Privacy policy

Your privacy is important to us

The Catholic Diocese of Wollongong complies with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act. We respect and value the personal information that you are willing to entrust to us, and this policy explains how we collect, hold, use, disclose and otherwise manage that personal information. It does not relate to records collected and held by parish or regional schools. These schools have a separate policy statement, which is available on request from their website.

We may from time to time review and update this policy to comply with our legal obligations, to reflect changes in technology and to our operations and practices, and to ensure it remains relevant to our environment. These changes and updates will be published on our website.

What kind of personal information do we collect and how do we collect it?

Personal information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, regardless of whether the information or opinion is true or not, or whether it is recorded in a material form or not.

Sensitive information is a subset of personal information, which is given a higher level of protection under the Privacy Act. It includes, amongst other things, health information about you, your criminal record and your religious beliefs or affiliations.

We collect and hold personal information, which may include sensitive information about:

  • Candidate information (eg resume) submitted and obtained from the candidate and other sources in connection with applications for employment
  • Work performance information (eg evaluations, reviews)
  • Information pertaining to incidents in the workplace
  • Staff information (eg statement of employment, banking details, tax file number)
  • Information submitted and obtained in relation to absences from work due to leave, illness or other causes
  • Reference Checks (work and personal)
  • Medical results
  • Test results (eg Psychological evaluations)
  • Education transcripts and certificates
  • Complaints and Praise
  • Working Visa information
  • Information you give in relation to next of kin
  • Other

Personal information you provide

We will generally collect your personal information by way of forms filled out either by the individual or their guardian/responsible person, face-to-face meetings, interviews and telephone calls.

Personal information provided by other people

In some circumstances, a third party including parishes or Church agencies, may provide us with your personal information, e.g. a reference about an applicant for a position.

In some cases where you do not provide personal information we request, you or your child may not be able to be involved in diocesan activities or receive sacraments or be enrolled in the Diocesan programs, or the diocese may not be able to assess your job or volunteer application.

You may also choose to deal with us on an anonymous basis or using a pseudonym. However, we will need to identify you in many circumstances, for example, to administer certain sacraments or to provide, care for your children or to process a job or volunteer application.

How will we use the personal information you provide?

We will use personal information we collect from you to:

  • Administer the sacraments and pastoral care
  • Keep you informed about matters relating to spiritual life, through correspondence and newsletters
  • Look after your spiritual and physical wellbeing
  • Provide care for your child(ren) while under our supervision
  • Fundraise, seek and administer donations
  • Tell you about events and developments in the Church and our community
  • Assess your job or volunteer application
  • Manage our volunteers
  • Satisfy the diocese’s legal obligations and allow the diocese to discharge its duty of care

We will also use personal information we collect from you for:

  • Recruitment
  • Placement operations
  • Staff management (eg temporary or contract staff personal information)
  • Training
  • Client and business relationship management
  • Marketing
  • Other

To whom might we disclose personal information?

In particular circumstances, we may, disclose personal information held about an individual to:

  • A parish or Church agency;
  • Government departments;
  • Medical practitioners;
  • People providing services to the diocese, including volunteers and any third party service providers;
  • Recipients of diocesan publications;
  • Parents and/or guardians;
  • If required or authorised by an Australian law or court/tribunal order
  • Anyone to whom you authorise the diocese to disclose

Overseas disclosures

We will only disclose personal information about you or your child outside Australia where you have requested that we do so. Where you make such a request, you agree and acknowledge that we will have no control over the information that we disclose, and that we will not be able to ensure that the overseas recipient handles that information in accordance with the Privacy Act, the Australian Privacy Principles and any other applicable Australian laws.

Direct marketing

You may opt out of receiving communications from us about our services and activities including fundraising, at any time by contacting us on the details below.

Management and security of personal information

Our workers are required to respect the confidentiality of the information and privacy of individuals. We have in place steps to protect the personal information we hold from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure by use of various methods including locked storage of paper records and password restricted access rights to computerised records.

Where we no longer require personal information for a purpose for which we can use or disclose it under the Privacy Act, we will take reasonable steps to destroy or de-identify that information, unless it would be unlawful for us to do so.

Correction and updating personal information

We endeavour to ensure that the personal information we hold is accurate, complete, and up to date, and where using or disclosing it, relevant for the purpose of the use or disclosure.

A person may seek to update the personal information we hold about them by contacting us at any time on the details below. If we are unable to correct your information, we will give you notice of this in writing and explain why and how you can take the matter further. You can also request that we associate a statement with the information that you believe is inaccurate, out-of- date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading.

Access to personal information we hold about you

You may access any personal information that we hold about you. Parents or guardians can generally make such a request on behalf of their children. To make a request for access, please put your request in writing and send it to us on the details below.

We may require you to verify your identity and specify what information you require before we can provide access. In some circumstances as provided for by APP 12, we may be unable to provide access, in which case we will notify you of this in writing and explain why and how you can take the matter further.

We will not charge you for making a request; however, we may charge you our reasonable costs of providing access to any information requested.

Consent and right of access to the personal information of children

We assess whether a child has the capacity to make their own privacy decisions on a case-by-case basis, having regard to matters such as their age and circumstances.

Generally, individuals over 15 years will have the capacity to make their own privacy decisions.

For children under 15 years or who otherwise do not have capacity to make these decisions for themselves, we will refer any requests for consent and notices in relation to personal information to the parent and/or guardian. We will treat consent given by a parent and/or guardian as consent given on behalf of the child and notices to parent and/or guardians will act as notice given to the child.

Enquiries and complaints

If you would like further information about the way we manage personal information, please contact us on the details below.

Contact details

Chief Operations Manager
Office of the Bishop
Diocese of Wollongong
38 Harbour Street
Wollongong NSW 2500
(02) 4222 2400

If you believe that we have acted contrary to this Policy or the Privacy Act, please put your complaint in writing and send it to us using the details above. We will investigate your complaint and try to resolve it. However if you are not satisfied with the response, you can contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) on 1300 363 992 to make a query about your privacy rights, or visit www.oaic.gov.au for more information about how to lodge a complaint. The OAIC has the power to investigate the matter and make a determination.

This Privacy Policy was last updated June 2015.