seemed to be an increasing
awareness by the community of their rights under equal opportunity law and of the avenues of redress open to them.
Anecdotal evidence appears to indicate that this trend could be due to a number of high-profile incidents of
discrimination covered in the media and in several popular film and TV productions.

To make an enquiry, call:
03 9602 3222
1800 134 142 (Country callers)
03 9670 1951 (TTY)
Or write to:
Equal Opportunity Commission
4th Floor, 356 Collins St
Melbourne 3000
Or visit the Commission at the above address.

Interpreters and Koorie staff available on request.

Education and training programs
                                                                                   EOC Annual Report 1994/95         14

Despite the overriding priority on eliminating the complaint backlog and implementing the new complaint process,
the Commission was able to hold a number of information and education events including the following.
• Two seminars in May and June 1995 for lawyers working in equal opportunity. Held in conjunction with the Law
    Institute of Victoria at their offices, the seminars featured Commission members and senior staff discussing all
    aspects of the Commission's complaints resolution service. Both seminars closed with a "hypothetical" designed
    to take all seminar participants through every stage of a fictional complaint based on actual Commission cases.
• “Strategies Against Racism”, a seminar at Parliament House in late April 1995 which was addressed by Herman
    Ouseley, Chairman of the UK’s Commission for Racial Equality, Zita Antonios, the federal Race Discrimination
    Commissioner and Equal Opportunity Commission members.
• The breakfast launch, in conjunction with the federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, of the
    “Best Person For The Job” employers training package at the “Doing Business With Government” Expo in early
    April at the Royal Exhibition Building.

Koorie Outreach Program

The Commission’s Koorie outreach program, which has now been operating for six years, provides education and
information to the Koorie community about equal opportunity rights and responsibilities. The program also provides
cross-cultural awareness training for employers and service organisations and handles complaints made by members
of the Koorie Community. Program staff worked with a number of Koorie communities throughout Victoria in
1994/95 including
• Coranderrk Koorie Co-operative
• Dandenong District Co-operative
• the Eastern District Koorie Community
• the Gippsland District Koorie Community.

Workplans were also developed in late 1994/95 for two Reconciliation Projects. These initiatives aim to improve
awareness by the Koorie community of all equal opportunity rights and responsibilities and the Commission’s
understanding of the level and type of discrimination faced by different sectors of the Koorie community. The
Projects will involve a statewide conference, an extensive program of community visits, review of complaints made
to the Commission by the Koorie community and development of resource kits.

Public forums/speaking engagements

In 1994/95, Commission members and staff addressed 63 events organised by individual employers, employer
groups, educational institutions, equal opportunity practitioners, groups representing people of non-English speaking
backgrounds, state and federal government bodies and disability support groups.
Some of the groups addressed and topics covered by Commission members and staff over the last year were
• Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Discrimination law and dismissals
• Melbourne University Law School - Disability discrimination and provision of medical services
• Dandenong Adult Migrant Education Centre - Equal opportunity for people of non-English speaking backgrounds
• Department of Defence - Equal opportunity in employment
• Warrambool Aboriginal Co-op - Equal opportunity rights and responsibilities
• Victorian Workcover Authority - Equal opportunity in employment
• Rooming House Tenants Association - Disability and accommodation rights
• Victorian Superannuation Board - Equal opportunity in business
• Hoteliers Training Course - Equal opportunity in employment
• Retail Traders Association - Equality opportunity on employment and goods and services
• Law Institute of Victoria - Complaint resolution
• La Trobe University - Dispute resolution
• Adcorp - Equal opportunity practices in staff recruitment
• International Bar Association Conference - Sexual harassment in employment

Plans for 1995/96

One of the major activities planned for the coming year is a series of public forums to be held around Victoria to
advise people about their new rights and responsibilities under the Equal Opportunity Act 1995. This will be
                                                                                   EOC Annual Report 1994/95       15

complemented by seminars and training programs aimed at groups most likely to be affected by the Act. These
groups, and the reasons why they will be priority, are as follows.
• Employers, accommodation providers, clubs and associations and other providers of goods and services to ensure
   they are aware of their responsibilities and take the appropriate steps to prevent discrimination.
• Equal opportunity practitioners, lawyers, advocates and community service providers, who will be required to
   advise potential complainants and respondents.
• Potential complainants, particularly those with attributes that will covered for the first time by the new Act.
• People from non-English speaking backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, two groups that are
   often the targets of discrimination but who have often been unaware of or uncertain about how to make anti-
   discrimination law work for them.

The Commission’s range of publications including brochures, guidelines and posters will be updated and expanded to
cover all aspects of the 1995 Act. Comprehensive guides to equal opportunity policies and practices will also be
produced for employers, providers of goods and services, real estate agents and landlords and clubs and associations.
Use of electronic media such as e-mail, the Internet and CD-Rom to deliver information and education programs will
also be explored.

Other information and education initiatives for 1995/96 include a Partnership Program that will offer equal
opportunity practitioners the means of developing a close and ongoing working relationship with the Commission. A
media strategy to ensure that the Commission’s key messages are clearly and effectively communicated to both mass
and specialist media, is also planned.

A proposal to raise corporate sponsorship to fund a public awareness advertising campaign is also under
consideration. The campaign would be aimed at changing community attitudes towards discriminatory behaviour.

In order to reach wider audiences and make best use of available resources, the Information and Education branch is
developing a fees policy to partially recover costs expected to be generated by a planned expansion of information
and education programs and events. It’s anticipated that fees will be charged in particular circumstances such as for
the provision of specialist information seminars or training programs that deliver specific benefits for particular
organisations. General information and education material, programs and services will still continue to be offered at
no cost in most circumstances.
                                                                                     EOC Annual Report 1994/95        16


How the Complaint Resolution Process works

Initial Enquiry
Officer discusses details with complainant.
Written complaint received and assessment of jurisdiction made.
Complainant elects to lodge under either state or federal legislation.
Respondent is notified of complaint in writing.
Investigator interviews respondent.
Witnesses may be interviewed and documents gathered.
                             Complaint declined if not substantiated.
                             (review referral/option available)
Conciliator facilitates discussion between parties.
Acceptable solutions are negotiated.
                             If no settlement is agreed upon, complaint may be referred
                             for public hearing by the Equal Opportunity Board or the
                             Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

The new complaint resolution process

On 1 January 1995, the Commission introduced a new streamlined complaint resolution process designed to provide
a fair and impartial complaint resolution service that is low cost and timely for all parties. This process also enables
the Commission to meet its responsibility to assist people to formulate their complaints. To ensure impartiality and
fairness for all parties, lodgement, investigation and conciliation are handled by different staff.

The new service involves four stages, pre-lodgement, investigation, conciliation and review/referral and is designed
to identify and screen out complaints that are outside jurisdiction, lacking in substance, misconceived, frivolous or
vexatious, at the earliest appropriate stage.

Prelodgement. The Commission has a legislative responsibility to help complainants formulate their complaints.
Experience shows that the better formulated a complaint, the easier it is for all involved to handle. When a person
first makes a complaint, information is collected about the complaint on a standard form. Complaints which are not
within the Commission’s jurisdiction are screened out and, if appropriate, the person is referred elsewhere. Someone
with a complaint that falls within the Commission's jurisdiction is advised about the different state and federal
legislation under which she or he can lodge a complaint All steps of the complaints resolution process are explained
to the complainant at this point.

Prelodgement case study-Disability
Maria’s interview for a chef’s position was going well until she told Richard, the hotel manager that she had
injured her spine in a car crash several years ago. Richard’s attitude changed and it became clear by the
end of the interview that Maria would not be offered the job. When Maria asked why, Richard told her that
he couldn’t take risk of hiring someone that would probably end up on Workcover in a few months with a
bad back. Maria protested that the damage to her spine had been corrected and even produced a
doctor’s report but Richard refused to change his mind. Maria then contacted the Commission to find out if
this was a case of discrimination. At an interview with a prelodgement officer, it was determined that Maria
would be able to lodge a complaint of disability discrimination under either the Victorian Equal Opportunity
Act or the federal Disability Discrimination Act. After considering the options and discussing her case with
the Prelodgement Officer, Maria elected to lodge her complaint under the Disability Discrimination Act.
                                                                                    EOC Annual Report 1994/95        17

Prelodgement case study - Sex
Chris had his mail booking accepted for a rafting trip organised by other students from a outdoor activities
club at the university he attended. When he turned up in person to pay for the trip, the organisers told him
that they had not realised he was a man and that it was a women-only trip and that his booking was
cancelled. Chris called the Commission to make a complaint of sex discrimination and was referred to the
prelodgement section. During discussions with prelodgement staff, it emerged that that the trip had not
been arranged officially by the rafting club but separately by several members. Prelodgement advised
Chris that since the rafting trip was arranged privately, it did not fall under any of the areas where
discrimination was unlawful and so a complaint could not be lodged.

Investigation. Once a complaint is lodged, it is transferred to Investigation. This stage includes
• further discussions with the complainant to clarify all the issues and identify possible areas for investigation
• notifying the respondent of the allegations made in the complaint and obtaining his/her response
• collecting relevant information from the complainant, the respondent, witnesses and other relevant agencies
• assessing all available information and making a recommendation to the Commission as to whether the complaint
   is capable of conciliation or should be declined as lacking in substance, vexatious, frivolous or misconceived.
Under the current Equal Opportunity Act 1984 and the new 1995 Act, the Commission must advise a complainant
within 60 days if their complaint is declined.

Investigation case study - Sexual harassment
Nicole was working as an accounts clerk for a large engineering firm. John, her supervisor asked her out
for date and when she refused, his regular e-mail to her about work issues started to frequently include
very heavy sexual innuendo such as descriptions of what he wanted to do to her, using engineering terms
and jargon. Nicole reported this to Jeff, the Accounts Manager who dismissed the e-mail messages as just
typical office “high spirits” and “engineering humour” and told her not to be so sensitive. Nicole then lodged
a formal complaint of sexual harassment with the Commission. A Commission investigator contacted Jeff,
who repeated his statement that such language was just part of the company’s office culture and that
Nicole was overreacting. The investigator asked Nicole for a copy of all the relevant e-mail sent by John.
After studying print-outs of the e-mail, and talking to some of Nicole’s co-workers who said that she
appeared very upset at having to read this material as part of her work, the investigator made a
recommendation to the Commission that the complaint appeared to have substance and so should be
referred for an attempt at conciliation. The Commission accepted the recommendation and a date was set
for all parties to attend a conciliation conference.

Investigation case study - Goods and services
Emily and Kate lodged a joint complaint of sex discrimination on the grounds that, during a holiday down
the coast, a diving tour operator had refused to hire out scuba gear to them even though they were
qualified scuba divers. Emily and Kate claimed that the tour operator had told them that “girls always return
the equipment in a real mess and forget to clean the saltwater off’. A member of the Commission’s
investigation staff called the tour operator who agreed that he might have made some remark along the
above lines. However, he explained that his reason for not providing them with service was that both
Emily’s and Kate’s scuba qualifications were not officially recognised in Victoria and so he was forbidden
by law from supplying them with the diving gear. Emily and Kate were informed of this, but still felt the tour
operator was being discriminatory in his comments. After viewing Emily and Kate’s diving qualifications
and checking with the relevant licensing agency, the investigator recommended that the complaint be
declined as lacking in substance.

Conciliation. Conciliation conferences, held by trained Commission conciliators, are confidential meetings where
parties can freely and fully talk through all issues relating to the complaint and attempt to reach a resolution of the
complaint through negotiation. There are a number of possible outcomes to conciliation. Complaints can be closed as
resolved through a negotiated outcome. This may include an apology, financial compensation and/or a commitment
by the respondent to introduce equal opportunity policies and practices to avoid future incidents. Alternatively, if the
complaint was based on a genuine misunderstanding, it may be withdrawn.
                                                                                EOC Annual Report 1994/95       18

Conciliation case study - Disability
David had lodged a complaint of discrimination on the ground of disability because he had lost his job as a
white goods salesperson after telling Andrew, the company owner, that he had been diagnosed as HIV
Positive. During investigation of the complaint, Andrew had claimed that David was retrenched because
the business was in financial difficulties and needed to shed staff. However the investigation revealed that
Andrew had actually hired someone to replace David. Andrew admitted this during the conciliation
conference and said that his real reason for firing David was that he felt other employees would refuse to
work with him because of his condition. Following negotiations between David and Andrew, David was
offered his job back and a payment of $5000 to compensate for lost wages. Andrew also agreed to send
all his staff to an HIV/AIDS awareness course and introduce an equal opportunity policy in his workplace.
David accepted all these terms except the offer of reinstatement, saying he would not feel comfortable
returning to that workplace and that he had been offered another position.

Review/referral. This provides complainants with the option to have declined or unresolved complaints referred for
public hearing and determination by the Equal Opportunity Board at the state level or the Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission at the federal level.

Review/referral case study - Accommodation
After being refused a room for the night at a country resort hotel because they had their 4 year old twins
with them, Gina and Stavros lodged a complaint on the ground of parental status. Investigation revealed
that the hotel had frequently refused accommodation to parents and children before, but made no mention
of their “no children” policy in any of their brochures or advertisements. The hotel owners and the manager
were asked to attend a conciliation conference with Gina and Stavros but did not show up at the appointed
date. A second attempt was made to hold a conciliation conference and again the respondents did not
show up despite assurances that they would. The Conciliator then recommended that a compulsory
conference be held. The hotel owners and manager did show up on this occasion. However they refused
to consider Gina and Stavros’ request that the hotel change and advertise its policy on children. As the
complaint was not able to conciliated, the Commission closed its file after advising Gina and Stavros of
their right to have the matter referred to the Equal Opportunity Board for a public hearing.

How to make a complaint

The Commission’s complaint resolution service is free and completely confidential
If you think you’ve been unlawfully discriminated against, contact the Commission for a complaint form. The
complaint form will ask for
• your name, address and contact phone number
• the name and address of the person or organisation you want to complain about
• how you believe you were discriminated against
• when the discrimination happened
• why you were treated this way
• whether you want to complain under state or federal anti-discrimination law
You can call us if you have any questions and we will contact you if we need more information.

Complaints received in 1994/95

The Commission received 2708 formal complaints in 1994/95, a 68% increase on the 1993/94 figure of 1616. A
large part of this increase was due to 595 disability complaints referred to the Commission under the new federal
delegation. When complaints received under this delegation are excluded, the total number of formal complaints
made was 2113, an increase of 31% on 1993/94. Of the 2708 complaints, 1049 (39%) were made under the Victorian
Equal Opportunity Act 1984, 768 (28%) under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984, 595 (22%) under the federal
Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and 296 (11%) under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.
                                                                                                   EOC Annual Report 1994/95   19

Because of the delegation, disability complaints received by the Commission recorded the highest rise by far in any
areas, up from 192 in 1993/94 to 788 in 1994/95, an increase of just over 300%. 193 of these complaints were made
under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1984, an increase of 0.5 % in disability complaints made under state
legislation. The second biggest increase in complaints received was on the grounds of sexual harassment, up by 23%
to 527 from the 1993/94 figure of 430. Complaints of sex discrimination rose from 395 in 1993/94 to 463 in
1994/95, an increase of 17%.

Areas where complaints of discrimination rose in 1994/95 included employment which recorded a 44% increase from
1414 complaints in 1993/94 to 2033 in 1994/95 and goods and services which rose from 148 in 1993/94 to 471 in
1994/95, an increase of 218%. The sharp rise in both these areas can again be attributed to the new delegation to
receive disability complaints under federal legislation.

Excluding complaints made under federal disability legislation, complaints of discrimination in employment rose by
22% up to 1727 while complaints of discrimination in the provision of goods and services increased by 83% to 271.
Complaints in the area of education also increased from 22 in 1993/94 to 134 in 1994/95, in clubs from 5 in 1993/94
to 9 in 1994/95 and in accommodation from 27 in 1993/94 to 61 in 1994/95.

While the Commission views these figures with concern, it believes that this may not reflect a significant rise in the
overall incidence of discrimination. Several factors may have contributed to this increase including
• the additional caseload generated by the new responsibility for receiving disability complaints under federal
   legislation as mentioned above
• the requirement, stemming from the precedents set by Federal Court decisions, Proudfoot vs HREOC and
   Ellenbogen vs HREOC, that any complaints, regardless of actual substance, that falls within an equal opportunity
   body’s jurisdiction must be lodged as a formal complaint and investigated before it can be declined or otherwise
   acted upon
• an improved awareness by the community that unfair treatment is unlawful and that redress is available through
   the Commission.

Resolution of Complaints

The Commission closed 1844 complaints in 1994/95, 57% percent more than in 1993/94. Of these complaints, 1076
or 58% were resolved through conciliation, withdrawn by complainants, lapsed (mainly because complainants did not
maintain contact) or were found to be outside the Commission’s jurisdiction. A further 388 (21%) were declined as
lacking in substance and 380 (21%) were not resolved through conciliation. Compared with 1993/94 complaint
closure data for the federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and anti-discrimination bodies in New
South Wales and South Australia, the Commission’s 1994/95 decline, finalisation and unresolved rates were well
within overall averages for these figures.

Complaint outcomes by Financial Year
Outcome                            1993/94                       1994/95
Declined                           13%                           21%
Finalised                          63%                           58% *
Not resolved                       24%                           21%
* Breakdown of 1994/95 finalised complaints. Resolved: 307, withdrawn: 594, lapsed: 151, no jurisdiction found: 24.

The number of complaints which were closed three months or less after lodgement was up to 21% as compared to 6%
for 1993/94. Because of the priority given to clearing up the complaints backlog, a relatively high number of
complaints (38%) that had been lodged 12 months or more previously were closed in 1994/95.

Complaint Closures by Financial Year
                                                                               EOC Annual Report 1994/95   20

    35                         38                     greater than 12 months
    30                                                less than 12 months
%   20                                                less than 9 months
              22 20                              21
    15                                                less than 6 months
    10                15            14 15
                                            12        less than 3 months
     5                     6

              1993/94               1994/95
                                                           EOC Annual Report 1994/95   21



EOC MEMBERS (fte = 1.8)
Virginia Rogers, Chairperson
Diane Sisely, Chief Executive
Regina Fuster, Member
Daphne Milward, Member
Michael Gorton, Member

STAFF (fte = 29.5)
Fran Lemus, Secretary to the Chief Executive
Legal, Policy & Research
Debbie Kiper, Legal Officer
Information & Education
Jenny Ryan, Manager
Trish Cooper, Events Co-ordinator
Renn Barker, Media Liaison
Jeanette Singh, Koorie Information & Education Officer
Lysanne Kingswell, Information & Education Officer
Peter Fotiadis, Information Officer
Coralie Johnson, Information Officer
Denise Lloyd, Information Officer
Eli Velkovska, Receptionist
Roberta Condie, Librarian
Complaint Resolution
Charlotta Ziems, Manager
Gaye Harris, Administrative Assistant
Robyn Fletcher, Referral & Review Officer
Di Lopez, Senior Prelodgement Officer
Melinda Robinson, Prelodgement Officer
Wendy Morrison, Prelodgement Officer
Melanie Fraser, Prelodgement Officer
Anne Sharkey, DDA Prelodgement Officer
Margaret Noall, Senior Investigation Officer
Stella Choi, Administrative Assistant
Ian Hamm, Koorie Investigation Officer
Michelle Mead, Investigation Officer
Gina Virgona, DDA Investigator Officer
Matthew Carroll, Investigation Officer
Carmel White, DDA Investigation Officer
Mark McPherson, Senior Conciliation Officer
Catherine Smith, DDA Conciliator
Robin Rankin, Conciliator
Judy Monk, Koorie Conciliator
Kevin O’Neill, Conciliator
Dora De Blasio, Conciliator
Marilyn Mandie, Conciliator
Corporate Services (Department of Justice fte = 2)
Beth Johnson, Finance & Project Manager
Annie Fernandez, Accounts Officer
Charmaine Young, Finance & Administration Officer
                                                                                   EOC Annual Report 1994/95       22


                                Recurrent        Short-term      Expenditure         Cash flow
                                allocation          backlog          1994/95         allocation
                                  1994/95         allocation
Salaries                        $1,033,495         $125,500        $1,060,167       $1,158,995
Other operating costs             $545,312          $39,500          $464,268         $584,812
Total                           $1,578,807         $165,000        $1,524,435       $1,743,807
Budget Allocation               $1,743,807
Total Allocation                $1,524,435
Carry forward                   - $219,372

Note: The carry forward figure of $219,372 is due to funds allocated for equipment, training and relocation costs that
had not been put in place in 1994/95.
                                                                                                  EOC Annual Report 1994/95              23



Table 1. 1994/95 Enquiries by Grounds & Financial Year (All Acts)

                                                  1992/93                 1993/94                  1994/95
                                                 No.           %         No.             %        No.             %
Age                                              429          3.2        485            3.1       515            2.9
AIDS/HIV                                         108           .8         90            0.6       115            0.6
Criminal Record                                   86           .6        118            0.8        76            0.4
Disability                                      1527        11.4        1901          12.1       2237          12.4
Human Rights*                                       -           -           -             -       411            2.3
Industrial Activity                               75          0.6         64            0.4        79            0.4
Marital Status                                   265         1.9         265            1.7       249            1.4
General information                             4306        32.7        4816          30.9       6018          33.3
Parenthood                                       205          1.5        276            1.8       271            1.5
Political belief                                  92          0.7         61            0.4        60            0.3
Pregnancy                                        482         3.6         554            3.5       487            2.7
Privacy                                           37         0.3          27            0.2        56            0.3
Race                                            1543        11.6        1733          11.1       1746            9.7
Religious belief                                 140          1.0        134            0.9       163            0.9
Sex                                             2021        15.1        2641          16.9       2046          11.3
Sexual Harassment                               1413        10.6        1840          11.8       2467          13.7
Sexuality                                         76          0.6        123            0.8       130            0.7
Smoking                                           20          0.1         36            0.2        57            0.3
Unfair Dismissal                                 239         1.8         264            1.7       578            3.2
Victimisation                                       -           -           -             -       129            0.7
Workcare Disclosure                              250          1.9        177            1.1       187            1.0
Total                                          13314         100       15605           100      18077           100
* Not listed as separate categories in previous years


Complaints data for 1994/95 includes complaints received under the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992
which were not handled by the Commission in previous years.

Table 2. Complaints by Area, Ground and Financial Year (All Acts)

                       Employment           Education*           Clubs*         Accommodation          , Goods &               Total
                                                                                       *                services*
                      93/94     94/95      93/94      94/95    93/94     94/95   93/94   94/95        93/94      94/95      93/94      94/95
Disability              162       437          5         63        0         1       2      39            23       248        192        788
Marital status           47        61          0          0        1         2       0       0             8         8         56         71
Other/unspecified        23          4         0          0        0         0       0       0             3         2         26          6
Parenthood               13        29          0          0        0         0       2       0             8        11         23         40
Political belief          8        11          1          0        0         0       0       0             2        20         11         31
Pregnancy               158       100          2          0        0         0       1       1             1         1        162        102
Race                    172       268          6         19        0         2      13      16            51        99        242        404
Religious belief          5        11          1         23        2         1       2       3             0        22         10         60
Sex                     341       407          6         16        2         3       5       0            41        37        395        463
Sexual                  416       511          1         10        0         0       2       0            11         6        430        527
Victimisation            69       194          0          3        0         0         0         2          0         17       69       216
Total                  1414      2033         22        134        5         9        27       61         148        471     1616      2708
* These 93/94 figures were incorrectly formatted in the 1993/94 Annual Report and are presented here in the correct format.
                                                                                              EOC Annual Report 1994/95   24

 Table 3. Complaints by Area & Financial Year (All Acts)

                                         1992/93                 1993/94                1994/95
                                        No.            %        No.           %        No.           %
Accommodation                            30           2.6        27          1.7        61         2.2
Clubs                                    11           1.0         5          0.3         9          0.3
Education                                61           5.4        22          1.3       134         4.9
Employment                              842         74.7       1414        87.5       2033        75.1
Goods & Services                        184         16.3        148          9.2       471        17.5
Total                                  1128          100       1616         100       2708         100

 Table 4. Complaints by Ground & Financial Year (All Acts)

                                       1992/93                  1993/94                1994/95
                                      No.            %         No.           %        No.          %
Disability                            232         20.6         192        11.9        788        29.2
Marital status                         47           4.2         56         3.5         71         2.6
Other/unspecified                       2           0.5         28          1.7         6         0.2
Parenthood                             27           2.4         23          1.4        40         1.5
Political belief                        6           0.5         11         0.7         31         1.1
Pregnancy                              74           6.5        162        10.0        102         3.8
Race                                  189         16.8         242        14.9        404        14.9
Religious belief                       11           1.0         10          0.6        60         2.2
Sex                                   305         27.0         395        24.4        463        17.1
Sexual harassment                     180         16.0         430        26.6        527        19.4
Victimisation                          57           5.0         69          4.3       216         8.0
Total                                1128          100        1616         100       2708         100

 Table 5. Complaints by Gender and Financial Year

                                              % Female      % Male
 1994/95                                    61       39
 1993/94                                    73       27
 1992/93                                    69       31
 All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.

 Table 6. Complaints by Area, Gender and Financial Year

                                        1992/93                 1993/94                1994/95
                                  % Female      % Male      % Female   % Male      % Female    % Male
Accommodation                            48           52         53         47          40         60
Clubs                                    25           75        100          0          46         54
Education                                57           43         56         44          42         58
Employment                               77           23         80         20          70         30
Goods & services                         54           46         64         36          35         65
Total                                    69           31         73         27          61         39
 All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.
                                                                                          EOC Annual Report 1994/95   25

Table 7. Complaints by Ground, Gender and Financial Year

                                       1992/93                 1993/94             1994/95
                                 % Female      % Male      % Female   % Male   % Female   % Male
Disability                             43            57         55       45         37        63
Marital Status                         78            22         84       16         63        37
Other/unspecified                       -             -          -        -         50        50
Parenthood                             91             9         94        6         95         5
Political Beliefs                      20            80         25       75         29        71
Pregnancy                             100             0        100        0        100         0
Race                                   46            54         39       61         36        64
Religious Beliefs                      25            75         70       30         26        74
Sex                                    75            25         82       18         83        17
Sexual Harassment                      91             9         95        5         91         9
Victimisation                          91             9         84       16         67        33
                       Total           69            31         73       27         61        39
All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Table 8. Complaints by Statute and Financial Year

                                                   1992/93              1993/94              1994/95
                                                                       No.       %          No.       %
Equal Opportunity Act 1984                       715           63      646       40        1049       39
Racial Discrimination Act 1975                   131           12      194       12         296       11
Sex Discrimination Act 1984                      282           25      776       48         768       28
Disability Discrimination Act 1992                 -            -         -       -         595       22
Total                                           1128          100     1616      100        2708      100
All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.
                                                                                  EOC Annual Report 1994/95   26



Information & Guideline Sheets
The Victorian Equal Opportunity Act
Impairment Discrimination
Race Discrimination
Sex Discrimination
Sexual Harassment
Pregnancy Discrimination
Interviewing & Advertising Guidelines
Guidelines to Exceptions & Exemptions and the Duty not to Discriminate
Redundancy & Anti-discrimination Laws
Discrimination in Real Estate & Accommodation
Complaints Procedures - How the Commission Deals with Complaints (EOA)
Complaints Procedures - Sex Discrimination Act, Disability Discrimination & Race Discrimination Act
Equal Opportunity in Employment
The Disability Discrimination Act (A guide for people living with HIV and AIDS)
HIV/AIDS Discrimination
Religious Discrimination
Accommodation (Your rights & responsibilities)
Equal Opportunity Guidelines Impairment Discrimination
Guideline to Dealing with Sexual Harassment in Employment
Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
New Equal Opportunity Laws in Victoria

Treated Unfairly? (Grounds & areas of discrimination)
Sexual Harassment Free Zone


Training Kits (include video, trainer’s notes, handouts, overheads)
Employment Recruitment - “The Best Person for the Job” - for Management
Sexual Harassment Training Package - for Workplace Managers & Supervisors
Cultural Diversity - “Diversity Makes Good Business”
Privacy Act - “The Management of Personal Information”

How you can use... The Disability Discrimination Act
Your guide to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984
The Sex Discrimination Act 1994 - Sexual Harassment Knowing Your Rights
A guide to the Race Discrimination Act
Discrimination in Employment and Occupation
Your rights at work
Disability Discrimination Act (Employer Information)

Disability Discrimination Act - Don’t Judge what I can do by what you think I can’t.

Shared By:
Description: The Honourable Jan Wade Attorney-General 200 Queen Street ...