Privacy statement

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) respects every person’s right to privacy, dignity and confidentiality and operates in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

This Privacy Statement contains information about how we collect and handle information and what you can do if you have questions, concerns or complaints about how your personal information is being used.

Aspect uses the personal information provided to us to respond to requests or in the application/delivery of a service, for managing and administering the services provided, for fundraising and marketing activity and the administration of Aspect’s business operations (this may include use of the personal information provided for the purposes of evaluation, research and improvement of Aspect’s services and management).

Aspect ensures that appropriate standards are maintained to protect the privacy of the data it holds.

When collecting personal information the following notable principles are observed:

  • Information shall not be collected unless it is for a lawful purpose directly related and necessary to the function of Aspect.
  • The individual is aware of the purpose for which the information is collected and whether it is usual to disclose this information to another agency.
  • The information is relevant, up to date and complete, and does not intrude unreasonably upon the personal affairs of the individual.
  • Personal information is protected against unauthorised access, use or disclosure.
  • Personal information is not to be used for a purpose other than for which it was collected. Exceptions to this are if the individual has given consent or it is authorised by law.

Collection and disclosure of information relating to the people Aspect works with

When commencing an Aspect service, the unit manager or staff member coordinating the service user’s service commencement should ask the client/parent/guardian to sign the relevant consent to release information form. This consent and the service user’s understanding the consent must be reviewed every time the client commences a new service with Aspect.

When information is being collected directly from a service user/parent/guardian, the person providing the information must be made aware that:

  • Aspect owns and maintains the records and files in which the information is stored.
  • The purpose the information will be used for.
  • Information may be shared with other Aspect staff on a need to know basis so they can carry out their authorised duties. (Note: Students on practicum receiving training and supervision from Aspect staff and volunteers are regarded as Aspect staff)
  • They can access all information Aspect holds about them. For example, they may inspect their records, or request a photocopy or printout.
  • All information obtained is treated confidentially and breaches of this policy by a staff member may result in counselling, discipline and dismissal procedures.
  • They can raise a concern or make a complaint about a breach of privacy and to go about this.
  • Records are archived and will eventually be destroyed in accordance with Aspect policies.
  • They can request more information about the way that Aspect manages the personal information it holds.
  • Their consent will be obtained every time their records need to be released to another agency.
  • They are entitled to change their minds and may they revoke consent later by confirming this in writing

When communication difficulties exist, it may be appropriate to seek the help of an advocate, interpreter or guardian to help with the collection of service user information.

Releasing Information to Another Agency

Aspect staff may not release Aspect records or information to a third party or gather information from a third party unless the service user or guardian signs the appropriate consent form and the appropriate covering letters to the forms are used.

The exceptions to this are:

  • the service user has a notifiable disease or there is some statutory notification requirement (e.g. notification of a case of child abuse); or
  • a court or other agency authorised by statute has issued a subpoena for specific information; or
  • Aspect is seeking information or has been requested to provide information under Chapter 16A of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998. (Section 245C of the Act allows a prescribed body to provide information to another prescribed body that relates to the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a particular child or young person or class of children or young persons);  or
  • Aspect is seeking information or has been requested to provide information under Section 26B or Section 26 D of the Education Act 1990 (NSW). (Section 26 B and 26 D of the Act concern the exchange of information about a particular student’s behaviour which may give rise to a risk to the health or safety of any person.

Collection and use of information for fundraising

Aspect collects personal information from our donors and supporters that is necessary for our work and helps us to engage with you. We use your information to manage your support, process your donation, issue tax receipts and to respond to your comments and questions. We may also use your information for research or surveys and to keep you up to date with our initiatives that we think may interest you.

This information we use may include personal details like name, address, telephone numbers and payment information for donations.

It is your choice how much information you would like to provide in your support of Aspect, and you can change or access these details at any time. However, if you do not wish to provide some or all of the personal information requested, we may not be able to manage your support, process your donation or respond to your queries.

Where we use your personal information to send you marketing or fundraising information by post, email or telephone, we will provide you with an opportunity to opt-out of receiving such information. By electing not to opt-out, we will assume we have your implied consent to receive similar information and communications in the future. We will always ensure that our opt-out notices are clear, conspicuous and easy to take up.

Disclosure of supporter information

Personal information is sometimes supplied to, or collected by, contractors who perform tasks on our behalf, and is de-identified where possible. These contractors may include research agencies, telemarketing agencies, printers and mailing houses that send our letters.

Wherever we propose to disclose your personal information to a third party not outlined above, we will provide you with a collection notice which explains the circumstances in which we might disclose your personal information and ensure you have the opportunity to opt-out.

Accessing or correcting your personal information

We will always endeavour to ensure that the information collected is accurate. You can update or correct the information we have collected or let us know of your preferences for how we communicate with you by contacting us at:

1800 277 328 or email customerservice@autismspectrum.org.au for Service related material

1800 288 476 or email fundraising@autismspectrum.org.au for Fundraising material

Where personal information is held that is no longer needed, we will take reasonable steps to ensure the information is destroyed or securely archived.

Credit card security

Purchases or donations made to Aspect using our online system are secured. Your connection to our donation and payments pages are encrypted, which means that your personal information, including credit card number, name and address cannot be viewed by a third party as the information travels across the internet.

Lodging a query or complaint

If you have a query or complaint about how we manage your personal information or would like to know more, please call us on 1800 277 328 or email customerservice@autismspectrum.org.au

If you have made a complaint, Aspect will acknowledge that your complaint has been received, provide you with their contact details and give you an estimate of when they can provide a response to your complaint.

Further information

If you require more specific details regarding Aspect’s privacy policies and procedures, contact the Aspect Privacy Officer by emailing customerservice@autismspectrum.org.au

You can obtain further general information about privacy protection from the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner by:

  • calling their Privacy Hotline on 1300 363 992
  • visiting their web site at http://www.privacy.gov.au/
  • writing to: The Federal Privacy Commissioner, GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 1042