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Ruah Community Services takes your privacy very seriously. This page provides some details about what information we collect, why we collect it and how we use it. All information we collect and the way in which we use it is in accordance with Australian legislation andbest practice including the Privacy Act, 13 Australian Privacy Principles, and Notifiable Data Breach Scheme.

Ruah’s Privacy, Confidentiality and Consent Procedure applies to all personal and sensitive information collected, received, or held by Ruah about our clients, donors, job applicants, volunteers, contractors, and employees (for purposes unrelated to their employment agreement).

What information do we collect?

We will only collect information that is necessary for, or directly related to, Ruah’s work and we will always notify you either at the time or before we collect information. Personal information will be collected directly from the individual. (If information is received by referrals, the information will be checked with the client). Staff will only collect sensitive information with the individual’s informed consent. If the information is collected for research and /or evaluation purposes, additional consent will be sought.

Informed consent

Consent and confidentiality are the fundamental rights of everyone accessing Ruah’s services. Staff obtain informed consent before collecting information, disclosing personal information, or providing services.

To provide informed consent, clients need to understand:

  • what services Ruah can provide
  • conditions for accessing Ruah’s services, including client rights and responsibilities
  • how personal information is managed by Ruah
  • the extent and limits of client confidentiality
  • the right to change and withdraw consent at any time
  • the consequences of withdrawing consent

When do we use or disclose personal information?

Personal information about an individual that is collected for one purpose (e.g., engagement in a Ruah program, making a complaint, or a job application) will not be used or disclosed for another purpose (e.g., soliciting donations), except when the individual would reasonably expect it or when they provide consent.

Disclosure of personal information about an individual is permitted when:

  • there is a serious and imminent threat to an individual’s or other’s life, health, or safety;
  • the disclosure is authorised or required by law; or
  • the disclosure relates to significant criminal behaviour, and is made to authorities with responsibility for dealing with such behaviour, and disclosure is not outweighed by other privacy principles;

When personal information is used or disclosed, in accordance with the above, a written note of the use or disclosure must be made in the individual’s record. Any staff member involved in making this disclosure will not make the decision to do so alone, but will liaise with their line manager, on-call or other senior staff member.

Access to personal information

Ruah provides individuals with access to their own personal information, on request, unless an exception applies. Ruah must be satisfied that the request for personal information is made by the individual concerned, or by another person who is authorised to make a request on their behalf (e.g. a legal guardian or authorised agent).

All requests to access personal information will be responded to within 30 days of receiving the request. If there is a delay for any reason, Ruah will contact the individual to explain the delay and provide an expected timeframe for finalising the request.

In some cases, Ruah may decline access to information as outlined in The Australian Privacy Principles. In these cases Ruah must provide the individual with a written notice that sets out the reasons for the refusal and the complaint mechanisms available to the individual. More information on exceptions can be found under of the government policy.

How to make a complaint about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles

We are committed to protecting your privacy and upholding the Australian Privacy Principles. If you believe we have breached the Australian Privacy Principles, please contact us at the email address below. We take complaints very seriously and will to respond to your concerns as quickly as possible.

How to provide feedback or comments on this policy

If you have any questions or feedback about our Privacy Policy or anything you have seen or read at Ruah, please contact [email protected].

Download Ruah’s privacy, confidentiality and consent procedure