Discrimination is treating someone less favourably because of their personal characteristics. There are state (NSW) and federal (Australian) anti-discrimination laws. These laws protect people from unlawful discrimination based on their personal attributes (e.g. sexual orientation, gender, disability, age, race or marital status). Discrimination is only unlawful when it happens in an area of public life, including employment, education, obtaining goods or services, accessing public places or facilities and accommodation. 

If you believe a worker or service (including counsellors, social workers, telephone services, doctors, police and the courts) has discriminated against you, you can ask to speak to a manager or someone in charge. You may also wish to make a formal complaint.

If you believe you have experienced discrimination from a service provider you can contact the:

Australian Human Rights Commission
1300 656 419 or visit humanrights.gov.au

Anti-Discrimination NSW 
1800 670 812 or visit antidiscrimination.nsw.gov.au

If you believe that you have been discriminated against or mistreated by Police you can contact:

Police customer assistance line 
1800 622 571 or visit police.nsw.gov.au

Law Enforcement Conduct Commission
1800 657 079 or visit lecc.nsw.gov.au

Last updated:

31 Aug 2022

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future. 

Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.

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